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Child Support

Every child support case in San Diego is unique. Let us advocate for your rights to either receive the correct amount of support or pay the correct amount of support.

How Is Child Support Determined?

Perhaps one of the most black and white areas of family law, child support in San Diego is generally based on a statutory formula (guideline support) and, therefore, can ultimately be a question of mathematics. At the same time, what goes into that formula is what matters, and this is where problems arise and litigation ensues. Like any area in family law, the parties can reach an agreement for a “nonguideline” number – a number that is either lower or higher than what the state calculations would mandate.

The primary factors going into a child support calculation are the following:

  • Income of each parent
  • Number of children
  • Percentage of time spent with each parent
  • Health insurance costs for the children

All of these factors, along with other specific factors, for a case are considered by the court in making a guideline calculation. Like filing a request for order for child custody, child support motions must be a noticed motion with a defined hearing date. Though child support can be simple math, cases can also have individual complexities related to income. These complexities usually arise when trying to establish income for self-employed, unemployed or under-employed people. As a firm that has experience in dealing with many of these complex matters, we are aware of how to conduct discovery to either support a claim for a higher or lower guideline amount of support, depending on the facts and circumstances.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

Child support can always be modified should there be a change in circumstances. Common examples of such a change are a loss of employment or new employment. Parties who suffer a change in circumstances either affirmatively or negatively should always be ready to modify an order in court, because without a modification, the prior order will remain in effect, even though real life circumstances may be different. A failure to modify an order can lead to a large arrearage balance, which can have lifetime consequences. Consulting with Sunnen Law can be helpful to you if you are questioning whether your circumstances warrant a modification in support. Contact Sunnen Law today to discuss your unique situation in more detail.

Where Is Child Support Litigated?

Unlike other family law issues, parties have a choice of forum, either litigating this matter in family court or the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). Sometimes, this choice of forum is made for a party, when the other party elects to have the matter heard in DCSS. In either forum, child support is a serious matter and one that can have lifetime repercussions. Consulting with Sunnen Law can be helpful to you if you are questioning whether your circumstances should be handled with DCSS or in family court.

At Sunnen Law, we handle all aspects of child support cases, including:

  • Establishing child support orders
  • Modifications of pre- or post-judgment child support orders
  • Enforcement of child support orders and arrearage amounts
  • Litigation before DCSS

Get Legal Advice About Child Support Today!

You need to know what you will be paying or what you will be receiving. The goal of our firm is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the child support equation you are on. Call us at 619-255-9551 or email us to request an in-person consultation as soon as possible.