Unpaid child support can impose a severe burden on many single parents and their families in California. Court-ordered child support is meant to help cover the daily costs of raising a child, and when it is delinquent, parents may find it next to impossible to make ends meet. Child support funds can pay important costs for the children, including medical and dental costs, educational fees and other expenses. Because unpaid child support can have a major impact on children's health and well-being, enforcement of support orders is a priority for both state and federal agencies.
In the United States, one out of every 14 workers is having his or her wages garnished according to ADP Research. California residents and others were most likely to have wages garnished to pay back child support. Overall, child support garnishments made up 3 percent of all garnishments, and they were the most common type of garnishment of those studied by ADP. The study also looked at garnishment related to bankruptcy, tax debt and other common scenarios.
A California parent who has gone through a divorce and who has been ordered to pay child support may seek a modification for a number of reasons. An injury, losing a job, a change in household income or a change in marital status could all be reasons that result in the need for child support modification. It is important for a parent who needs a modification in child support to avoid procrastinating. Child support modifications are rarely retroactive, and back child support payments cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
When California custodial parents are seeking child support payments, they may want to request retroactive support. They may need to provide evidence that support was not paid and that they attempted to collect it. If the other parent is the child's father, it may also be necessary to prove the father's paternity.
Once a child support order is finalized in the state of California, both parents are required to follow the provisions regardless of changes in how the parents feel about each other. However, if a parent's financial circumstances have changed, they can potentially request to have the child support order modified.
California residents who have been following Sherri Shepherd's custody case may be interested to learn that her former husband, Lamar Sally, is fighting for more child support. The former couple has a son, now 2 years old, who was born via surrogacy after they separated.
Studies have shown that children are increasingly being born into single parent homes, and other research also indicates that a lack of resources may lead to significant problems for them. About 40 percent of children around the country are born to parents who are not married. While a small number of these parents will get married or otherwise live together, the majority of those children are raised by one parent.
While California already allows modification of child support payments if necessary for people who are incarcerated, the Obama administration is moving to make it possible for prisoners in all states to change their child support obligations when they are behind bars. This is part of the administration's overall efforts at prison reform.
Like many other states, California uses the income shares model to calculate child support orders. If two divorced or separated parents cannot reach a child support agreement outside of court, a judge will calculate monthly child support payments using both parents' incomes, the number of children and the children's anticipated expenses.
California residents who are fans of musician Stevie J may have read that the "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star will be going to trial for a child support issue. He reportedly owes back child support totaling $1.1 million for his 18-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.