Advice from a San Luis Obispo Child Support Lawyer
Since you are reading this, you probably have concerns about child support, whether it’s paying too much or receiving too little. An experienced San Luis Obispo child support lawyer can work with you to evaluate your legal circumstances and explain your options.
At Hosford & Hosford, this is the type of assistance we provide to our clients. Our law firm often receives questions from people about what to expect in their case and what they should to protect their rights. Below, we respond to several of the most common. To discuss the specifics of your case, please schedule an initial consultation with our firm.
How much will I have to pay / how much will I receive in child support?
California family court judges use a mathematical formula to determine child support, so the short answer is that the amount of support depends on many factors. Essentially, the formula gauges the ability of one party to pay another as well as each party’s ongoing involvement with the children.
A skilled San Luis Obispo child support lawyer can present arguments that the values used in the formula should be higher or lower. These different values may reduce the amount you have to pay or increase the amount you receive.
When do we decide on child support? Can we settle things with a discussion?
Typically, you and the other party will establish custody and visitation arrangements before you decide on child support. This makes sense because the time you spend with your children may impact the formula that the court uses.
Hosford & Hosford encourages settlement discussions. Agreements between two parties are typically faster and less expensive than litigation. However, it’s important to note that the court will not recognize oral agreements. Your settlement must be formalized in a legal document and accepted by the court.
My former spouse won’t make payments. Can I stop him / her from seeing the children?
Generally, no, you can’t stop your former spouse from seeing the children based on non-payment. The California Family Code and U.S. Constitution strongly favor continuing and frequent contact with children by both parents.
There are other remedies available to you, such as wage garnishments and bank levies. A San Luis Obispo child support lawyer may advise you about other options as well, but it’s important that you don’t make arbitrary decisions to withhold access to the children. Doing so may endanger your legal standing.
If I declare bankruptcy, do I have to pay child support?
In a divorce case, it’s common for mounting expenses to put serious financial pressure on the parties. You may be considering bankruptcy as a result.
However, nearly all debts incurred in family court are not dischargeable in the bankruptcy process. For example, spousal and child support payments may not be discharged. People in need of an bankruptcy lawyer often hire Hosford & Hosford to advise them in both these matters and child support because of our expertise in financial and family law.
We encourage you to contact Hosford & Hosford to discuss other questions you have about child support. Call us at (805) 439-1906 or toll-free at (855) 675-4496.