The state of California takes child welfare seriously, and as a result the state has developed a series of guidelines which are intended to help parents divide child support responsibilities equitably. Although any parent may engage the assistance of a free California family law facilitator to help with preparing forms and filing child support paperwork with the courts, hiring a family law attorney Upland CA is often a better idea. We all know that state employees are overworked and overburdened, but when a dedicated attorney takes your case, you know you will get the attention you deserve.
Filing for Child Support
Many people associate child support agreements with divorce, but the fact is that there are several other situations that can lead to the establishment of a child support agreement. Couples who live apart but do not wish to be legally divorced or separated can file a Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children in order to get the responsibilities of each parent in writing, and unmarried parents can file a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship to the same end. Securing a domestic violence-related restraining order can also trigger the filing of a child support order. Parents aren’t the only ones who can ask for child support orders to be established either. In some cases, the county’s local child support agency will initiate the order on behalf of a child who is in foster care or whose parent is receiving public assistance.
Calculating Child Support
The goal of child support is to ensure that custodial parents have the financial means to provide their children with everything they need. The state of California expects parents to share the burden of child support in so far as they are able. The exact amount that each parent must contribute is determined using the state guideline calculation. This calculation takes into account the income level, assets, and responsibilities of each parent, as well as the special needs of the child. Your family law attorney Upland CA can explain the guideline calculation in greater detail.
Ending Child Support
By default, California child support agreements end when a child marries, joins the military, gains emancipation, turns 19 or graduates from high school (whichever occurs first). However, all families are unique, and your family law attorney Upland CA can definitely help you petition to adjust or end child support early if changes to the other parent’s financial situation merit such an act. An attorney can also ask the court to extend a child support order for the lifetime of a disabled child who cannot support themselves.