Woodland Hills Child Support Attorney

An Experienced Trial Lawyer Guiding You Smoothly Through Your Negotiation

Child support is an important family legal issue to negotiate, whether you are the receiving parent or the paying parent. You may also run into legal hurdles while petitioning for modification of an existing child support order. In any case, it is best to have an experienced child support lawyer on your side to build a strong case for your financial needs and abilities. Attorney Ali Ziai has extensive trial experience and is comfortable advocating tenaciously for his clients in trial if necessary. For experienced and compassionate legal guidance in your child support case, let the Law Office of Ali Ziai help.

You and your child are in good, safe hands at our firm. Call (818) 600-6477 or contact us online for a free consultation to get started. Farsi services are available.

Who Pays Child Support?

Under California law, both parents are equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of their child. Generally, this will be in the form of child support payments made by the noncustodial parent (the parent who spends less time with the child), as it is presumed the custodial parent provides for these expenses in their day-to-day care of the child. With that in mind, child support payments generally decrease as time spent with the child increases. Child support payments last until the child turns 18 years old (or 19 if they are still in high school). 

Calculating the Child Support Payment

Like many states, California has an established formula (a "guideline") for calculating how much child support should be paid. 

The guideline calculation will be based on:

  • How much income the parents earn or can earn
  • How many children the parents have together
  • How much time each parent spends with their children
  • The actual tax filing status of each parent
  • Whether the paying parent is supporting children from other relationships
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Mandatory union dues
  • Mandatory retirement contributions
  • Cost of sharing daycare and uninsured healthcare costs
  • Other relevant factors

A child support order may require the parents to share the costs for childcare, healthcare, education, transportation for visitation from one parent to the other, and any other special needs of the child.

In the context of child support, “income” may include each parent’s income after state and federal taxes and other required deductions, as well as bonuses, commissions, overtime, and other supplemental or non-wage income. Income that is not counted when determining a child support obligation includes Supplemental Security Income, CalWORKs, and General Assistance/General Relief.

California courts are required to order the amount of child support determined by the above income guideline, though there are a few exceptions that may allow parents to propose their own support agreement. One such situation might be if the parties agree to an amount that is different from the child support guideline (higher or lower), as long as the court deems it appropriate. 

In most cases, parents can agree on a "non-guideline" support amount if they:

  • know their child support rights fully;
  • know the guideline child support amount;
  • are not pressured or forced to agree to this child support amount;
  • are not receiving public assistance;
  • have not applied for public assistance;
  • agree to an amount of support that will meet the needs of the children;
  • think that the child support amount is in the best interest of the children; and
  • have a judge approve the amount of child support payments.
“What sets Ali apart from some of the other attorneys I have had experience with, and probably from most attorneys, actually, are his communication skills and his compassion for his clients.”

Modifying Child Support

Of course, circumstances change as you shift between phases of life and career. 

Both parents have the right to petition for a change in the child support amount if they can show that they have experienced a significant change in:

  • their income;
  • the other parent's income; or
  • the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

The court will make its decision about modification based on both parents' income and the time they with the child. The new amount can increase or decrease. It is perhaps in your best interests, before filing the modification petition, to consult an experienced child support lawyer for an estimation to see if the new amount might increase or decrease.

Whether you are the paying parent or the receiving parent, our firm can help you navigate your child support negotiation. While the child support guideline offers a straightforward method of calculating the potential child support amount, it may be confusing to distinguish between what income and other circumstantial factors are considered in this calculation. The Law Office of Ali Ziai can help you build a strong case for child support, including for modification of an existing child support order. With our years of trial experience and dedicated advocacy for parents, we will do our best to help you and your children move forward.

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Ali Ziai online or at (818) 600-6477. Farsi services are available.

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