San Jose Attorney Guiding Parents Through Sensitive Issues
Parents have an obligation to support their children, even if they are no longer married or were never married to the child's other parent. At the same time, this can create a significant financial burden for a parent. San Jose child support lawyer Elainie Honjas has assisted numerous California families with navigating child support issues. She can represent parents who are seeking child support, parents who are trying to fight an excessive child support demand, and parents who are trying to modify an existing child support order.
California Child Support Laws
California law starts with the presumption that both parents are equally responsible for providing for their child. When a couple chooses to separate, however, the law may require one parent to provide financial support to the other parent for the purpose of caring for the child. The court must issue an official order before any child support payments will be required. The payments last until the date specified in the court order, or until the child turns 18. There is an exception if the child turns 18 but is still enrolled in high school full-time and is unable to support himself or herself.
The issue of child support payments does not only arise in the context of a divorce. Unmarried individuals can seek child support payments. This usually involves a proceeding to establish that the other party is the parent of the child in question and the filing of a petition to establish a parental relationship. It can also come up in the context of a petition for custody. If you are unsure about whether you can seek child support payments, or whether you will be required to pay them, you should speak with an experienced child support attorney in San Jose.
Calculating Child Support in California
There are many factors that go into determining how much child support a parent will be required to pay in a child support matter. Under the state guidelines, courts are tasked with asking a series of questions regarding each parent's financial situation and the child's needs. Some of the questions involve how much each parent earns on his or her own, sources of other income for either party, the number of children whom the parties share, and how much time each parent currently spends with each child. The parties will also be asked to provide their tax and financial information, their health insurance costs, and any costs associated with their employment, such as union dues and mandatory retirement contributions. The judge will also analyze the cost of child care and any uninsured health care expenses, as well as whether the parties have children from other relationships whom they must support. Finally, the court can consider any other factors that it deems relevant to identifying the needs of the child and the abilities of each parent to provide for the child.
A San Jose child support attorney can help you pursue your desired child support arrangement. A judge has broad discretion in drafting a child support order. He or she can require the parents to share certain costs, such as day care, reasonable health care expenses, and educational costs. There are additional calculations that the court will make in determining whether to award child support, including a time-share analysis and a net disposable income analysis.
Retain a Dedicated Family Law Attorney in San Jose
Child support is often a challenging issue because few parents want to attach a financial figure to providing care for their child. In some situations, one parent may have a drastically different financial situation from the other parent. In other instances, a party facing a child support order may feel that he or she simply does not have the capacity to provide additional financial support. If you are worried about the outcome of this situation, you should speak with a compassionate child support lawyer in San Jose who can help you navigate the legal proceedings. Attorney Elainie Honjas has represented people in child custody and support matters in the areas around San Jose, Santa Clara, Redwood City, San Mateo, Fremont, and Hayward. Call today at (408) 292-4849 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.