These days, it takes two incomes to raise a family, and financial difficulties can arise when parents decide to separate. Fortunately, the state of California has child support laws to ensure that the economic needs of children are met. Basically, child support is money paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to support the needs of the children. Child support is commonly a contentious area in divorce proceedings. However, there are options available for those parents who are no longer able to make child support payments.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, court-awarded child support payments are only paid at a rate of about 62% these days. This means almost 40% of child support is never paid. It is not uncommon for the custodial parent to attempt to deny visitation rights in an effort to force the other party to pay up. However, visitation cannot legally be denied due to a parent being behind in child support payments.
So, what can be done when a parent loses his or her job and can no longer make payments due to a lack of income? If finances have changed, open communication between both parents is the best approach. In California, only the court can make adjustments to child support orders. Parents whose income situation has changed may want to go back to court.
Understanding child support laws in the state of California will only have a positive outcome and benefit both parents and children. It goes without saying that disputes involving separation and children can be very emotional and stressful. Those who have questions regarding child support may want to consider seeking the services of a family law attorney. An experienced legal representative can make the process easier and less stressful for all parties involved.