Woodland Child Support Lawyers

Children require emotional, instructional, and financial support to grow and thrive. Many parents provide their children with what they need. However, far too often, the appropriate amount of financial support is a contentious issue between the parents. Perhaps one parent feels like the financial burden of child-rearing has fallen upon them. Or maybe a parent has other children to support and doesn’t know how to strike the right balance.

Fortunately, you don’t have to try to understand California’s child support laws on your own. A Woodland, California, child support lawyer at Pakpour Banks LLP can help.

Our Woodland Child Support Attorneys

At Pakpour Banks LLP, we understand that legal issues affecting your child are emotionally complex and highly individualized. We pride ourselves on the personalized representation we offer families during these difficult times in their lives. We take care to develop a relationship with our clients so that together, we can create a client-centered approach to their case. 

Our child support lawyers are highly knowledgeable about Woodland’s child support law. Plus, we’re experienced in representing clients in Yolo County family courts for many family-related legal matters, including child support. 

What Is Child Support?

Child support is the monetary aid needed to help raise a child. There’s no question that raising a child is expensive. Under California law, both parents have an equal duty to financially provide for their child in a manner that supports their needs. This duty applies regardless of whether the parents are still together or live separately. 

Typically, the issue of child support arises when parents live separately or their relationship has fallen apart. If the parents are divorcing and share children, child support is addressed in the divorce case, along with other child-related issues like custody and visitation. However, if the child’s parents have no formal relationship, one of the parties can bring a child support proceeding in family court on its own. When parents bring custody cases to court, child support is often attached to them. 

Who Pays Child Support?

In many cases, which parent pays child support depends on which parent has primary physical custody. It also largely depends on each parent’s financial circumstances. A court might require just one parent to pay child support, depending on the financial circumstances of both parents. A court can also order both parents to pay child support. 

Who pays child support is highly individualized. Even in a situation where both parents equally share custody, a court could order one parent to pay child support if their financial statuses are significantly different. A Woodland child support law attorney can help you understand your potential obligation.

How Is Child Support Calculated in California?

California law sets forth specific child support guidelines that courts must follow when calculating child support. Under the guidelines, a court will examine several factors to determine child support, including the following:

  • Each parent’s income or potential income,
  • Any additional financial amount each parent receives,
  • The number of children the parents share,
  • Custody and visitation arrangements,
  • The tax filing status of each parent,
  • Whether either parent must support other children,
  • Health insurance costs, and
  • Job-related costs and expenses.

A court uses a parent’s “net disposable income” to determine their income. This is the parent’s gross income minus state and federal taxes and other deductions. You can get a sense of your potential child support with this California Child Support Guideline Calculator offered by California’s Child Support Services. 

A court can include many different costs within the child support order, such as:

  • Health insurance, including vision and dental, for the children;
  • Schooling and tuition costs;
  • Childcare costs; and
  • Any special needs expenses.

Parents might have to share these costs, or a court could order one parent to cover some of these costs. You should speak with a Woodland, California, child support lawyer to ensure that your income and expenses, and your child’s needs, are appropriately accounted for in any child support calculation.

How Long Does Child Support Last?

Generally, child support in California lasts until the child turns 18. However, if the child is enrolled in high school full-time and unmarried when they turn 18, the child support will last until they turn 19 or they graduate from high school, whichever comes first.

There are circumstances where a parent will have to provide for an adult child. Specifically, both parents have a duty to support an adult child who is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to support themselves. 

Can I Change My Child Support Order?

People’s circumstances change over time. What might have worked for the parents and children when they were young might not be adequate as they grow. Or, perhaps, a parent’s financial circumstances have unexpectedly changed due to a layoff or a long-term disability. 

Either parent can request a change in a child support order, otherwise called a modification. In this modification process, a parent can request an increase or decrease in court-ordered child support. You must have a good reason to request a change in the child support order.

Keep in mind that in most circumstances, you cannot retroactively change a child support order. This means that if a court grants your request to modify the child support, it will be effective as of the day you file the modification request with the court. It will not affect any outstanding child support amount you owe before you file for the modification. 

Child support modifications can be complex. You should speak with our family law attorney in Woodland, California, to ensure that you put the most robust case you can before the court. 

Contact Our Woodland Child Support Lawyers Today

Understanding California’s child support obligations and guidelines can be challenging. That’s why the Woodland, California, child support lawyers at Pakpour Banks LLP, are here to help. We provide capable and compassionate legal services during complicated family legal matters, including child support. We work hard with our clients to find the best strategy for their family legal needs, whether through negotiations, settlements, mediation, or court. Se habla Español.