San Luis Obispo Child Support Attorneys

As your child support attorney, Hosford & Hosford helps you understand your options and works to uphold your legal rights.

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.)

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 child support attorney can advise you on the different factors, but they generally include:child-support-300x205

  • 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 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

family-lawAdd-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 a 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.

Meet Us

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Johnathan William Hosford started his post collegiate career in service of the United States Coast Guard, serving honorably on board the US Coast Guard Cutter Storis, WMEC 38, out of Kodiak, Alaska. John later served at the Command Area Master Station Pacific, a communication base in Pt. Reyes Station, California. He used the G.I. Bill to finance law school, graduating Magna Cum Laude, while raising three young children and working for Union Pacific Railroad in the Information Technology Division.



  • USCG Basic Training, USCG Advanced Electronics Training
  • California Polytechnic University, Pomona – Bachelor of Science, Computer Information Systems
  • University of San Luis Obispo School of Law – Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude

Bar Admissions

  • California State Bar – 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Central Division

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association
  • Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Association

Stephen C. Hosford was born in Mitchell, South Dakota. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from San Diego State University. He went on to study law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1976 from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton. He is a gifted negotiator and trial advocate.



  • Western State University – Juris Doctorate
  • San Diego State University – Bachelor of Science, Accounting

Bar Admissions

  • California State Bar – 1977
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California – 1977

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Family Law Section

Valerie Ryall Hosford was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She came to law as a second career, graduating summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Western State University College of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1994. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist (State Bar Board of Legal Specialization), and is a trained mediator and practitioner of collaborative divorce. Legal research and writing are her passions.



  • Western State University – Juris Doctorate
  • Bar Admissions
  • California State Bar – 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California – 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Association of Certified Family Law Specialists

To speak with a Hosford & Hosford child support attorney, call our San Luis Obispo offices at (805) 439-1906 or toll-free at (855) 675-4496.