Child support is a commonly contested issue in the Santa Rosa family court system. Whenever parents share custody of their child, one parent is likely to owe child support payments to the other on a regular basis. A child support order in Santa Rosa will reflect the parents’ custody order terms. When one parent has a greater share of custody than the other, they are deemed the custodial parent and will likely receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent.
If you are preparing for a divorce or custody determination in Santa Rosa, it’s important to have legal counsel you can trust to clarify any misconceptions you may have about what to expect. A child custody and support determination is likely to be one of the most challenging experiences of any parent’s life, and it’s vital to have experienced, compassionate legal representation for this type of situation. The right attorney can ensure your child support is fair, reasonable, and that it fully addresses your child’s needs.
The Carroll Law Office provides responsive legal counsel for a wide range of family law cases in Santa Rosa. Whatever your concerns may be about your upcoming child support case, we can help you develop a comprehensive strategy that aims for the results you hope to see the most. Ultimately, no Santa Rosa child support attorney can ever promise their client a specific outcome to their case, but the right attorney advising you improves your chances of reaching good results in your case significantly.
The Santa Rosa family court has a legal duty to preserve the best interests of any children affected by the court’s rulings. This not only pertains to a child’s living arrangements and the custody rights awarded to their parents but also ensures the child has financial support from their parents and that their basic living needs of food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care are fully met.
When you and your co-parent begin a custody and support determination in the Santa Rosa family court system, it is easy to feel disempowered by the situation once you realize that the judge handling your case has the final say on every aspect of your support terms. However, both parents have the right to work with their respective attorneys and make the strongest cases for custody they can, and once custody is decided, the judge will assign support obligations.
Regardless of whether your case pertains to a larger divorce or you face a standalone custody and support case, the judge overseeing the case must review all your financial records and those of your co-parent, along with many other variables. The judge is legally bound to their responsibility to rule in whatever manner they deem would preserve the child’s best interests and offer them the best opportunity to thrive.
During a child support case in California, the judge will review the financial records of both spouses after resolving custody. There are two types of custody awarded in a Santa Rosa custody case: legal custody, or the ability to make decisions for a child, and physical custody, which determines a child’s residence and where they will spend their time. When one parent assumes a greater share of physical custody than the other, they are deemed the custodial parent. Next, the judge will evaluate the financial status of each parent and calculate the total amount of financial support the child should receive from both parents combined.
If one parent has a greater share of physical custody, they will inherently fulfill their half of the support obligation through paying household expenses, buying groceries, and managing their child’s day-to-day needs. The other parent will then pay half the total support obligation each month to the custodial parent. These payments must be made on time and in full. The penalties for failure to pay child support can include contempt of court, wage garnishment, asset seizure, and even incarceration.
The family court system acknowledges that life often poses unpredictable challenges that affect standing family court orders. While you are legally obligated to abide by the terms of your custody and support order at all times, an unexpected change in your life may render the terms of your family court order untenable. If circumstances beyond your control have made it difficult or impossible to continue fulfilling your family court order obligations, you have the right to request a reasonable modification to your support order.
The modification process in Santa Rosa is relatively simple, and a good attorney can streamline your petition and increase your chances of success. You must explain the changes you wish to have implemented into your support order and explain the reasoning behind your request. As long as the reason is something outside of your control, the court should acknowledge that this is a reasonable request, and your modification should be processed with minimal difficulty. You could not, for example, quit your job and claim you can’t handle your support obligation anymore. If you lost your job due to a disabling catastrophic injury, this would be a legitimate reason to seek release from your support obligation.
Thousands of parents in Santa Rosa and surrounding areas face all types of custody and support-related disputes in the family court system each year. Whether you are bracing for a divorce or initial custody determination, or you must return to court to seek changes to your court order, the right attorney is an invaluable asset to have on your side for these legal proceedings. The Carroll Law Office has years of experience handling all types of difficult cases in the Santa Rosa family court system, and we’re ready to apply this experience to your case.
Any child support case can easily raise contentious disputes between the parents involved, and it’s easy for the emotional side of a family court case to influence a parent’s judgment, sometimes in detrimental ways. At the Carroll Law Office, our goal is to help every client understand the legal mechanisms in play in their case as clearly as possible so they can make calculated and informed decisions. Whether you need representation for an initial support determination or are returning to the Santa Rosa family court to address a standing support order, we can help.
Time is a critical concern for any parent facing a custody or support dispute. If you’re ready to discuss your situation with a Santa Rosa child support attorney you can trust, contact the Carroll Law Office and schedule a case review with our team.
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