The child support system in the United States exists to ensure that children of divorced parents continue to receive the financial support they need to meet their everyday basic needs. The child support laws in California and throughout the country are often criticized. One is the obvious fact that, for many generations, the family court system has effectively shoehorned men and women into outdated parenting roles, typically considering mothers as primary caregivers and fathers as primary breadwinners.
Why Is Child Support So Unfair?
There has been a tremendous amount of public debate concerning the traditional roles of mothers as caregivers and fathers as breadwinners. Unfortunately, these outdated beliefs continue to influence family court proceedings. Many fathers throughout the country feel cheated by the child support laws of their respective states due to the fact that many of them encounter these outdated tropes during their experiences with the family court system.
It is not uncommon for fathers to be overlooked as parents, resulting in imbalanced custody rights and child support obligations. All parents need to understand that these outdated ways of thinking only damage children’s relationships with their parents and cause further division among already divided families.
What Is Child Support Supposed to Cover?
The legal aim of child support is to ensure a child has the financial support required for their basic needs, including food, housing, and clothing. It is crucial for parents paying child support to ensure their child’s other parent is using child support funds appropriately. Determining child support comes down to the court’s decision, and a judge will consider multiple factors in deciding an appropriate amount in a given child custody and support case.
Why Is Child Support Given?
Whenever parents divorce, their finalized divorce agreement will almost always lead to one of them obtaining more custody rights than the other. A judge will consider both parents’ incomes, their day-to-day availability to care for their kids, criminal history, and various additional factors to determine appropriate custody and support arrangements. Once a divorce case results in a custodial parent and a noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent will owe child support to the custodial parent, even if they both make about the same income.
How Is Child Support Calculated in the US?
Family court judges throughout the United States measure various factors when they must determine child support, and each state upholds different rules for calculating child support. In California, the family court uses the income shares model, which assesses several factors, including the number of children involved in the determination, each parent’s income, and the level of custody and visitation rights each parent receives from the determination.
Can I Have Child Support Changed?
The family court system recognizes the fact that things can change very quickly. The loss of a job, a medical emergency, or other unexpected event can have dramatic consequences on your life and render an existing child support agreement unrealistic. Luckily, family law is a unique area of civil law in that it is possible to revisit a family court order at a later date without a complex appeals process.
A Pasadena child support lawyer can assist you in filing a post-judgment motion that will allow you to request an adjustment to your child support agreement. This process is relatively simple: your attorney will help you draft the petition and submit it to the court. The court, in turn, sets a hearing with you and your coparent. This hearing provides both parents an opportunity to discuss the terms of the proposed change. If the judge determines the suggested change to be fair and reasonable, they will approve the motion and adjust the child support agreement accordingly.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Whether you are preparing to initiate divorce proceedings or already have a child support agreement with your children’s coparent, legal counsel is invaluable. Your attorney can provide valuable insights and help you remain objective during a very difficult time. Additionally, you will not need to worry about procedural issues interfering with your case, such as mistakes on court filing documents or missed hearings. Your attorney can handle these issues on your behalf so you can have confidence as your case progresses.
If you are concerned about an impending child support determination, a Pasadena child support lawyer is your best resource to prepare as fully as possible and ensure a satisfying result. Contact the Khalaf Law Group today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you navigate California’s child support laws.