Child Custody & Child Support

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Child Custody & Child Support in Los Angeles & Orange County

In Los Angeles and Orange County Child Custody & Support are determined based upon the best interest of the child or children. The Los Angeles County Superior Court or Orange County Superior Court may require the parties which dispute physical or legal child custody to attend a child custody mediation session. The child custody mediation session is conducted at the Department of Child Support Services without either parties’ attorney being present. The Department of Child Support Services will make a recommendation of the suitability of each of the parents for custody and the extent to which they may have custody. Each of the parties will have the opportunity to dispute or bolster the Department of Child Support Services recommendation on custody at trial.

Physical child custody determinations by the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court will consider the age of the children, the work schedules of the parents, the living situations, the preferences of the child if they are over 14 years of age and any other relevant factors bearing on the well-being of the child.

Legal child custody as opposed to physical custody will focus on the rights of the parents to make important decisions on healthcare and/or schooling.

Grandparent’s Rights:

In addition to parental rights, grandparent’s rights are protected under the laws of the State of California if certain conditions are met. Any grandparent who has formed a loving bond with their grandchild should not have his relationship with the child destroyed when the parents are getting divorced. A child’s best interests include maintaining all positive loving familial relationships.

However, if there is not a preexisting grandparent relationship prior to the divorce there is no legal basis to enforce grandparent’s rights. A grandparent does not have a legal right to initiate such a relationship after divorce unless the parent’s consent.

Child Support:

Child support will be determined by either the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the Orange County Superior Court based upon the respective financial situations of the parties and the respective child custody time per month/year.

The parties’ child support obligations are determined by a mathematical formula which is presumed to be the child support amount which is in the children’s best interests. Each of the parties may be entitled to an adjustment of the guideline child support amount. Factors which may allow for a variation up or down to the guideline child support amount are set forth in CA Family Code Section 4057 as follows:

(a) The amount of child support established by the formula provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4055 is presumed to be the correct amount of child support to be ordered.

(b) The presumption of subdivision (a) is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof and may be rebutted by admissible evidence showing that application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate in the particular case, consistent with the principles set forth in Section 4053, because one or more of the following factors is found to be applicable by a preponderance of the evidence, and the court states in writing or on the record the information required in subdivision (a) of Section 4056:
(1) The parties have stipulated to a different amount of child support under subdivision (a) of Section 4065.
(2) The sale of the family residence is deferred pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 3800) of Part 1 and the rental value of the family residence where the children reside exceeds the mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. The amount of any adjustment pursuant to this paragraph shall not be greater than the excess amount.
(3) The parent being ordered to pay child support has an extraordinarily high income and the amount determined under the formula would exceed the needs of the children.
(4) A party is not contributing to the needs of the children at a level commensurate with that party’s custodial time.
(5) Application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstances in the particular case. These special circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
(5a) Cases in which the parents have different time-sharing arrangements for different children.
(5b) Cases in which both parents have substantially equal time-sharing of the children and one parent has a much lower or higher percentage of income used for housing than the other parent.
(5c) Cases in which the children have special medical or other needs that could require child support that would be greater than the formula amount.
(5d) Cases in which a child is found to have more than two parents. (Cal Fam Code § 4057; Added Stats 1993 ch 219 § 138 (AB 1500). Amended Stats 1993 ch 935 § 1 (SB 145), ch 1156 § 3.5 (SB 541); Stats 2013 ch 564 § 4 (SB 274), effective January 1, 2014.)

Our Approach to Child Custody & Child Support

At the Law Office of Sam Walker we provide zealous representation in a caring individualized manner. Your attorney will be available to you directly and you will not be forced to call a secretary or paralegal with your questions. You will have direct access to the attorney who will be handling your case throughout your child custody & support matter. If you have any questions your attorney will respond to your call within 24 hours.

Counties We Represent:

Los Angeles County, Orange County and surrounding.

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