Child Support Attorneys in Oxnard, California
At the Land Legal Group, our Oxnard child support attorneys know multiple factors help determine the amount of child support one parent will pay, and the other will receive, during a California divorce.
There is a California Child Support Guideline Calculator that will help outline an estimated payment amount, but that figure can change based on the needs of the children. A California family court judge may also decide on a different figure, if the case makes it inside the courtroom without an agreement in place.
Our Ventura County child support lawyers know that the initial element regarding which parent pays child support, and how much, is based on which parent is awarded primary custody of the children. From there, it becomes a question of the amount the custodial parent will receive each month.
Here is how that decision is made, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Which Factors Determine the Amount of Child Support One Parent Will Receive After a California Divorce?
The leading factor in determining the amount of child support one parent may be ordered to pay to the other is the percentage of child custody time each parent has with the children. Once child custody is determined — including which parent has primary custody and which parent has visitation rights — additional family dynamics and details will help establish the amount.
Those factors may include, but are not limited to:
- The number of children.
- The children’s ages.
- Both parents’ incomes.
- Childcare and education requirements.
- Healthcare expenses, including any special needs a child may have.
- Alimony payments assessed during the divorce, when applicable.
The court will review any determining factors they deem relevant to each child custody case and will do so based on the best interests of the children. Whether you are the paying parent, or the child support recipient, it is important to partner with a skilled family law attorney in Oxnard to ensure the amount is fair to both you and your children. We can help.
Do Parents Have to Go to Court to Determine Who Pays Child Support in California?
Like all other family law matters, parents will only have to go to court, and litigate their child support position, if they cannot agree on an amount privately or during mediation. When parents cannot make child custody decisions on their own — which is a leading factor in the amount of child support one parent will pay — they must attend mediation before the judge will hear their case inside the courtroom. Since child custody and child support are inextricably linked, it would be beneficial for the parents to determine both factors at once. If they cannot, the California family courts will decide for them.
How Long Do Child Support Payments Last in California?
A parent’s legal obligation to pay child support for their children ends when the child turns 18, or 19 if the child is unmarried and still attending high school full-time. Once the child marries or becomes free from parental custody, which may include joining the military, the paying parent is no longer obligated to make child support payments. If a child has special needs, or is disabled, the court can order both parents to continue supporting the child going forward.
Can I Have the Amount of Child Support I Pay Reduced? Or Can the Receiving Parent Ask for an Increase?
If both parents have privately decided on a child support amount, they can review their decision in private as well, and either increase or decrease the amount without the court’s interference. However, if the child support amount was court ordered, or the parents do not agree on revising the amount — either to decrease or increase the amount — they must petition the California family court for child support modification.
Either position will require evidence that the change is necessary. For instance, if you are the paying parent, and would like to decrease the amount, you must show there is a good reason for the request. This may include a job loss, demotion, or another change in income due to an injury or illness. Likewise, if one parent would like to increase the amount, he or she must show there is a tangible need for the increase. This may include the children’s special needs, sports programs, tuition, and other necessary factors that impact their growth and stability.
Partnering with a skilled child support lawyer in Oxnard can help you determine the best approach to pursuing a modification to your existing agreement.
Contact Our Trusted Child Support Attorneys in Oxnard, California Today
At the Land Legal Group, we know that going through a divorce in California is wrought with challenges, including who will get custody of the children, and how must child support one or both parents may have to pay as a result.
We can help remove the fear of the unknown and provide the legal guidance and resources you need to pursue the best outcome for your unique circumstances, starting with a free case assessment by calling (805) 696-2160 today. We are here to help make the most of your future. Let’s get started.