Regardless of the conduct of the parents, the law views the children as innocent bystanders after a relationship has ended and worthy of protection. As a result, the duty to pay child support is a continuous obligation that exists regardless of the marital status of the parents. The purpose of child support is to keep the child at the same standard of living as that of the supporting parent.
In California, child support is based in large part on a formula taking into account the income of the non-custodial parent. Where the parties share custody of the children, adjustments in child support are made accordingly, as it is presumed that the parent with physical custody spends a greater portion of his or her income on the care of the children.
While ideally the support of the children should come from the two parents, in some cases, the parent with primary custody may need to receive AFDC payments in order to support themselves or the children. In the case of a child whose custodial parent is receiving public assistance, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in the county where the child resides may become involved with the collection of child support from the non-custodial parent. In these cases, any unpaid support is assessed interest at an annual rate of 10%. For this reason, it is especially important that a non-custodial parent not be ordered to pay unrealistic support payments.
Our firm has represented parents in all phases of support proceedings. We have represented clients who have been contacted by the District Attorneys or DCSS regarding arrearages. We have also represented parents in their efforts to collect support from non-custodial parents who make no effort to financially contribute to their children's welfare. We have been successful in having non-custodial parents submit to a vocational evaluation when they refuse to work, having their businesses appraised when they claim they are not making money, and having the court impute income to them when they refuse to work.
If you are having problems with child support, your lawyer should be familiar with the false financial arguments routinely advanced to avoid support obligations. You need an attorney who will enforce for your legal right to support through all legal means available. Call us at (510) 537-7200 or contact us online. We look forward to helping you