Los Angeles Child Support Lawyers – Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton
In California, child support is based on a mathematical formula known as
“guideline. ” The amount of child support is based on primarily two factors: the relative income of both parents and how much time each parent spends with the child or children.
It is important to note that unless you have a Court Order for child support, the custodial parent has no legal right to collect child support from the other parent.
Likewise, a parent does not have a legal obligation to pay for child support unless there is a Court Order in place.
A parent seeking child support must file what is called a Request for Orders with the Court. Doing so will trigger a hearing date, and a family law judge will determine the amount of child support based on each party’s Income and Expense Declaration as well as other evidence presented at the time of hearing.
A family law attorney will be able to tell you how much child support will be and draft the Request for Order with the Court. At the hearing, we will present evidence and oral argument to the Court, and draft an Order After Hearing setting forth any rulings the judge made at the hearing. An Order After Hearing is a legal document, a Court Order, that gives you the legal right to collect a specified amount of child support from the other parent. If that amount is not paid, we will prepare, file, and serve a wage garnishment so that the child support is withdrawn directly from the other parent’s pay check.
If you are served with a Request for Order for child support, or a request to modify a prior child support order, then you, too, will need to file papers with the Court and provide a current Income and Expense Declaration. If you choose to hire The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton to represent you in court, we will argue your position to the judge and advocate on your behalf. If you do not file a Responsive Declaration to the RFO for Child Support, then the judge will make a child support order that you may not think is fair. Thus, the best way to protect yourself is to seek the advice of competent counsel and have representation at the hearing.
I PAY CHILD SUPPORT. CAN I CHANGE THE COURT ORDER?
If you pay the other parent child support and have been laid off, for example, it is in your best interest to request a court hearing immediately. Did you know that if you do not, the prior child support order will continue until the court modifies it? EXAMPLE #1: You have been ordered to pay $500/month in child support. You lose your job. You will continue to owe $500/month, plus 10% interest on any unpaid support, unless you file a motion to modify your child support.
EXAMPLE #2: You are paying child support based upon having physical custody of your children 30% of the time. After several months it turns out that you actually have physical custody of the children 50% of the time. You should file a motion to lower your child support order.
I RECEIVE CHILD SUPPORT. CAN I CHANGE THE COURT ORDER?
If you wish to modify a child support order because, for example, you discovered that the other parent earns more income now than before, it is in your best interest to request a court hearing immediately. Did you know that if you wait to file the proper paperwork, you may waive your right to any increased amount in past months? If you do nothing, the law cannot help you!
EXAMPLE: You are currently receiving $500 per month in child support from the other parent, whose income has just increased substantially. You will continue to receive $500 per month unless you file a motion to modify your child support to a higher amount and the court orders an increase.
Contact a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Family Law Attorney Today!