Child support determination and enforcement in California
The court may take several factors into consideration when it decides child support in California. While the child support amount depends on the parents’ circumstances, there is some basic information that can help parents understand the process.
Parents are required to provide for their child’s living and medical expenses until the child becomes an adult. Both parents have a legal duty to provide this support.
Determination of child support
The court sets the payment amount in a child support order. Child support payment amounts are based on both parents’ monthly income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. All income is taken into consideration when deciding the support payment, including wages from a job, bonuses and unemployment income.
If parents can agree on a child support amount, they may be able to avoid going to court. They can sign a stipulation, which establishes legal responsibility for the child and becomes the official court order.
Once the child becomes an adult, parents can contact the court to terminate the payment. If a parent has one adult child and still provides child support for other children, the court can modify the child support order.
Child support enforcement
Child support orders can be enforced throughout the United States, so if one or both parents move after a child support order is entered, they must notify their local child support agency.
If a parent does not pay child support, the court may suspend the parent’s driver’s license or may intercept his or her tax refunds or insurance payments.
In serious cases, the court may find the parent in contempt of court which can lead to arrest or imprisonment.
An attorney can help parents who have questions about child support and other related family law matters.