Child support law imposes a legal obligation on most non-custodial parents to make a financial contribution towards the upbringing of their child. While it is a state law, the administration of a child support order can become an issue of multiple jurisdictions if the child and the parent relocate. Child support orders are also subject to modification where necessary.
Paying child support is a legal obligation of a non-custodial parent that will be separate from any other responsibilities or rights they may have. For instance, if the custodial parent refuses visitation in a wrongful manner to the non-custodial parent, it does not free them from the responsibility of paying child support. Failure to pay child support could result in contempt of court and other legal consequences.
Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provide professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.
Calculating Child Support Payments
State statutes provide clear guidelines for determining the amount of child support in a particular case. In most states, a worksheet is published to simply the process. The parties can simply enter their income and expense details in order to determine a “presumptive” amount of monthly child support payment.
However, the amount thus determined is considered presumptive because it can be adjusted depending the unique circumstances of a case. If the co-parents are agreeable on a certain amount of child support, they can seek the court’s approval for that amount. Where the co-parents are unable to arrive at an agreement, the judge will decide the amount after a court hearing.
Child support payments should be made to a designated child support agency in the state or to the court. Even if the custodial parent requests the paying parent to transfer the amount directly to his or her account, it’s paramount to reject such a request for direct payment.
In many cases, it is seen that the non-custodial parent did not get the credit for child support payments made directly to the custodial parent. Even if the co-parents informally agree with each other to excuse missed payments, the law does not recognize that.
In terms of tax implications, child support is a neutral payment. This means, the non-custodial parent cannot show it as an expense for tax deduction, and the custodial parent is not required to show it as income.
Modifying a Child Support Order
Living circumstances of either party can change over time while the child is growing up. A significant reduction or increment in the income of either parent can be a reasonable cause for seeking modification of the child support order. It is prudent to work with an experienced child support attorney to negotiate any issues related to child support payments.
Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here.
SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.
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