Child Support

Santa Barbara Child Support Attorney

Ensuring the Needs of Your Child Are Met

According to California’s Family Code Section 3900, both parents share an equal responsibility to support their child in a manner suitable to the child’s circumstances – even if the parent is themselves a minor, according to McLain v. Meadows (1919) 44 Cal. App. 402. Below, you’ll find pertinent information regarding child support in California.

Are you unsure of your child support obligations? Call Morales Law for help at (805) 422-7966 or contact us online.

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, according to Hoover-Reynolds v. Superior Court (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 1273.

A court, however, always has the power to modify a child support order, upward or downward, regardless of agreement to the contrary. Parents also cannot waive or limit the right to receive child support.

Duration of Child Support

A parent continues to owe support for 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.

Child Support Formula

The California state formula for determination of child support is

CS = K[HN - (H%)(TN)], where:

CS = Child support amount

K = Combined total of both parents’ income 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. DissoMaster uses the income of the parties, the amount of time each party spends with the child, and other factors to determine how much child support a party should pay.

We have DissoMaster software and can estimate what your child support payments may be. Call (805) 422-7966 today for a Santa Barbara child support estimate.

Issues in Child Support

Several issues can arise in a child support dispute. Two of the most common cases, however, are hidden income and involvement with the Department of Child Support Services. Read below for more information about these issues.

Hiding Income

Discovery is the process by which lawyers obtain financial records and information. As its name implies, it can reveal hidden income, which can in turn lower or raise your child support payments. It is important to have a lawyer develop a discovery plan and review financial records in order to obtain a party’s most accurate income. To help us and your case, we may use external professionals such as CPAs and forensic accountants to search for irregularities in your ex-spouse’s accounts. We are skilled in this process and have found opposing parties’ attempts to hide millions of dollars, leading to substantial increases in support for our clients.

Determining someone’s income can be difficult, but discovery of all of their bank statements can shed light on their real income. For example, looking for deposits on bank statements may reflect more income than a party declared on his or her tax return. 1099 forms are useful tools in determining how much a self-employed person makes.

DCSS Involvement

If a party receives 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.

If you are unable to afford a lawyer to pursue or fight child support, you can contact the Department of Child Support Services, DCSS, who can assist you, free of charge, in determining the appropriate amount of child support and/or collecting any child support arrears you are owed.

The DCSS office in Downtown Santa Barbara is located at 4 East Carillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. To contact this DCSS office, call (866) 901-3212.

Santa Barbara’s 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 attorney’s fees or costs are in issue.

The criteria below each of the following circumstances must be disclosed.

If the party is a wage-earner or unemployed:

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

If the party is self-employed or owning 30 percent or more interest in any business entity:

  • Federal income tax returns for the two most recent years
  • 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
  • A 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 days’ notice or an offer to permit the opposing party or his or her attorney to inspect such books and records upon five days’ notice
  • A declaration explaining the party’s failure to comply with any of the foregoing requirements

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.

Call (805) 422-7966 today for a consultation with a Santa Barbara child support lawyer from Morales Law or request an appointment online.

*All information on this website is for information purposes only. This website and the information herein should not be construed as legal advice or be relied upon without first consulting an attorney.

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