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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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Los Gatos child support lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful for parents. Even after your divorce is finalized, you may have questions about your ability to provide for your children, and ongoing financial concerns can cause a great deal of anxiety. If you are named as the custodial parent in your divorce case, you will want to plan for how you will be able to provide for your children’s needs. Fortunately, with the help of a knowledgeable family law professional, you can ensure that you will receive child support payments from your former spouse. 

How Is Child Support Established in California? 

In the state of California, child support agreements can be established through mediation or a court order. Child support payments are meant to cover various living expenses that the custodial parent will provide for their child. These expenses may include the costs of food, living arrangements, and clothing, and a non-custodial parent may also be required to provide additional child support to address expenses such as child care, health care, or other special needs for children. If you are the custodial parent, you will typically receive payments from the non-custodial parent, and the amount of these payments is calculated using a formula defined in California law. This formula will take into account each parent’s disposable income, the percentage of time the children spend with the non-custodial parent, and the number of children.

Why You Should Work With a Child Support Lawyer

To ensure that child support payments are calculated correctly, it is important to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney. If you are looking to establish an agreement through mediation, your attorney can assist you in preparing for the mediation process and educate you on your rights as a custodial parent. If your case needs to be resolved in court, your attorney can provide you with representation and ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account when establishing child support payments.

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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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Los Gatos post-divorce enforcement lawyer

Separating from a spouse or partner can be emotionally challenging, but a separation or divorce can be even more difficult when it affects a parent’s relationship with their children. Because of this, issues related to child custody are often some of the most contentious matters involved in divorce cases. However, regardless of the decisions made about custody, one parent is often ordered to pay child support. These payments are meant to provide for a child’s needs, and if a parent is not meeting their court-ordered obligations, it is important to understand the legal options available to ensure that children receive the support they deserve. 

My Former Spouse Is Not Paying Child Support 

According to the Federal Government’s report on Custodial Mothers and Fathers and their Child Support, there are more than 13 million single custodial parents living throughout the United States. Just under half of those parents have an established child support agreement with their child’s other parent. Unfortunately, many custodial parents never actually receive the money their children are entitled to. According to the study, throughout 2016, less than 70% of all child support was actually received by the custodial parent. This means that many parents are failing to fully pay their child support obligations, or they are neglecting to pay them altogether. 

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Los Gatos Unpaid Child Support LawyerNearly everyone is familiar with the term “deadbeat dad,” but what exactly are the penalties when a parent (either the father or the mother) fails to provide their child with the financial support that he or she is legally obligated to pay? Child support is generally paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent in order to provide for the child’s daily needs. Many factors go into figuring the amount of support that must be paid, and obligations may change throughout the child’s lifetime. However, unless a judge says otherwise, those ordered to pay support must continue to do so, or that parent is breaking the law.

How Is the Amount of Child Support Determined in California?

There is a formula that is followed to determine the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent must pay in California. Some of the major factors that must be integrated into the formula are as follows:

  • The number of children under 19 and/or in high school, with the exception of disabled children who may need to be supported past age 19

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