Kaspar & Lugay,LLP is a Marin County-based child support and family law firm with significant experience in child support cases in Corte Madera and the surrounding Marin County area. There are unique issues specific to Child Support cases in Marin County – and you need to work with an experienced Marin child-support attorney to discuss your options.
Duty to Support Minor Children
Parents to a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child in a manner suitable to the child’s circumstances. Family Code § 3900. This applies to equally to parents who are themselves minors.
Agreements Regarding Child Support and Awards of Child Support
Child support cannot be waived or contracted out of. Agreements made between parents and/or guardians regarding child support are not binding on the court. The court will make a determination and award child support based on the facts and circumstances. Hoover-Reynolds v. Superior Court (1996) 50 Cal. App. 4th 1273. Further, the court always has the power to modify a child support order based on new or different circumstances.
Determining Child Support
Most courts use software such as Dissomaster to determine child support. The software takes into account the income of the parties, the amount of time each party has the child, and several other factors to determine the most equitable division of child support.
The current formula used in the state of California is: CS = k[HN – (H%)(TN)] where:
- CS = Child Support amount
- k = Amount of income (%) to be allocated for child support
- HN = Higher earner parent’s net monthly disposable income
- H% = Approximate percentage of time that the higher earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children, compared to the other parent
- TN = Total net monthly disposal income of both parties
Duration of Child Support
A parent continues to owe child support to any unmarried, minor child. A parent’s support obligations cease once a child reaches the age of 19 or completes 12th grade, whichever occurs first.
Common Issues Regarding Child Support
The court requires health insurance coverage for the supported children to be maintained by either or both parties depending upon whether insurance is available at no cost or reasonable cost to one or both parents. Health insurance is paid in addition to child support.
Parents Hiding Income
Through the process of discovery, the courts are typically able to discover accurate income of both parties. However, it is not uncommon for parties to attempt to hide assets from the court. Through thorough discovery procedures and even forensic accountants, the truth will almost certainly be discovered. It is important to have legal counsel assist in developing a comprehensive discovery plan.
Department of Child Support Service (DCSS) Involvement
Where one or both parties are unable to afford attorneys to pursue or defend against child support, DCSS will assist free of charge in determining child support and assisting in collecting child support owed.