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San Diego Child Support FAQs

The experienced family law attorneys at The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC are here to help you with your child support case. Call today at 1-800-769-4748 to schedule your free in-person or virtual consultation.

What is Child Support?

Child support is the ongoing monetary expenditures and payments per California guidelines. The child has the right to financial support from both parents. The court can order child support from either parent to make ongoing payments to cover a child's living and medical expenses.

How Do I Apply for Child Support?

Complete the application for child support services packet and return it to the county child support agency in your area, submit an online application, or file in family law court which has jurisdiction.

How is the Amount of Child Support Determined?

Child support is calculated based on each parent's income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, and any tax deductions. The California Department of Child Support Services provides an online child support calculator to help you estimate child support payments. However, we recommend you speak to an experienced family law attorney to make sure your rights are being protected and the child support amount is in accord with guideline calculations.

Is Child Support Automatically Changed if there is a Significant Shift in a Parent's Income?

The amount of child support is not automatically changed. However, you can file a motion for child support modification for certain reasons such as a loss of job, if a parent has been incarcerated, a child's needs have changed, if a parent has had a child in another relationship, or if the amount of time the child spends with either parent has changed. If you need to file a motion for a modification to your current child support order, we recommend you consult with a family law attorney. It is important to file immediately to preserve retroactivity.

What if the Other Parent isn't Paying the Court Ordered Child Support?

Most of the time, the parent's employer deducts child support payments directly from the paycheck with a wage assignment. However, if the parent fails to make payments, The Department of Child Support Services may use different methods to enforce the order, such as:

  • Report the parent to credit bureaus
  • Suspending business, professional or drivers licenses
  • Requesting court proceedings resulting in fines and/or jail time
How Do I Change the Child Support Order?

Either parent can request a modification to the current child support order. If both parents are able to reach an agreement on the new child support amount, they can write it up as a stipulation and give it to the Judge for signature.

If the parents can't agree, the parent must file a motion with the court asking for a modification to the current child support order.

Can I Receive Child Support if the Other Parent is Incarcerated?

Child support payments are automatically temporarily suspended when the parent who pays child support is incarcerated or institutionalized against his/her will for more than 90 days. Once the parent is no longer incarcerated, the child support payments automatically start again at the same amount.

According to the California Courts website, there are 3 exceptions to this rule. Your child support payments won't be suspended if:

  • Even while in jail or institutionalized, you still have the financial ability to pay child support
  • You were put in jail or institutionalized because of domestic violence against the person you are paying child support to or against your child
  • You were put in jail because you did not pay child support when you were ordered to.

Do you need a San Diego child support attorney? The lawyers at Doppelt and Forney, APLC are here to help. Call 1-800-769-4748 to schedule your free in-person or virtual consultation with an experienced family law attorney today.

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