SLO Child Support Attorneys
If you divorce or separate from your spouse and children are involved in your case, the family law court will make a determination of child support (the money typically paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.)
As your SLO child support attorney, Hosford & Hosford helps you understand your options and works to uphold your legal rights.
Calculating Child Support
California has a complex formula for determining child support. Family court judges are required to follow state child support guidelines to determine who pays what to whom. There are many discretionary factors the judge can consider when setting child support. A thorough examination of the facts and circumstances of each particular case is necessary to determine whether or not any of the discretionary factors are present in your case. Also, a thorough understanding of the court’s definition of income is necessary to render an accurate figure for support.
A Hosford & Hosford SLO child support attorney can advise you on the different factors, but they generally include:
- Income, tax obligations, and prior support obligations.
- Earning history and capacity.
- Income from new spouses.
- Insurance, medical costs, disability, and retirement contributions / benefits.
- Costs for child care, special educational, and health needs of the children.
- The amount of time each party spends with the children.
While the guidelines are statutory, the arguments and evidence related to each element of the guidelines are where an experienced SLO child support attorney, and the attorneys at Hosford & Hosford, can assist to ensure the numbers used by the court in fashioning a support order are fair and accurate. This can provide more favorable results from the calculation.
Cases Involving the Department of Child Support Services
If you have an enforcement case with the Department of Child Support Services, you should consider seeking legal counsel.
We are happy to review orders and enforcement efforts presently in place and may be able to increase or decrease support.
Enforcement agencies have the power to take harsh measures against people they believe owe back child support. This includes:
- Intercepting tax refunds.
- Revoking driver’s licenses.
- Placing passport holds with the State Department.
- Garnishing wages.
- Placing liens against property.
Although enforcement agencies are granted a lot of power, we may be able to help you in areas out of their control. Our attorneys have years of experience working with the Department of Child Support Services. We will fight to secure your rights and to resolve your case as quickly as possible.
Issues to Consider in Child Support
Add-ons: There are some mandatory add-ons to child support, such as child care, which the order may not reflect. Hosford & Hosford can advise you about which add-ons may apply.
Modifications: Child support can be modified at any time. However, the court requires a sufficient change in circumstance. This might mean a change in the custody and visitation arrangement. It might also be applicable if one parent begins earning more money than before.
Indebtedness: If you are ordered to pay support and you lose your job or your hours are cut, Hosford & Hosford recommends that you hire an SLO child support attorney to get the order modified right away. Support orders cannot be retroactively modified prior to the date the request to modify the order was filed with the court. Arrearages—the amount a person owes in child support—carry 10% simple interest. This can quickly add up into a major expense, and neither the arrearages nor the interest are dischargeable if you declare bankruptcy. Here again, as with all aspects of family law where children are involved, the courts look to the best of the children.
Hosford & Hosford: Family Law Experts
Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience supporting clients with family law matters. When you meet with our team for your initial consultation, we will discuss the challenges you are facing and your goals for the case. Then, we will develop a strategy based around your priorities.
Whether your situation can be settled through negotiation or requires litigation before the court, you will find Hosford & Hosford well prepared to manage your case.