Child Support

Child Support - paper images of an adult female and an adult male with a child in between them reaching for each adult's hand.

Child Support

We understand the importance of establishing a stable future for your family.

In California, each parent is responsible for their child’s daily expenses when the child is in their care. Child support payments are used to even out discrepancies that arise when the child lives with one parent for a longer period, or when one parent earns substantially more than the other. (Cal. Fam. Code § 3900)

Large costs, including, medical bills, school tuition, and day care fees, are not considered to be covered by child support and are usually split by parents evenly. There are specific situations when a court can deviate from the guideline support numbers to order either a higher or lower amount of support based on the case circumstances. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde will help you get a fair support order.

How it Works

Child support is determined in California by the following three factors:
  1. Number of eligible children
    Qualifying children in California must be under the age of 19 or still in high school. (Cal. Fam. Code§ 3901)
  2. Physical Custody
    The percentage of time a child lives with and is cared for by a parent.
  3. Parents’ monthly incomes
    The income of each parent from wages, unemployment, bonuses and dividends.

There are many ways that support numbers can be manipulated. Creative tax preparation can make self-employment income difficult to define. The Family Code provides for certain deductions from income including for taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, mandatory union dues, alimony, and child support payments for other children.

The attorneys at CKLH understand the nuances of child support law and how to ensure that you are paying or receiving a fair amount of support.

Modification of Support Orders

Child support orders are modifiable “at any time as the court deems necessary.” Cal. Fam. Code § 3651(a)

However, as a general rule, courts will not revise a child support order unless there has been a “material change of circumstances.” Some changes might include:

  • Birth of additional child
  • Change in income
  • Change in custody percentage
  • Incorrect original computation

Job Loss Impact on Child Support

If you lose your job, child support can be reduced or potentially lowered to zero. Child support payments cannot be changed unless you request a reduction. The attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde can help you obtain a child support order tailored to your income.

Modifications of support may not be retroactive until a Request for Order is filed. A court will not automatically alter past support, and will not alter future support unless requested to do so. If you find yourself unemployed, call the family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde today to have the child support reduced.

If you do not change your child support, you are obligated to pay the court ordered amount regardless of whether you can afford the payment. Unpaid child support may be garnished from wages, unemployment benefits, and other forms of income. The State can take more serious action if you fall behind on your child support payments, including not allowing you to renew your drivers license or passport, and in some situations, issuing criminal fines or jail time. (Cal. Fam Code § 3653(b).)

Attorney’s Fees

Unlike other areas of the law the Family Code provides that one party can pay for the other’s attorney’s fees so that there is equality in the legal process.

This legal right is not automatic. You must be prepared to present the Court with the evidence necessary to obtain or defeat an attorney’s fee request. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde can help you understand whether you have a right to attorney’s fees or if you have exposure to paying for your spouse’s attorney. Call to request a consultation today.

To speak with an experienced attorney in Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde’s family law practice, please call (714) 997-7870, or click here to contact us by email.

Contact Us Today

Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP
254 S. Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866

(714) 997-7870

Clients Share Their Experiences

  • As hurtful as divorce is, Julie made the process easier to manage. She explained things clearly, gave fast and honest responses. and I felt that she was looking out for my interests. I felt very well represented. I also loved how efficient and professional Julie and staff were handling my case. I felt they cared about me.

    Carmen – Family Law Client
    A great law firm in Old Town Orange!
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    Family Law Client
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  • Dana Heyde was responsive to my questions and offered valuable options and recommendations. I was very pleased with how responsive and helpful Dana Heyde was. She kept me informed at every phase and was helpful in managing the cost and time involved.

    Post Judgment Support Client
  • Julie and team are amazing. They are so helpful and knowledgeable and respectful of my situation and the decisions I made. Ultimately, they are the reason I’m amicably divorced or I would still be in limbo. I have and will continue to recommend CKLH.

    Family Law Client
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    Family Law Client
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    Family Law Client
  • My family law issue was resolved quickly with the help of CKLH. Will definitely refer friends to Julie.

    Family Law Client
  • This was one of the best legal experiences I’ve ever had. I was very pleased with the outcome and I was treated very well by the entire staff. I highly recommend this firm.

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    Family Law Client/Business Owner

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