As we recently celebrated Father’s Day, we were able to reflect on what it means to be a father and what responsibilities come with being a parent. One of the largest responsibilities for a father in the state of California is ensuring that his children are properly supported.
This support, while it includes things like emotional support, also includes financial support. California law indicates that every parent has a legal duty to financially support his or her child. Across the country, men disproportionately pay child support payments, accounting for 85% of those ordered to pay. Men also generally see a higher average child support payment ordered compared to their female counterparts. Paying child support can become difficult if an individual has a lost a job or his or her economic circumstances change suddenly.
California Department of Child Support Services
There have been many studies showing that children benefit from having a strong parental figure in their lives. Children in fatherless homes are more likely to live in poverty, have emotional or behavioral problems, or become mixed up in the criminal justice system. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) provides a number of resources to make being a father easier. DCSS has a program that helps fathers obtain declarations of paternity called the Paternity Opportunity program.
Compromise of Arrears Program
For fathers who have gotten behind on their child support obligations, DCSS offers the Compromise of Arrears program. This program allows fathers who have fallen behind on their child support payments to make compromises and forgive portions of their debt. While the Compromise of Arrears will not completely forgive your child support debt or change your monthly obligation, it may be able to reduce the amount that you owe in total.
Individuals can only be eligible if they owe at least $501 in child support arrears and if they did not stop paying child support because of the compromise program. More information about the Compromise of Arrears program can be found here, and the program in Los Angeles County here.
If your monthly burden has become too much to handle, an experienced attorney can help negotiate your support payment to something more manageable. It is important to note that even if you cannot afford your monthly obligation, you are still required to pay it until you have gotten the approval from a judge to change or modify your support payments.
How Can a Los Angeles Attorney Help?
Modifying child support can be a difficult process. At Berenji & Associates, we have the experience of negotiating child support payments. With over 20 years of handling support cases, we know how the process works and can help assure that all the important information is correctly presented to a judge. If you are looking to establish child support, modify your payments, or challenge a court’s order of child support, speak to one of our divorce lawyers for a free consultation.
Berenji & Associates
8383 Wilshire Blvd #443
Beverly Hills, CA 90211