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Child Support

Minella Law Group Can Aid in Your Child Support Needs

Both parents are responsible for the financial support of all of their children until the children reach the age of 18. If the child or children are still in school at the age of 19, and still live at home and are unable to provide their own support, it is up to the parents to provide that support.

The state of California mandates the amount of child support that is paid from one parent to the other. The amount is figured by the computer generating of the payer’s financial status. The parent’s income, the amount of taxes that they pay, the amount of time that the parent has with the child, mandatory items that are deductible such as health insurance and retirement and the custodial parent’s ability to earn and their income are the main factors that determine the amount of child support to be paid. Child support can be altered should financial changes occur with the parent paying the support, or if the time share between the two parents should change at any time.
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How To Prepare For Your San Diego Child Support Attorney

Develop a Plan

To make everything as easy as possible and save on attorney costs, you will need to develop a plan. Take some time to think about what you want to accomplish during your child support case. Come up with some goals and objectives. Do you have a goal of gaining custody? Or, are you willing to negotiate mutually beneficial visits for both you and your ex-spouse? Are you comfortable with your ex-spouse gaining total custody? Deciding these factors and putting them in writing can make your attorney meeting more efficient. Also consider items such as what you want your child support to cover. How much can you reasonably afford? Get an idea by using an online calculator.
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Steps to Collect Back Child Support Payments in San Diego

If you are a custodial parent, you are eligible to receive child support payments from the non-custodial parent. These payments are designed to help provide financial support to the custodial parent to assist in providing care and support for the children. Child support can be sought for all children under 18 years old, or those still attending high school. Unfortunately, an oral agreement between both parents is not enough to ensure child support payment, and is also not enforceable by the courts in California. It is highly recommended that you obtain a Child Support Order from the San Diego courts. Our attorneys at Minella Law Group are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the various federal, state, and local child support laws and can work with you through the entire filing process, as well as ensure that your court order is enforced.
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Navigating the California Courts to Collect Unpaid Support

When a couple divorces, one spouse is often required to pay money to support the children (child support) and/or the other spouse (spousal support or alimony).  Unfortunately, getting an award for support and collecting it are two different things entirely.

It’s up to the spouse receiving the money to make sure that the money is being paid and to take action if it is not.  Courts in California will not step in automatically.  If your ex-spouse isn’t paying, then you or your attorney can ask the court to deduct support payments from their paycheck; this is called “wage garnishment.” Continue Reading

Child Support Obligations in California

It was recently reported that former San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie was $25,000 behind on child support obligations.  One of the mothers of Cromartie’s children filed a document with the court that prevented him from selling any property without first being current on his child support.  Cromartie has since caught up on his obligations after being traded to the New York Jets and receiving a $500,000 advance on his contract.

It is now more expensive than ever to raise a child.  The cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 18 is estimated to range from $180,000-$250,000.  As a child gets older, the expenses rise.  Older children are often involved in extra-curricular activities like music, dance, or sports.  If parents wish to pay for a child’s college education, this can easily add another $50,000 in expenses. Continue Reading

When Can a Judge Impute Income to an Unemployed Parent? Understanding How California Family Courts Calculate Child Support

Hard financial times are still troubling many parents in California who have been laid off from their jobs.  The Associated Press reports in the Los Angeles Times that nationally, new jobless claims have recently risen higher than expected, although California has fortunately seen some decreases.  For many of these parents who owe child support, the question is, when unemployment benefits end, will that parent be excused from paying the support until a new job is found?  On the other hand, if the paying parent is lucky enough to be in a better financial position than when the child support was first ordered, will that parent automatically pay more now to support his or her child?  The short answer in either case is no, and will continue to be no, unless and until one of the parent’s gets the child support order modified in family court.  Continue Reading

The Looming Threat of Contempt: How Far Can the Court Go in Enforcing Your San Diego Family Law Order?

If a California family court order is disobeyed, there are many different ways to compel compliance, but can a person be jailed if, for example, child support isn’t paid?  Through the court’s “contempt power,” many family court orders that have been violated can potentially be punished with jail time.  On the other hand, the U.S. and California constitutions protect people from being put in jail just for having unpaid debts.  In the case of spousal support (alimony) or child support, even though money is owed, the payments are not seen as “debts” because they arise from legal obligations created when you have children or get married, which is why jail can be imposed for willfully violating the court order.  Continue Reading

Is it Time to Modify Your Child Support? When Circumstances Change After Your San Diego Divorce

Just recently, an AP article published in the San Diego Union Tribune reports that for a middle-income family, a child born in 2008 will cost (in current dollars) about $221,000 to raise through age 17.  When adjusted for inflation, this figure jumps to an estimated $292,000, as forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.  Their annual report helps state governments and courts determine child support guidelines.

Even without reading the report, you know that raising children is expensive and always a challenge, but for divorced parents, child support can create additional concerns.  For example, what happens when a parent’s income grows, or if a parent loses a job?  Continue Reading