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What Happens if a Parent Does Not Pay Child Support in California?

Posted on in Divorce

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

  • The percentage of days a child spends with each parent

  • Both parents’ incomes

Beyond the support payments, noncustodial parents are also expected to split fees like medical bills and daycare costs. Parents who do not meet their requirements can be found in contempt of court.

What Happens to Parents Who Do Not Pay Their Required Support?

Typically, child support and failure to pay are handled by state and local agencies, but there are times when the Office of the Inspector General must get involved. A noncustodial parent who does not pay support is subject to fines and even imprisonment, especially if the nonpayment goes on for too long, or if the parent willfully tries to avoid paying by moving to another state or other means.

In addition, non-paying parents will still be responsible for paying back child support, even after the child turns 19. Once a parent owes the money, the debt does not go away until it is paid. Sometimes, this will require garnishment of the parent’s wages and/or tax returns, and this may be done for both ongoing support payments and back child support.

Contact a Knowledgeable Los Gatos Child Support Lawyer

If your former partner has not provided the financial support that your children need, or if you have been accused of not paying your required child support, the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca can provide the legal help you need. Contact our experienced Los Gatos, CA family law attorney at 408-395-8822 to schedule your free consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.custodyxchange.com/california/child-support-calculator.php

https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/child-support-enforcement/

 

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