Most Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support
Child support is a sensitive topic after a divorce or a separation. Many people wonder what child support is, how much their child support will be, and when it will be paid. Here are answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about child support in California.
What is the Definition of Child Support?
In simple terms, child support is money paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent. It offsets the costs of caring for the child.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Many people believe that child support automatically ends when a child turns 18. However, in some cases, it may continue while the child seeks a higher education. A date when child support payments end is generally included in the final divorce decree or parenting plan.
What If We’re Parents and Aren’t Married or Together?
If you and your child’s other parent are separated, a paternity test establishes paternity for the purposes of child support. Therefore, a California court will not order child support payments without a legal paternity test.
What If I Can’t Pay Child Support?
Failing to make court-ordered child support payments is against the law. It can result in serious penalties and fines, potentially including jail time. However, the law recognizes that circumstances can change and what was once an affordable payment may no longer be after a job loss or a serious illness. Therefore, if your circumstances have changed, it’s important to discuss modifying your child support order with an attorney.
What If the Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Make Payments?
If you are the custodial parent of a child and have not received the child support due to you by the non-custodial parent, you do have legal options. You may be able to compel the non-custodial parent to make payment with the help of an attorney and the threat of penalty. Their wages or tax returns can be garnished.
Contact a Huntington Beach Divorce Lawyer Today
If you have questions about child support or are considering separating from your partner or getting a divorce and you have a child together, it’s important you speak with a lawyer. At the Law Office of Barbara E. McNamara, we can address your needs and more. Call today for a consultation at (714) 740-2542.
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