Before issuing a child support order, family law judges in California consult a set of guidelines provided by the Department of Child Support Services. These statewide guidelines are based on the principle that both custodial and noncustodial parents have a legal responsibility to support their children financially, so child support is determined based upon how much each parent earns and how much time they spend with the child concerned.
When a noncustodial parent in California does not make the child support payments that they were ordered to make, their monthly Social Security income may be garnished. Supplemental Security Income, which is considered a type of welfare, cannot be garnished for back child support. However, disability benefits, survivor benefits, retirement benefits and other earned Social Security benefits may be subject to garnishment.
Child support orders can be modified after they have been signed by a judge if there has been a change in the circumstances of one or both parents. Examples of changes that would warrant a modification include an increase or decrease in income, if the supporting parent has become disabled or incarcerated, the party requiring support has remarried or had a child in another relationship, the needs of the child have changed, or the children have started college. A change may also occur if circumstances arise so that one parent can no longer be the custodial parent and custody is also changed.
Discussions about child support can quickly turn into an ugly and contentious battle between parents who may not exactly get along with each other. Many people view child support as a form of punishment; a way to penalize them for not being a custodial parent. However, the fact is that child support is necessary to ensure that a child is taken care of.
In California, especially in the Bay Area and Central Valley, people hail from different lands and bear different immigration statuses. Considering we are a nation of immigrants, it is not uncommon to stumble upon an immigration issue in a family law case.
When courts establish levels of child support, the intent is to do what is right for the best interests of the child and what is appropriate to what each parent is able to contribute.
Technology has infiltrated just about every aspect of life imaginable. This is perhaps particularly true in our region of the country, where technology dominates the business landscape.