Parents have an obligation to support their children financially until they become adults, with some limited exceptions. In California, child support pays for living and medical expenses and is paid according to the court’s child support order.
Child support payments are based on each parent’s monthly income and the time the child spends with each parent. The court can consider wages from a job, bonuses, commissions and other forms of income when calculating the amount of the payment.
In addition to child support payments, parents are required to provide health insurance for their children.
It is important for parents to understand that if one or both loses their job or their income increases, the child support payment does not automatically change. The child support order will need to be reviewed and approved by the court before it can be modified.
The same is true if the child’s living arrangements change. When there is a change in child custody or visitation, the parents can go to court to ask for a change in the child support order.
Penalties for failure to pay child support
There are penalties in California for parents who do not pay child support. These include driver’s license suspension and suspension of professional licenses. The state may also intercept tax refunds and insurance payments if necessary.
In the most serious cases, a parent can be found in contempt of court. This can result in arrest and imprisonment when other options to obtain child support payments from a parent have not been successful.
An attorney who is experienced with child support and custody in California can help parents understand their obligations and ensure children receive the financial support they are entitled to under the law.