Sacramento Child Support Attorney
Every child deserves unimpeded access to essential goods and services that contribute to a comfortable life and lay the groundwork for their future. However, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure the provision of these necessities until their child reaches the age of 18. By fulfilling this duty, parents enable their child to thrive and acquire the foundations necessary for a successful future.
Determining child support becomes essential when parents divorce or are unmarried. It involves establishing who will provide financial support for the child. Parents can either negotiate child support arrangements independently or involve the court to help resolve the matter. However, these discussions can be complex, especially in Sacramento, CA, where adherence to California’s intricate child support guidelines is necessary.
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP’s talented team of Sacramento child support lawyers is ready to help you make sense of the state’s child support guidelines and build the child support arrangement that the court will approve. If there is a need to request child support enforcement or modification, let us know, and we will immediately mobilize so it will not affect your child’s life.
Don’t navigate child support matters alone. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP in Sacramento today to speak with our skilled attorneys. We’ll provide the guidance and representation you need to secure fair child support arrangements. Call (916) 260-2637 now to schedule a consultation and protect your child’s financial well-being.
Child Support Laws in California
During a divorce proceeding, parents may use the proceedings to agree on a child support agreement for their children or deal with it separately. Any adjustments to the amount can be negotiated while following the official guidelines set by the state. The agreement must then be forwarded to the court for approval.
If the parents cannot agree on a child support plan or it was not included in the divorce proceedings, a parent may file for child support through the following methods:
- They can do it themselves by submitting the child support forms found on the website of the California Courts in court.
- Seeking the assistance of a lawyer to do the petition on your behalf
- Requesting the California Department of Child Support Services to open a case on your behalf if you are unmarried to the child’s other parent
Child support usually lasts until the child turns 18. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as:
- If the 18-year-old child is still a full-time high school student
- If the child is incapacitated due to a medical condition that disables them from earning a living
- If the parent agrees to continue the support even after the child turns 18, such as contributing to the child’s college education
- If the child has no other sufficient means of support
Computing Child Support
When a court receives a child support request, they will use a complicated formula to determine how much child support should be given to a child. This will include assessing each parent’s gross income and net disposable income, the time they will spend with the child, and other expenses needed by the child. If the support will cover more than one child, the formula will be adjusted depending on the number of children. Additional provisions are in place for special circumstances which may warrant a larger child support plan than the one prescribed under the guidelines.
If you want to see how the guidelines will be used for your child support request, let our Sacramento child support lawyers assist you. We will study your case carefully to determine how the court will compute the amount based on the information both parties will file. Our legal team can also negotiate with the other party on your behalf should they counter the amount they or you must pay.
Child Support Enforcement
In cases where a parent does not fulfill their child support obligations for whatever reason, the receiving parent can seek the court’s assistance to enforce the order and collect any overdue payment.
The court can hold an offending parent in either criminal or civil “contempt,” depending on the severity of their offense. If they are placed in criminal contempt, the parent must face a hefty fine or serve a prison sentence. Meanwhile, if they are placed in civil contempt, they will also face a jail sentence, but they will be freed once they pay a certain amount of their overdue child support responsibilities.
However, there is a time limit when a contempt motion can be requested for any overdue payments. The time limit is only three years from the date a child support payment was due but not paid. As long as the offending parent isn’t fulfilling their responsibilities, the other parent can continue filing for contempt every three years so that they can collect the due child support payment.
Aside from contempt of court, the court may also order one of the following penalties:
- Community service
- Pay legal restitution and other related fees
- Selling their property to pay any due child support
- Receive a lien on the offending parent’s real estate
- Withhold wages to go to child support
- Get the due child support from the offending parent’s benefits and other sources of income
- Withhold their ability to get or renew their driving license
- Report their offense to credit reporting agencies
If you are seeking to get assistance in enforcing the support order and getting the overdue payments for your child, immediately reach out to one of our Sacramento child support attorneys at Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP. We will definitely assist you in filing for the right legal action to get these payments for your child’s needs and fight for the best result in court.
Child Support Modification
As a child grows up, their needs will definitely change to respond to their new interests and health. The original amount cited in the original child support agreement may no longer be enough to cover all of these needs. As the parent, you may also need the child support modified because your financial capability has changed, affecting your capacity to pay it regularly. You may also discover problems in the computation of child support, which you may want to question.
California law allows either parent to request the modification of the child support arrangement if they can prove that the reason for their request is valid. The court will then review the request to see what adjustments can be made.
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP can assist you in requesting a change in the child support agreement and assess how much you should request. We will fight your request in court and, if needed, negotiate with the other party on your behalf to approve the request.
Talk To Our Legal Experts Today
If you want a child to grow up as a well-rounded individual, you can’t just focus on providing them with all the emotional support they need. You will also need to provide them with financial support so they can pursue their dreams and establish themselves in society. As a parent, you are responsible for supporting your children in everything they would need in life as they grow.
Let our Sacramento child support lawyers assist you in securing the right child support arrangements for your children. We will be with you in every step of the legal process so you can keep track of the negotiations and guarantee that your child’s needs are met at any given time.
Don’t handle child support alone. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP in Sacramento today at (916) 260-2637 for expert guidance. Our attorneys will fight for fair child support arrangements. Schedule a consultation now to protect your child’s financial future.