Child Support

The issue of child support in divorce proceedings, or modification of orders, can sometimes be a difficult issue.  Whether you want to make sure your are receiving the right amount or paying the right amount, my office is committed to guiding you through this complex area of the law.

How Is Child Support Determined?

Both parents have an obligation to support their minor children financially.  The court, therefore, may order either parent or both to pay child support.  Child support generally lasts until the child attains the age of 18, but can continue until the child turns 19 in certain circumstances or on into adulthood if the child is disabled and not self-supporting.  Parents may of course agree by their own terms to continue supporting a child even after a court order has terminated.

Child Support Guidelines

Child support is calculated according to a guideline formula based on factors such as:

•  The earning capacity of each parent

•  The number of children

•  How much time the children spend with each parent

•  Medical, health insurance and other expenses (i.e. daycare)

The parents can also agree on a different amount not based on the guideline.  The court will generally approve the parent’s plan if it is in the best interest of the child and made with full knowledge of child support rights and the amount  set by the guideline.  Parents who have applied for or are receiving public assistance must use the guideline amount.

Hiring Experienced Legal Counsel Is Critical

The factors which go into determining and calculating child support can be numerous and complex.  An experienced family law attorney can help you to understand the complexities of the guideline formula and ensure that you are paying or receiving the correct amount.  My office has the knowledge and experience to walk you through the child support guideline or assist you in collecting what you are due.

John E. Hinden, Attorney  2222 S. Broadway, Ste. C  Santa Maria, CA 93454