Child Support Frequently Asked Questions
Answered by an Orange County Child Support Lawyer
When parents separate, one of the parents must ask the court to make an
order for child support. At The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague, our
Orange County divorce attorney has
over 35 years of experience handling child support cases, and we can help ensure that your rights
are protected throughout the court process.
As a firm that exclusively practices
family law, we understand how stressful and frustrating
child support cases can be for mothers and fathers. For this reason, we have developed
a list of frequently asked questions about child support.
We encourage you to continue reading our child support FAQs below, and
for further information, don't hesitate to contact our office to schedule
a free case evaluation.
Does a father who was never married to the mother have to pay child support?
Yes, anyone who is determined to be a child's parent is responsible
for supporting their child. An unmarried father may acknowledge paternity
by signing a voluntary declaration of paternity at the time of the child's
birth or shortly afterwards.
Some fathers are determined to be parents after a paternity suit has been
filed and genetic testing has established paternity. Further, a man who
never married the child's mother may be presumed to be the child's
father if he welcomed the child into his home and openly held the child
as his own.
How long are child support payments made for?
In California, child support payments are usually made until the child
turns 18, or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at
home, and unable to support themselves.
What if a parent withholds child support?
If a parent falls behind on child support payments, he or she must pay
interest on the balance due on top of the amount that they owe. Interest
charges are added by law and the judge cannot stop them. One cannot withhold
visitation when child support is not paid. In addition, the paying parent
still has to pay child support even if their ex keeps them away from the
kids. Rather than withholding child support, the appropriate remedy is
to go to court to have your visitation rights enforced.
Are stepparents legally obligated to support their children?
Stepparents are not obligated to support their stepchildren unless the
stepparent has legally adopted the stepchildren.
Do fathers have the same rights to child support as mothers?
Yes. The law doesn't give preferential treatment to mothers in child
support cases. If you are a father who has custody, you have the right
to ask for child support since mothers and fathers have a duty to support
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Whether you are seeking a
legal separation, an annulment, a divorce, a
Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (for unmarried parents), a
domestic violence restraining order, a
Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children, or a child support modification, we can help you with your child support
case. Click here to read more about divorce, child support payments, community
property, in our blog post:
Top Ten Most Frequest Misconceptions About California Divorce. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our firm!
To learn more about our services, please contact our
Orange County divorce law firm
to schedule your free, initial consultation.