Every child deserves to be supported by both of their parents. While the court cannot require that both parents provide physical, mental, and emotional support to their child, it can require both parents to provide the financial support they need to thrive.
Whether you are divorced from your child’s other parent or have never been married to them, you may be expected to pay or receive child support.
Whichever side of the equation you find yourself on, a strong attorney can protect your best interests and do what is best for your child. Start your search with our list of Orange County child support lawyers below.
Helpful Information About Choosing an Orange County Child Support Lawyer
- You can research the Bar license status, suspensions or reprimands of an attorney at the California Bar Association website.
- California’s child support calculator can be found here.
- The California Bar Association offers a “Specialist” certification for family attorneys, if they choose to pursue it. Not every one who is facing a child support dispute needs a California Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, but some people prefer a lawyer who is specialized in this area of law. Certified family law specialists tend to require a higher rate than non-certified lawyers.
- Child support lawyers typically require an initial retainer for services, often $1,000 – $2,500 or more depending on the complexities of your circumstances.
Your Child’s Best Interest
Under California law, the goal of child support is to serve the child’s best interest. The law accounts for both parents’ standard of living and attempts to equalize the child’s quality of life at both homes.
Factors That Influence Child Support
State guidelines account for a range of factors in an attempt to treat both parents fairly while doing what is right for the child. Some of the factors used to adjust child support include:
- Each parent’s income
- Each parent’s ability to earn an income
- The amount of children the parents have together and from other partners
- How the child’s time is divided
- Who pays health insurance
- Childcare expenses
- Extraordinary needs the child may have—for example, a child with significant disabilities may have much higher medical expenses than most other children, and this would need to be accounted for.
Orange County Child Support Lawyers:
Pinkham & Associates, APLC
How Child Support is Calculated in California
The Statewide Uniform Guideline is used to calculate child support. It accounts for how much the parents bring in together, how much disposable income the higher earning parent brings in, and how much time the higher earning parent spends with the child. As the higher earning parent spends more time with the child, their child support contribution decreases.
While the court does use this calculation, there are situations where it’s appropriate to deviate from the final number. It’s important to talk to an attorney about your child support case to find out if your case falls outside standard parameters.
Child Support Attorneys Near Me:
12437 Lewis Street, Suite 204 Garden Grove, CA 92840
17822 Seventeenth St. Suite. 407 Tustin, CA 92780
333 City Blvd West 17th Floor Orange, CA 92868
12900 Garden Grove Blvd #132, Garden Grove, CA 92843
How to Modify Child Support in California
If you want to modify a child support order in California, you’ll need to follow the necessary legal procedures. Although it’s highly recommended you discuss this with a local attorney who’s experienced in child support modifications, here are the general steps involved in modifying a child support order in California:
- Gather relevant information: Collect all the relevant documents related to your existing child support order, such as court orders, income records, and any other relevant financial information.
- Identify valid reasons for modification: In California, you can request a modification of a child support order if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was issued. Valid reasons for modification may include changes in income, changes in custody or visitation arrangements, or other significant life changes that affect the child support calculation.
- Mediation or negotiation (optional): Before going to court, you may consider attempting mediation or negotiating with the other parent to reach an agreement on the modification. If you both can agree on the changes, you can submit the agreed-upon modifications to the court for approval.
- File a Request for Order (RFO): If you cannot reach an agreement or mediation is not required, you will need to file a Request for Order (RFO) with the family court that issued the initial child support order. You can obtain the necessary forms from the court clerk or their website.
- Complete the required forms: Fill out the RFO form, which typically includes information about the existing child support order, the requested modification, and the reasons for the change. Ensure you provide accurate and detailed information to support your case.
- Serve the other parent: After completing the RFO, you must serve a copy of the filed documents to the other parent. Proper service ensures that the other party is aware of the modification request and can respond accordingly.
- Attend the court hearing: Once the other parent has been served, the court will schedule a hearing. Attend the hearing and present your case before the judge. Be prepared to provide evidence and supporting documents that demonstrate the substantial change in circumstances warranting the modification.
- Await the court’s decision: After reviewing the evidence and hearing both parties’ arguments, the judge will make a decision regarding the modification request. If approved, the court will issue a modified child support order.
It’s important to note that the process and requirements may vary depending on your specific circumstances and the county in which you reside. Consulting with a family law attorney or seeking guidance from the court’s self-help center can provide you with more accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your situation.
Contact an Orange County Child Support Law Firm
After reviewing the information, the court will determine whether or not to change the order and how much to change it. Note that the court does not consider who is filing when looking at the evidence. It is entirely possible for one parent to request a modification, only to have it modified in the other parent’s favor. Talking to an attorney about your options can save you stress, time, and money.
If child support has been weighing heavy on your mind, hire a child support attorney listed on OrangeCountyLawyers.com to help guide you through the process. Explore our experienced lawyers and start contacting those near you.