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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney child support

When a couple decides to get a divorce, the entire family will experience the ramifications of their decision. For parents, issues surrounding child custody and child support are at the forefront of all decisions. In the state of California, if one parent is awarded the majority of parental responsibilities, including physical custody, he or she likely will be entitled to significant child support. As you navigate the divorce process, it is critically important to have a skilled attorney by your side to protect your rights. 

Establishing Proper Child Support Payments 

In the state of California, child support payment totals are calculated by combining the income of both parents and asking the non-custodial parent to pay his or her fair share of compensation for childcare. In order to accurately calculate a fair number, California courts will also consider the quality of life the child had prior to the separation, the child’s physical and emotional health, and the overall financial needs of the child and the primary custodial parent. When it comes to issues as critical as child support, you need the support of an experienced legal professional. A skilled attorney can help present all relevant criteria to the California court system and ensure that you receive the financial support you need from your former spouse. 

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Los Gatos divorce modification attorney for child supportWhen parents get divorced, they and their children can sometimes struggle to adjust to the changes they experience in their lives. Financial matters are some of the most common concerns that divorced parents face, and they will want to be sure they can provide for themselves while also addressing their children’s needs. During the divorce process, parents’ child support obligations are determined based on the income earned by both parties and the decisions made about child custody and visitation. While a child support agreement is put in place based on parents’ and children’s needs at the time of divorce, these needs may change in the months and years to come. If parents’ or children’s circumstances change significantly, a post-judgment modification may be necessary.

When Can Child Support Be Modified? 

In most cases, post-judgment modifications can only be made if a parent or child has experienced a significant change in circumstances. In some cases, parents may seek an adjustment to how they share custody of children and the amount of time children spend with each parent, including in situations where a parent plans to move to a new home. Changes to child custody and visitation will often require a recalculation of parents’ child support obligations to address these new circumstances. 

In other cases, a parent may ask for a child support modification because they or their children have experienced changes in their financial situation. For example, a parent who receives child support may request a modification due to a change in the paying parent’s income (such as increased pay following a promotion), changes in the child’s healthcare needs, or increases in living expenses. A parent who pays child support may pursue a modification due to significant changes in income, such as a disability or the loss of a job. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos child custody modification lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and it will require you to make a number of changes to your life. As you transition from married life to being single, both you and your ex-spouse may be looking for a new living situation, seeking new employment, and determining how you can provide for your children. While the decisions made during your divorce are meant to provide a permanent solution, either party’s situation may change drastically in the years after the divorce. In cases where a person’s circumstances have changed, certain parts of a divorce decree can be modified. These post-divorce modifications may address changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, and when pursuing a modification, you will want to work with a knowledgeable attorney. 

Modifying Your Child Custody Order 

In order to seek a modification to child custody, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that a change in circumstances has occurred. During divorce, the decisions made about legal and physical custody may take parents’ work schedules and housing situations into account. If a parent experiences changes in these areas, either party may petition the court for a modification. For example, if a change in your work schedule would allow you to spend more time with your child, you may ask that your visitation schedule be modified accordingly.

Modifications can also be requested if either parent has failed to provide the care their child needs. If the other parent is struggling to get your child to school on time, not spending adequate time with the child, or failing to provide proper food or clothing, you may ask that the child spend more time with you so you can ensure that their needs will be met. If your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, and this puts your child at risk, you can request that restrictions be placed on their parenting time, such as requiring supervision to be present when your child is with them.

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Los Gatos, CA child support lawyerEnding your marriage is no easy task. The divorce process can be emotionally draining and grueling, and a wide variety of legal issues will need to be addressed. When children are involved, a divorce can come with even more significant ramifications. While child custody and visitation may be your number one concern during your divorce, once the process is complete, your focus may change to ensuring that you receive the court-ordered child support payments that will allow you to meet your children’s needs. 

What if My Former Spouse Is Not Making Payments? 

If your child’s other parent fails to make their court-ordered child support payments, you will want to take steps to enforce these obligations. Due to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, a district attorney has the power to assist you in collecting the court-ordered child support payments you are owed. The district attorney may contact the non-paying parent, inform them of the consequences of non-payment, and make arrangements for paying the amount due. If the parent refuses to make payments, they may face criminal punishment. Because the non-paying parent will be unable to earn an income in prison, jail time is not the most common consequence in these cases. However, the district attorney may pursue other potential options such as garnishing wages, seizing property, or driver’s license revocation. 

If there are multiple payments that your former partner failed to make, you can rest assured that they are required by law to make all court-ordered payments that are due, along with interest on the amount that is owed. If the other parent’s circumstances have changed, and the loss of a job or reduction in income makes it impossible to continue making payments, they can request a modification of the child support order. However, any reduction will only apply to future payments, and back child support will continue to be owed until it is fully paid off.

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