Although California’s Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is usually strictly thought of as an enforcer of court orders outlining child support payments, DCSS does much more than that to help parents and guardians.
The Department of Child Support Services helps to establish paternity, change or enforce court-ordered child support payments and change or enforce a court order for health insurance and medical payments.
Department of Child Support Services
The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in California helps parents and guardians get the financial support they need to take care of their families.
Specifically, the California Department of Child Support Services makes sure that financial as well as medical support that’s been ordered by a court supports families and children.
Child support agencies throughout California work with the Department of Child Support Services to ensure that parents and guardians within the 50-plus county network that DCSS works through are taken care of.
Purpose of California’s Child Support Payments
California ensures that the party making the child support payments and the party using those payments are supporting the welfare of the child.
The state of California takes child support payments seriously. Laws protect you from unpaid, court-ordered child support payments as well as repaying back support.
Child Support Modifications?
The child support payments you receive could be modified if you’ve had a significant increase or decrease in income. Other factors like your custody percentage changing or having another child could affect the amount of child support payments that you receive in California.
If, for instance, one parent went back to work and started earning significantly more than the other divorcee, and the other parent spent more time with the kids, then the amount that each parent paid in child support could conceivably be readjusted to take into account these new factors.
Any Financial Changes? File Right Away.
It’s important to bear in mind that alterations to child support payments only occur after the lifestyle changes (e.g., one parent’s income increase) are brought to the court’s attention. In other words, you can’t expect to get retroactive compensation.
The above example dealt with an increase in income for one parent, but the same rules apply to a parent or guardian losing a job. You need to tell the courts that you’re unemployed for child support payments to get lowered or possibly eliminated.
It’s important to make another filing as soon as your financial situation changes. Seek out an attorney to help you reduce your child support payments if your income changes significantly, and especially if you’re making child support payments and have recently become unemployed.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support in California is figured out based on each parent’s or guardian’s income as well as how much time each parent or guardian spends with the child.
Other financial factors that could impact child support payments include any mortgages that each parent holds or the total cost of child care.
Believe it or not, judges working in California’s legal system rely on a computer program to calculate monthly child support payments. That said, each parent works with an attorney specializing in family law to determine how the parents’ income and other personal factors impact future child support payments.
Child support payments apply to just that – children. At age 18 the support payments should cease. And remember, it’s the parent’s responsibilities to make another filing if his or her income changes.