Locating A Non-Custodial Parent
The california child support system will make it necessary to locate a non-custodial parent who is required to pay child support. Your local child support agency will assist you in trying to find the parent to establish paternity and/or establish, change, or enforce orders for child support. The child support can utilize both state and federal records to locate parents.
California Child Support and Services
These services are available regardless of the parent’s marital status, income or enrollment in a public assistance program. In order to apply for child support and open a case, you will need to contact the local child support office in you area of residence and request an application. (See below for more information on identifying and contacting your child support agency.) Your local child support agency will provide free services, even if you are not receiving public assistance.
When applying for child support services, your local caseworker will ask for information about you, your children, and you child’s other parent. The more information you can provide at this time, the faster a child support order can be obtained. Be prepared to provide as much of the following information as possible:
1.The custodial parent’s full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth, tax returns for the last two years, marriage license, divorce or separation order, paycheck stubs, name, address, and phone number of employer, and existing child support orders.
2.The child’s full name, address, phone number, date of birth, a copy of his or her birth certificate, Social Security number, and proof of paternity.
3.The non-custodial parent’s full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth, tax returns for the last two years, marriage license, divorce or separation order, paycheck stubs, name, address, and phone number of employer, existing child support orders, photograph or description, contact information for friends and family, club memberships, and financial information.
Child support case information is confidential and not open to the public, but any information entered in court files may be public record. When you open a child support case, you will initiate the process to obtain child support.
You can initiate the paperwork to establish paternity and child support when you are pregnant. If the man you believe is your baby’s father is denying paternity, the child support agency can assist you in obtaining the necessary genetic testing to establish paternity. However, some medical labs will only perform genetic tests after a child is six months of age or older.
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Establishing California Child Support Laws
Once paternity is established, you will need to establish a court order for child support in order to receive payments. The child support order will establish the amount of money to be paid by the non-custodial parent. This amount is determined using guidelines established by California law.
California child support laws and guidelines are based on each parent’s income, visitation, and the financial needs of the child. For the purpose of establishing the amount of child support payments, the court will consider income from all sources such as wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, self-employment earnings, unemployment benefits, disability payments, workers’ compensation, interest payments, dividends, rental income, social security or retirement benefits, as well as any other payments or credits such as prize money or lottery winnings.
Most orders will also include a provision for medical coverage from one or both parents and a wage assignment so that the money can be withheld from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck to pay child support. Child support orders can be obtained and enforced, even when the other parent lives in another state. California’s child support agency works in conjunction with the comparable agencies in other states to ensure that payments are received and disbursed.
Enforcing California child support laws
California’s local child support agency can utilize several methods in order to enforce a court order to obtain child support. These methods include income withholding, bank levies, license suspension or denial (driver’s, recreational, occupational), property liens, passport denial, interception of state or federal income tax refunds and lottery winnings, or garnishing unemployment benefits, state disability benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits.
More on Child Support Collections
Modifying California child support laws
California’s child support agency will not automatically modify any child support orders. However, either parent can request a review of the child support orders if there is a significant change in the life style. Situations that may warrant the modification of a child support order include an decrease or increase of pay in either parent’s wages, a custody change, or a change in the time spend with each parent.
California’s Ombudsperson Program
An ombudsperson, or neutral representative, is available at each local child support office to assist parents in obtaining child support services. The ombudsperson can provide information about California child support laws, programs, answer questions, and resolve disputes. The ombudsperson can also help to arrange interpreters for child support court cases, evaluate customer complaints, and suggest ways to resolve concerns among parties.
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