Child Support Attorneys – Santa Barbara, CA

For parents, understanding their rights and obligations in child support matters can be difficult. When parents divorce or are unmarried the parent who does not live with their child is usually obligated to pay child support. Support is owed whether the child lives with their other parent or a third party, and whether or not the person with whom the child lives can afford to support the child on their own. Depending on the state, support may be owed even if the parents share custody.

Like other issues in regard to separation and divorce, child support may also be settled by written agreement or it may be determined in a court order. California, like other states, has adopted guidelines which establish rates of child support according to certain variable criteria related to family income and number of children.

The Child Support Guidelines

Support guidelines generally fall into one of three categories. Each uses a different approach to establish the amount of support, though they all consider the needs of the child. Provisions for medical costs and insurance are generally added to the basic amount suggested by the state guidelines.

Enforcement of Child Support

Child support may be enforced by the Court in a number of ways, including, wage withholding, garnishment, incarceration for contempt of court as well as other remedies. Where child support is agreed to in a separation agreement, or ordered by the court, and then not paid, there are a number of remedies to secure enforcement of the agreement or court order. If the child support is set up in a contractual agreement, the basic remedy is suit for breach of the contract, which would include a claim for the arrears. If child support is payable under a court order, whether originally established as a court order or entered as a result of a suit for breach of contract, the order is enforceable through the contempt powers of the court and penalties, including jail for non-compliance may be imposed.

California child support laws and procedures are very complicated and should not be handled without consulting an attorney first. Therefore it is imperative that you consult with an experienced family law attorney before making any decisions regarding your child support matters.

If you feel that you may have a potential case pertaining to Child Support please call (805) 879-7523 or click here to email us and have an attorney contact you about your case.