Child Support

Child support has become a standard part of life for many Americans. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and more and more families are composed of two parents who live apart from one another, yet share one or more children. When this happens, it is often necessary for the legal system to help determine how each of the two parents will contribute to the welfare of their child or children.

Every state has child support laws. In California, it is understood that both parents are mutually responsible for supporting their children according to their ability. In other words, it is a parent’s legal duty to provide financial support for his or her child, which includes paying towards the child’s living and medical expenses.

Of course, a parent’s income has a great impact on how much he or she is able to contribute to child support. This means that calculating child support is a complicated process that takes many factors into consideration. If you are being asked to provide child support, it is important that you discuss the particulars of your situation with an experienced attorney. Julie Clark is a compassionate and knowledgeable family attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of child support for your case. Contact our office today if you would like an appointment to discuss your child support case in more detail

How Much Will I Pay in Child Support?

The calculation of child support is a complex mathematical formula, which is why it’s so important to include an experienced attorney in your case. This formula takes into account:

  • the amount you earn,
  • the amount earned by the other parent,
  • the number of children that each of you is required to support,
  • the timeshare that each of you has with your children,
  • other factors, such as your tax status and your number of deductions.

With so many factors to be considered, the smallest miscalculation could result in you paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars too much or too little for child support.

It is always wise to consult a lawyer about what your potential child support order could be. Nonetheless, the attorney’s advice about child support can only be as accurate as the information you provide.

For example, it’s very easy to underestimate or overestimate your monthly income and expenses. You may tell an attorney that your income is $1,200 per month, because you take home about $309.00 each week after taxes. But, in actuality, your paycheck is $450 per week before taxes, which comes to $1,954.33 per month ($450 X 52 weeks per year, divided by 12 months per year). This accidental misunderstanding could cause the attorney’s estimate of your child support to be wrong by literally hundreds of dollars a month.

When you make an appointment with an attorney to discuss your child support order, make sure you come prepared with information about your income and expenses and, as far as possible, the other party’s income. This will help the attorney make an accurate estimate of your child support payments. Your attorney can also help you determine what factors should be included in your case in order to obtain a fair and reasonable result.

What Does My Attorney Need to Know?

When you meet with a family attorney to discuss your child support case, be sure to take a copy of your most recent paystub and your last year’s tax return. If possible, bring a copy of the other parent’s most recent paystub. This will allow the attorney to calculate the most accurate estimates for your particular case.

Be prepared to tell the attorney other facts about your finances, as well, such as:

  • the exact amounts that you are ordered to pay for support for other children,
  • the exact amount paid to your child’s daycare provider,
  • the amount that you pay (or your employer deducts) for health insurance,
  • what portion of your mortgage payment is interest,
  • if applicable, your new spouse’s income

These are just a few of the factors that will impact your child support order. Some of these factors, such as a new spouse’s income, may increase or decrease the child support orders. On the other hand, many other factors, such as the amount you pay for daycare, may decrease the child support order.

The judge cannot take the time to ask each party every question that might reveal a fact that would affect the child support order in a specific case, so it is up to you to obtain the information that could affect your child support. A consultation with an experienced family law attorney like the ones at Julie Clark Attorney at Law is the fastest and best way for you to ensure that you have factored in all of the necessary pieces of information that the court needs to know. By taking the time to compile the list of factors that may affect your child support order, you are setting yourself up for the fairest possible support order for a child.

What Happens If My Circumstances Change?

Life is all about change: you may change jobs, get remarried, buy a home, or have another child. As your life changes, so too may your ability to pay child support. Unfortunately, child support orders don’t change automatically as your income level and expenses change. If your circumstances change substantially after a child support order has been made, you will need to request a review of your child support case. A family attorney can help you determine whether your life changes are substantial enough to merit a change in your support order.

Contact Julie Clark, Attorney at Law for Child Support Guidance

Child support cases can be difficult to navigate, both legally and emotionally. Every parent wants the best for his or her child, which is why calculating support in financial terms can be so stressful. Don’t hesitate to reach out to experienced, understanding attorneys like the ones at Julie Clark Attorney at Law for help through these difficult processes. To learn how you can ensure that your children receive a fair support order in Hemet, Temecula, Murrieta, San Jacinto or surrounding California cities, contact us today.