Child Support  San Diego’s Family Law Experts®

San Diego Child Support Attorney

Helping You Get a Fair Amount of Child Support in Del Mar & San Diego County

At Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC, we offer compassionate assistance with all areas of San Diego divorce and family law matters, including child support cases. 

Our child support lawyers serving San Diego will keep your child’s best interests in mind while also focusing on protecting your financial rights. Our legal team is prepared to work hard to ensure that the correct amount of child support is being received or paid.

Understanding Child Support Laws in California

When it comes to child support, it's important to understand the laws and regulations that govern the process in California. Our attorneys at Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC are well-versed in California's child support laws and can provide you with the guidance you need.

Here are some key points to know about child support:

  • Calculating child support: Child support payments are determined based on various factors, including each parent's income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and any special needs or expenses of the child.
  • Modifying child support: If there are significant changes in circumstances, such as a change in income or the child's needs, it may be possible to modify the child support order. Our attorneys can assist you in filing a modification request.
  • Enforcing child support: If the non-custodial parent fails to make child support payments, there are legal remedies available to enforce the order. Our team can help you navigate the enforcement process and ensure that you receive the support you and your child are entitled to.
  • Child support and custody: Child support and custody are separate legal matters. Even if there are disputes or changes in custody arrangements, child support obligations remain in effect. Our attorneys can help you understand how child support and custody intersect.

At Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC, we are dedicated to protecting the rights and best interests of children and parents involved in child support cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

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Give us a call today at (858) 492-7968 or contact us online to discuss your options with a child support lawyer in San Diego.

How Is Child Support Calculated in San Diego County?

California law sets specific guidelines that courts must follow when determining how much child support is necessary in a given case.

When calculating child support, the court will consider factors including:

  • The actual or imputed income of each parent
  • The number of children in need of support
  • The amount of time the child or children spend with each parent
  • Any special needs of the child

In order to calculate a parent’s child support obligation, the court has to determine how much net disposable income the parent has. The court first looks at gross annual income, which is the total amount of income the parent makes in one year before taxes.

Under California child support laws, "gross income" includes:

  • A salary and wages
  • Commissions and bonuses
  • Income from a rental property
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Pensions
  • Social security benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Income from the ownership of a business

Then, the court will deduct certain expenses, including state and federal tax obligations, necessary job-related expenses, hardships, and more in order to determine net income. Using this final amount, the court then follows a state guideline in order to calculate how much child support is needed.

A parent must typically make their child support payments until the child reaches 18, with some exceptions. Alternatively, parents can agree to their own child support arrangement without leaving the matter to the court.

What Does a Child Support Agreement Include?

The agreement must be submitted to and reviewed by the court for approval and must state the following information:

  • The child support arrangement is in the best interest of the child
  • The child’s needs will be met by the support agreement

Judges will determine the amount necessary after evaluating the psychological, physical, and emotional conditions of a child and their health and education needs. Other expenses, such as those that may incur as a result of extracurricular activities, will also be considered by a judge when determining child support period payments.

Because each child support case is different, it is not possible to state how much support you will be required to pay without first reviewing your case with a child support attorney in San Diego. However, you can get a general idea of what your obligation may be using the California Child Support Guideline Calculator or with the help of a child support lawyer in San Diego.

Enforce Child Support – The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act

According to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, an extensive law that governs divorce, spousal support, property division, child custody, and child support, parents are liable for applying a certain amount of money towards living requirements for a child after parents have separated or divorced.

Failure to comply with court-ordered child support places the non-paying parent in contempt of court. The custodial parent can then approach the court and request that they enforce the child support order, which could lead to wage garnishment and potential penalties if the non-compliant parent continues to miss child support payments. 

Consult a San Diego child support lawyer if you are on either side of this kind of situation.

Child Support FAQ:

What are the Consequences for Not Paying Child Support?

In some divorce and legal separation cases, one parent is deemed the financial provider and must provide regular payments for child support. If the parent violates the child support agreement as ordered by a judge, then that parent can be held in contempt of court and may face costly fees and may even be incarcerated.

Federal law makes it illegal for a parent to willfully refuse child support responsibilities and payments. Those guilty of such infractions may even face prison sentences of up to two years if the offense is proven to be a criminal felony offense.

Can My Child Support Obligation Be Modified?

Yes, there are certain circumstances in which you may request a modification of your child support in San Diego. For example, if you lose your job, suffer a substantial reduction of income, or are diagnosed with a serious illness, you may request a modification.

Other qualifying circumstances include a change in the child’s residence (i.e., they now reside with the paying parent) or if they child’s needs change (for example, the child’s medical needs change). Keep in mind that you can’t just stop making payments, even if you think the current amount you owe is incorrect or unfair. 

If you have questions about child support modifications, please contact our child support lawyers in San Diego.

Who Is Responsible for Paying Child Support in California?

In California, both parents are responsible for financially supporting their child, regardless of whether they are married, separated, or divorced. The parent who spends less time with the child (the non-custodial parent) typically pays child support to the other parent (the custodial parent).

Can Child Support Payments Be Made Directly to the Child?

No, child support payments cannot be made directly to the child in California. 

Child support payments are meant to be paid to the custodial parent or legal guardian who is responsible for the child's daily care. This is because child support payments are intended to cover the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing, which are the responsibility of the custodial parent or legal guardian. However, in some cases, the court may allow the custodial parent to spend child support payments directly on the child's needs, such as education or healthcare expenses.

Top-Rated Child Support Lawyer in San Diego, CA

Whether you need assistance with creating an initial child support plan or are seeking a modification of an existing order due to a change in circumstances, you can trust in the legal team at Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC to guide you through every step of the process. We have more than 200 years of combined experience handling family law issues – in fact, we’re known as San Diego’s Family Law Experts®.

Contact us today for timely and cost-effective solutions. Let our San Diego child support lawyers help with your agreement. Call (858) 492-7968 or reach out to us online to get started.

The MSM Difference

Award-Winning Family Law Experts

  1. Certified Ten of our attorneys have earned the distinction of certified family law specialist.
  2. Equipped Skilled in litigation and mediation, we are prepared to handle any type of divorce.
  3. Attentive We respond quickly to clients and ensure they are always informed about their case.
  4. Seasoned Our professionals have more than 200 years of combined family law experience.

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