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Child Support FAQ

Call Today 559.900.1263

Child Support FAQ

Get the Answers You Need from a Fresno Child Support Lawyer

When approaching a child support case, it is imperative to have a clear idea of what to expect while also maintaining the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. At Arnold Law Group, APC, our Fresno child support attorneys have been representing clients for more than 30 years and can provide the results-driven legal support you need to get through even the most complex family law situations. Let our skilled legal professionals can help you prepare for this process by either contacting our firm online or by reviewing these answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding child support.

What is Child Support?

As defined by the law, child support is the ongoing financial expenditures and payments necessary to pay for a child’s living and medical costs. Both parents have a responsibility to financially support their children. The courts may issue an order to either one or both parents to make ongoing payments to their child’s custodial guardian to cover their expenses.

How is Child Support Calculated in California?

The amount of child support a parent will be ordered to pay will vary depending on a number of different factors, including:

  • The income of the parents
  • The number of children being supported
  • The amount of time each parent spends with their children

The courts will often use a computer program that considers these factors when calculating a set amount that is to be paid. Child support is based on a parent’s level of disposable income, which is gross income minus deductions for taxes, job-related expenses, health insurance premiums, union dues, and any sort of expenses related to hardship. If a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the courts may “impute” or consider the amount of money a parent could earn if they were working to their full potential when calculating support.

How Long Do Child Support Orders Last?

Parents have a duty to pay for child support until their children reach age 18. There are some exceptions to this rule. Parents will no longer have to pay child support if their child is legally emancipated through a court order, a valid marriage, or military service. If a child is still in high school and is not self-supporting by the time they turn 18, support can extend until the child’s 19th birthday or until they complete 12th grade, whichever comes first. Parents have a duty to provide support for children of all ages who become disabled and are unable to secure a means to live.

Can a Child Support Order Be Changed?

Yes. Both parents can request a modification to their existing child support order if there has been a considerable change in circumstances since their order was first created. Loss of employment, substantial increases in income, and changes in timeshare can all be considered changes in circumstances that warrant a modification. A change in circumstances is not required, however, if a parent is seeking an increase in a child support for an arrangement that is currently under the guideline amount.

What Happens if a Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

The courts can hold a non-custodial parent in contempt of court if they refuse to make their required child support payments. Child support can be enforced anywhere in the United States through various methods, including wage garnishment, seizing bank accounts, real estate liens, and claiming income tax refunds. Parents who are found guilty of contempt can face penalties such as jail time, loss of professional licenses, and loss of driving privileges.

Get a Fresno Family Lawyer on Your Side

At Arnold Law Group, APC, our Fresno family law attorneys understand your situation and can provide the trusted advocacy you need to maximize your chances of securing a desirable outcome for your situation. Having represented thousands of clients throughout our firm’s existence, we know your rights as a parent and are prepared to go the distance to help you pursue the results you need.

Call (559) 900-1263 or request a consultation today to review your legal options.