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The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague
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Child Support FAQ

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 child support lawyer has over 4 decades 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 divorce and family law, we understand how stressful and frustrating child support cases can be for mothers and fathers. For this reason, our Orange County family lawyer has 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 their children.

Learn More About Us

Call Our OC Divorce Firm to Request a Free Case Evaluation!

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.

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 child support lawyer to schedule your free, initial consultation. 

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"Doug ensured that my interests were protected, my integrity preserved. His warm, calm and professional demeanor instilled trust and confidence."

Doug ensured that my interests were protected, my integrity preserved. His warm, calm and professional demeanor instilled trust and confidence.

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