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When Can a Parent Expect to Stop Paying Child Support?

when-can-a-parent-expect-to-stop-paying-child-supportAlthough 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.

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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Child Support

 

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How Child Support is Determined

In California, child support is predominately determined by two factors. The first factor is each parent’s monthly net disposablehow-child-support-is-determined income. The second factor is the percentage of time per month that each parent provides care for the child. This is commonly referred to as the “J factor”.

Income. A parent’s disposable monthly income includes formal sources of personal revenue that are taxed by the state of California and the federal government as well as non-traditional sources of income. Types of income include the following: wages, commissions, tips, bonuses, self-employment earnings, unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, interest, dividends, social security, pensions, lottery winnings and money from rental properties. The amount that a parent must pay each month for child support is partially determined by the percentage of the couple’s combined income.

Deductions. Child support has more determining factors than just the couple’s earnings. Certain payments and expenses are reduced from these sources of income. Typical deductions include taxes, other child support payments, other child care expenses, healthcare costs, job search expenses, home mortgage payments, required contributions towards retirement and union dues. It is important to note that other child support payments must be court ordered or they won’t be eligible as deductions. Also, the parent must actually be making these child support payments for the money to qualify as a deduction. Parents will not be allowed to deduct subsequent child support payments from their income.

The Calculation. After all the sources of income and eligible expenses and payments are determined, the net disposable monthly income can be calculated for each parent. The court uses these figures along with the percentage of time that each parent spends caring for their child to determine the exact amount of child support payments. Courts expect that a parent who spends more time with the child will incur significantly more expenses. It is quite common for parents, attorneys and the court to run calculations according to the above guidelines and come up with completely different figures. This happens because each party has their own personal opinions as to how much time each parent spends with their child, the number of exemptions claimed by the parents, what sources of income actually exist and which ones are taxable.

These discrepancies are exactly why parents need legal representation. A family law attorney will be able to protect your financial interests and help you keep your emotions separate from your financial and legal concerns. Remember that child support payments will extend all the way until the child turns 18 years old. This means that there is the potential for enormous child support costs over the long haul as well as the opportunity to re-calculate monthly child support payments throughout the years.  An attorney will be able to negotiate with the judge to ensure that certain information is included or excluded from child support calculations. These calculations are run by a complex computer program known as the Dissomaster.

The key to obtaining an acceptable outcome from the Dissomaster’s calculation is to convince the judge to either allow or disallow key pieces of input from being entered into the Dissomaster’s calculations.  To put it bluntly, judges have the power to shape child support payment determinations.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Child Support

 

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Seeking a Reputable Child Custody Lawyer for Help

Seeking a Reputable Child Custody Lawyer for Help

Counselling helps either new or old couples to nurture their marriages and grow it to become healthy and going. Along with that, counselling also recommends that somehow couples need to also be apart from each other in order to understand themselves better and if there are faults and flaws, they may be able to re-assess that and rebuild themselves. Otherwise, it can lead to separation or divorce.

Therapy in marriage is also highly required.  Sometimes in a relationship, it is also difficult to deal with differences and gaps. There is a need to understand your own separate needs as different individuals. There are situations when we need much of constructive communication so it needs to be carefully considered so as to be clear. That way, it can give a couple the chances to talk nicely and properly about each other and get a better idea on getting their relationship better.

However, if the couple are not able to patch things up and work things well, that’s the time when divorce comes into the picture. This is a very coarse issue to tackle concerning the children and how will this affect their lives. With this, the service of a child custody lawyer is needed.

Hiring a child custody lawyer is very much different from hiring any other type of a lawyer. This is because in this case, it’s not just about you but your personal interests but the child’s interests. Some of the key things that a parent should consider when hiring a child custody lawyer includes the following:

Firstly, the parent should analyze their financial wellbeing and the cost of hiring a child custody lawyer. Most lawyers, especially the child custody lawyers tend to be quite expensive. So, in case you are unable to afford one, you can always opt for a free or low cost representation via a family court. The negative side of this is that the family court may base this to you been financially unable to bring up your child.

Another determining factor is how complex the case is. Some of the things that may make the case to be complex include if the couple live in different states. Although a parent can chose to represent them, once the case has been determined to be too complex, then, it’s best to hire a private lawyer who is knowledgeable on that area. This indeed increases the probability of you winning the case.

Lastly, you will have to do a background check on the reputation of the lawyer. The ideal lawyer is who has a reputation of winning their client’s child custody cases for no parent wants to hire a lawyer who is doomed to make them loose. The parent should further check the strategies that the lawyer employs in order to win the case to ensure that s/he is a bit ethical. To find the right one, you can request for referrals from friends or family members who may have worked with child custody lawyers before.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Family Law

 

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Establishment of Paternity

Establishment of Paternity

Paternity is called to a legally acknowledged relationship between a father and his child. Most paternity cases are declared on children born out of wedlock for certain legal rights and benefits provided to children born to married parents.

Undoubtedly, the law presumes that the father of the newborn child is the husband of the mother when they are married to each other. On the other hand, the unmarried mother shall have to establish paternity when she gives birth. In most cases, establishing of paternity by the child or the mother can be done before birth or at any time until the child reaches 18 or the legal age.

Here are the legal ways to establish paternity:

Voluntary Acknowledgment. Both parents can sign an acknowledgement paper for paternity purposes. The requirement may be done right after the birth of the child or at a later time. Once completed, the child can then bring the father’s name on his/her birth certificate.

Court Determination. A parent can act as much to petition the court to establish paternity. The involved parties have the right to cross-examine witnesses, determine and submit potential evidence to the court. A court may consider different components to prove paternity. It includes the sexual relationship between the mother and the possible father, the details with regard to the time and date of conception, and results of genetic testing. If the judge has proven the paternity tests accurate, the judge will assign legal paternity to the biological father.

Genetic Testing. Genetic tests are also applicable for paternity testing. It is used to prove the biological connection between a child and his/her potential father. Performing paternity tests examines the DNA found in the blood or saliva of the mother, child and the possible father. Paternity will be granted if it is more likely than not that the child’s DNA is inferred from the DNA of the possible father. If one wishes to undergo genetic testing, they better contact their state child support agency. Child support agencies are known to pay the cost for paternity tests until the identity of the father is finally named. Once it is proven, the father is required to compensate for all the testing costs.

Estoppel. In other parts of the world, a person can establish paternity by volunteering or offering himself out to be the parent of a child, and providing everything that a child needs, from financial to emotional support for the child.

Why is the establishment of paternity important?

Many advantages come out after an established paternity. First and foremost, it can increase a child’s status of living. Meanwhile, a court is not held liable to order any child support tolls from a father unless paternity is proven and established. Moreover, paternity also enables a child to get an advantage from his/her parent’s medical insurance coverage, including government programs such as social security, disability and veterans fees. Other than that, it will also allow the child to inherit properties from the father. It can save a child’s life by having an access from the parent’s full family medical history, which is important during medical emergencies. Additionally, finding of paternity also benefits the father because it gives him visitation rights and to become involved in the child/children’s lives. Also, if certain situations happen like a child being born out of wedlock to a non-citizen mother and a citizen father, the United States of America can exclusively provide citizenship to the child if the biological citizen father has set up paternity before the child reaches the age of 18.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Family Law, Legal Rights, Parenting

 

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