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Duty To Support Children

  • Both parents of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances. Family Code Section 3900.
  • A minor who is a parent has a duty to support his or her own child as well. McLain v. Meadows (1919) 44 Cal. App. 402.

Child Support Agreements

  • Parents may make agreements between themselves and the amount of child support to be paid.
  • Courts are NOT bound by these agreements and can make a different award of support if supported by the facts and circumstances. Hoover-Reynolds v. Superior Court (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 1273.
  • A court always has the power to modify a child support order, upward or downward, regardless of agreement to the contrary.
  • Parents may not agree to waive or limit the right to receive child support.

Duration of Child Support

  • A parent’s duty of child support typically terminates when the child reaches 18 years of age.
  • A parent continues to owe support to any unmarried child who is 18 and a full-time high school student who is not self-supporting. In this case a parent’s obligation to pay child support continues until the child either completes 12th grade or turns 19, whichever occurs first.

Amount of Child Support. Child Support Formula

  • The California state formula for determination of child support is:
  • CS=k[HN – (H%)(TN)]
    • CS- Child Support Amount
    • K- Amount of income (%) to be allocated for child support
    • HN- Higher earner parent’s net monthly disposable income
    • H%- Approximate percentage of time that the high earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children, compared to the other parent
    • TN- Total net monthly disposal income of both parties.

Determining Child Support

Most courts use the dissomaster software to determine child support. The dissomaster uses the income of the parties, the amount of time each party spends with the child, and a host of other factors to determine how much child support a party should pay.

  • We have Dissomaster software and will be able to estimate what your child support payments may be. Call today for a Santa Barbara Child Support Estimate.

Issues in Child Support

  • Hiding Income

Determining a parties income can be a difficult task. Discovery of all bank statements from a party can help shed light on the parties true income. For example, looking for deposits on bank statements may reflect more income than a party declared on his or her tax return.

1099s are a useful source of determining how much self-employed individuals make.

  • DCSS

If a party is receiving public assistance, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) may be involved in the case. They may file and collect child support due to the other party.

Local Rule 1419

  • Santa Barbara Court Local Rule 1419 requires a party to provide certain financial disclosures to the other party when child support, spousal support or attorneys fees or costs are in issue. Local Rule 1419 requires a party to disclose:

If a wage earner or unemployed:

  • 2 most recent years of federal income tax returns
  • 12 most recent months of bank statements for all personal bank accounts
  • All W-2s and 1099s received in the past 12 months
  • A copy of local rule 1419; and
  • A declaration explaining the failure by the moving party to comply with any of the foregoing requirements.

If self-employed:

  • 2 most recent years of federal income tax returns
  • All W-2s and 1099s received in the past 12 months
  • A copy of local rule 1419
  • A copy of all periodic profit and loss statements and balance sheets prepared in the ordinary course of business for the past 12 months
  • A copy of all personal bank account statements and check registers for the past 12 months
  • Copy of all loan applications submitted to financial institutions or third persons for the past 12 months
  • A written offer to either supply a copy of the business books and records requested by the opposing party upon five (5) days notice or an offer to permit the opposing party or his or her attorney to inspect such books and records upon five (5) days’ notice
  • Declaration explaining the party’s failure to comply with any of the foregoing requirements

If party owns more than 30% or more interest in any business entity:

  • 2 most recent years of federal income tax returns
  • All W-2s and 1099s received in the past 12 months
  • A copy of local rule 1419
  • A copy of all periodic profit and loss statements and balance sheets prepared in the ordinary course of business for the past 12 months
  • A copy of all personal bank account statements and check registers for the past 12 months
  • Copy of all loan applications submitted to financial institutions or third persons for the past 12 months
  • A written offer to either supply a copy of the business books and records requested by the opposing party upon five (5) days notice or an offer to permit the opposing party or his or her attorney to inspect such books and records upon five (5) days’ notice
  • A copy of local rule 1419; and
  • Declaration explaining the party’s failure to comply with any of the foregoing requirements
  • Local Rule 1419 disclosures are served on the other party, but not filed with the court.

Health Insurance

  • In any case in which a current child support order is issued, the court must require that health insurance coverage for the supported children be maintained by either or both parties if the insurance is available at no cost or at reasonable cost to the parent. The cost of health insurance is in addition to the amount of child support ordered.

Termination of Parental Rights

  • A termination of parental rights or adoption of a minor child by a third party relieves the biological parent of the duty to pay child support.

Call today for a free consultation with a Santa Barbara Family Lawyer and determine how much child support you may be ordered to pay.

All information on this website is for information purposes only. This website and the information herein should not be construed as legal advice and should be relied on without first consulting with counsel.

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