Ensuring Fair And Appropriate Child Support
The purpose of child support is straightforward: making sure that children’s needs are met after their parents’ separation. Unfortunately, child support is a frequent source of conflict, and you may need legal help to make sure the court gets it right and the other parent complies.
The Law Offices of Dale R. Bruder is here to protect your interests in the determination of child support and related family law matters. We handle child support within divorce proceedings, as well as for parents who were never married. We can also address modifications and enforcement issues.
Considerations In Determining Child Support
Child support is generally dictated by California’s child support guidelines. The formula takes into account the parents’ incomes, the number of children expenses such as health insurance or child care, and the time-share ratio (how many days the child spends with each parent). However, the guidelines assume that the raw numbers fed into the formula are correct.
Our role as your legal counsel is to make sure the state has accurate financial information to determine appropriate child support. The court should consider all sources of income, including rental property income, sales commissions and bonuses, overtime pay and pension benefits. We have experience uncovering the true income of a parent who is self-employed, or imputing the income of a parent who is intentionally unemployed or underemployed.
We also get involved in cases where the parents’ combined income exceeds the top end of the child support guidelines. In those situations, we will negotiate or go to court to determine a reasonable level of child support.
Child support is not intended to support either parents’ lifestyles and should never be weaponized in divorce proceedings. The only criteria should be the best interests of the child.
Revisiting Child Support
When there is a substantial change in circumstances, either parent can petition the court for a modification of child support. Valid reasons might be job loss or pay cut, or conversely a parent who gets a promotion or higher paying job. The changing needs of the child or an adjustment to child custody may also justify increasing or decreasing child support. Our attorney will vigorously assert your interests in these hearings.
We also handle child support enforcement issues, when one parent is in arrears on their court-ordered obligations. We handle contempt of court actions to compel child support, including the garnishment of wages and other remedies. We also advocate for paying parents who are unable to pay past due support because of financial hardships.