Child Support Attorney Tracy Duell-Cazes is a Certified Family Law Specialist
Tracy Duell-Cazes is a child support lawyer serving the San Jose and Santa Clara Areas. Child support is a primary focus of divorce cases where a couple has children under 18 years old. As a Certified Family Law Specialist, Tracy Duell-Cazes' practice focuses on all areas of Family Law, including child support.
Child support is financial support designed to split the costs of raising children between divorcing parents. Payments are paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Regardless of legal or physical child custody, the parent with whom the children reside most of the time is considered the custodial parent.
Child support can become an extremely contentious issue, so you need to work with a family law attorney experienced in working with parents having problems or concerns with their current child support obligations.
As with most rulings, child support obligations can be adjusted if circumstances change, such as the noncustodial parent gets laid off from work. A Family Court Judge can also adjust child support obligations if a parent experiences a significant salary increase.
Child Support Payments Are Based On Guidelines and a Formula Set By California
A Family Court Judge will set the child support payment amount based on child support guidelines and a formula developed by California, which includes multiple variables. These variables include:
Number of Children
Physical Child Custody Arrangements
Parent's Tax Liabilities
If a Parent is Supporting Kids from another Relationship
The Child's Health Care Insurance Expenses
The Parent's Mandatory Retirement Contributions and other Job-Related Expenses
Any Additional Relevant Costs, which may include health care costs, daycare, travel expenses related to visitation, or parenting time.
The Amount of Child Support Can Be Modified Under Certain Circumstances
The court will never set the amount of child support in stone. The courts recognize that people's circumstances change over time and could consider a child support modification under certain circumstances. Some factors that would affect the amount paid include:
Loss of a job
Change in the amount of parenting time each parent has
A parent has a new baby
Change in cost for health benefits premiums
Settling issues related to the children is a tricky part of a divorce. The process of developing a Parenting Plan can be very stressful and emotional. California State utilizes a preset formula to remove the possibility of bias or emotion within the court system. You do not have to be concerned that you get the "right judge."
The difficulty is agreeing on items in the Parenting Plan that would directly impact the formula, such as the amount of parenting time each parent receives, and settling terms such as what numbers to base the formula.
Child Support Payments Cannot Be Stopped or Changed without a court order
While there is a process for having the amount of child support adjusted based on changing circumstances, it is not legal to stop or delay paying the amount specified in the existing child support order. If you withhold payments, you can be charged with contempt of court and be ordered to pay all past-due child support.
Medical Support Orders
A medical support order is an order for one or both parents to get medical insurance for a child for a reasonable cost through an employer or other policy available.
For How Long Is Child Support Paid?
Typically, a parent will continue to pay child support until a child turns 18 years old. There are several exceptions to this child support guideline. Courts may extend support until 19 years of age if the child is still in school and is living at home. The courts may agree to discontinue a child support obligation early under certain circumstances, including if the child gets married or enters into a domestic partnership. Courts will also stop support if the child joins the military or otherwise becomes emancipated.
There are also times where parents may agree, or a parent may petition the court to extend support beyond 19 years if the child has special needs or a disability where the child is not able to become self-supporting.
Contact the Law Office of Tracy Duell-Cazes
Finding a Family Law Certified Child Support Attorney is essential to your child support case. When Tracy represents you, she will explain the child support process you will be sure that you are dealing with an experienced professional who has the best your best interests, and that of your children at heart.
Call the Law Office of Tracy Duell-Cazes today at 408.267.8484.