Friday, May 25, 2007

Calfornia Child Support Rights

How much child support am I going to pay?

Child support is money paid to ensure the child shares the lifestyle and living condition of each parent. California calculates support pursuant guideline. Computer programs are used to arrive at the proper figure.

The amount ordered will depend upon how many children you have, each parent’s tax filing status, each parent’s earnings, any "add-ons," and a number of other, miscellaneous factors.

Add-ons are ordered above basic support. This includes one-half of any uncovered medical and dental bills, and one-half of any day care expenses. Add-ons do not include payment for any extracurricular activities; the parent who has custody of the children is expected to bear the entire cost of the children's extracurricular activities, as that is the purpose of the support. The court only considers each parent’s gross and net earnings, not amount of a parent’s car payment, house payment.

The more a parent sees his/her child, the less support he/she pays. Sometimes, if the parents share joint custody, neither parent will be ordered to pay support. The court has the ability to "impute" income to a parent who does not work. This means that the court can base the order, not on what the person is earning, but what that person has the ability to earn.

Child support will take away a significant part of each parent’s income, and must be budgeted appropriately. Except in very rare circumstances, the courts do not have the power to order anything other than guideline. If the amount ordered is more or less than guideline, you must file an Order to Show Cause and ask the court to modify the amount paid. If either parent's income changes, the parent whose earnings have decreased should immediately file and Order to Show Cause. Since the order is based upon the amount of each parent’s earnings, if either parent earns more money than when the order, guideline will change.

You and the other parent can agree to a different amount of support if it is in writing and signed by a judge. Child Support is owed until the child is emancipated, is age 18 years and no longer a high school student, or until the child reaches the age 19 if the child continues to attend high school on a full-time, whichever occurs first. There is no requirement to pay until that child graduates from college.

Once ordered, child support is due forever until paid in full. There is no statute of limitations, and can be enforced by placing a lien on the payor’s home, levying his/her wages, and seizing any assets he/she has in the bank.


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