Huntington Beach Child Support Lawyer

Huntington Beach Child Support Lawyer

Huntington Beach Child Support Attorney

When a couple divorces, separates, or remains unmarried, proper arrangements must be made in order to ensure that any shared children are properly cared for and provided for. If you need help in negotiating initial support orders, making modifications to existing orders, or pursuing legal action against a non-paying parent, a qualified Huntington Beach child support lawyer can guide you through the processes involved.

In California, both parents are legally required to contribute as equally as possible to their child’s upbringing, with the principle that the child should have access to the same standard of living they would have if their parents were married. Whether you are seeking help with establishing or changing your portion of that responsibility or need help enforcing the other parent’s obligation, an experienced and skilled child support attorney can help you.

Huntington Beach Child Support Lawyer

Child Support Representation in Huntington Beach, CA

The attorney team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, has been handling a wide range of family law matters in and around the Huntington Beach area for many years. Representing individuals in divorce, child custody, and child support cases, we understand the legal complexities involved in sensitive matters and offer compassionate representation and counsel.

Our aim is to advocate for the rights and interests of our clients while ensuring that the needs and interests of each child remain the primary concern. The child support lawyers at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, are ready to offer personalized care to you in your case. To discuss the details of your circumstances, reach out to our team for a consultation.

What Are Child Support Payments?

Child support payments are legally mandated financial contributions that one parent makes to the other as part of the shared responsibility of raising and caring for their children. While the exact terms and amount required of the parent may vary, the purpose of establishing these arrangements is to ensure that both parents share the financial costs of covering food, housing, education, clothing, medical care, other basic needs, recreation, and general childhood expenditures associated with providing a reasonable quality of life to a child.

When making determinations for terms and payment arrangements, the courts will consider several factors, including each parent’s income, time spent with the child, and custody. The goal of the court is to ensure that the child’s standard of living is consistent with what it would be if their parents were married, maintaining access to the financial support of both parents regardless of custody arrangements.

When one parent has sole custody, their financial contribution is presumed, while the non-custodial parent will be required to make payments to meet their financial obligation.

Ultimately, it is important to note that child support payments represent the right of the child to receive the care to which they are entitled rather than a duty owed to the other parent. This means, for example, that even if both parents were to agree on an alternative arrangement or waive their supposed right to receive child support, this would not remove the legal requirement imposed on both parents to equally contribute financially.

How Is Child Support Different From Spousal Support?

When a married couple divorces, the court seeks to ensure that no party is adversely affected disproportionately to the other. As part of a divorce agreement, a judge may order a higher-earning spouse to make temporary payments to a lesser-earning spouse in order to help maintain their quality of life.

Depending on the circumstance, these payments represent a financial obligation to which a spouse is entitled and exist separately from any child support payments that may or may not be imposed.

Child support payments represent support to which a child is entitled and exist separately from any spousal support payments that may or may not be imposed. Though payments are made to the custodial parent to be used at their discretion, the legal presumption is that the support provides the needs of the child.

How Are Child Support Terms Negotiated?

During the initial determination stage, which takes place during divorce proceedings in most cases, both parents will have an opportunity to present their arguments. However, unlike other divorce outcome agreements, the court will arrive at what it believes will be in the interest of the child regardless of what both parents may or may not agree to in their own negotiations.

Instead, it is highly recommended that you partner with your lawyer to present appropriate documentation to ensure that any child support amounts accurately reflect the actual needs of your child.

Can Child Support Orders Be Modified?

Once a child support order is established, the parent is under a legal requirement to make on-time payments in full until the child turns 18 years old. However, life circumstances can change at any point following a support order.

California family law offers a legal process to seek changes or adjustments to the terms of an agreement through a legal process known as modification. If you are seeking a modification to your child support order, speak with a qualified attorney to discuss your options.

There are many common reasons for requesting a modification to a child support order. A modification may be necessary if:

  • You or the other parent experiences a significant increase or decrease in your income.
  • You or the other parent loses a job.
  • There is a significant change to the child’s needs, such as medical needs, educational expenses, or increased costs due to their age and growth.
  • There is a significant change to the child custody arrangement, impacting the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
  • Remarriage impacts the financial stability of one or both parents.

If any one of these or some other major life change occurs, it is important that you speak with a child custody attorney as soon as possible. They can help you start the process of modification and guide you through each of the steps.

After initiating the request, you will need to procure and present documentation to support your reasons for modification, attend court hearings where a judge will review your petition, and await a decision. While the interests of the child remain the primary factor, the judge will consider whether the new terms are fair and reasonable, ultimately coming to a decision that will remain legally binding unless and until any future requests for modification are brought.

The primary prerequisite for a justifiable modification request is that the reason represents something beyond your control. If a court deems that the reason is self-imposed or can be overcome, they will be less likely to grant the request.


Q: What Is the New Child Support Law 2023 in California?

A: California enacted a new child support law in 2023 that updates the calculation methods used to determine payment amounts. The law places emphasis on both parents contributing financially to their children’s needs.

Overall, it takes each parent’s income and time spent with the child into consideration, along with other factors, to determine their portion of financial responsibility. Modifications have also been streamlined in this new law to make payment adjustments and changes easier when life circumstances change.

Q: How Do I Sue for Child Support in California?

A: Before you can pursue legal action against an unpaying parent for child support, you must contact your county’s local child support agency. They can help you enforce a child support order and collect payments. If payments still remain unpaid, file a motion for contempt of court, seek wage garnishments, or have a child support lien placed on their assets through a court order. It is vital that you partner with a child support attorney when taking legal action.

Q: How Much Do You Have to Owe in Child Support to Go to Jail in California?

A: There is no minimum amount owed before failure to pay child support payments becomes a violation in California, constituting a contempt of court offense. Being even 30 days late on a payment could result in jail time.

When the amount owed increases substantially, surpassing $2,500, the offense could result in a felony charge, which could eventually result in up to two years in prison. Parents who are struggling to meet financial obligations can seek modifications to their payments.

Q: What Is the Minimum Child Support in California?

A: There is no set minimum amount to be paid for child support in California. Every case is determined by the state’s formula adapted to the unique needs and circumstances of each family and case.

Child support is calculated by multiplying the combined income of both parents that can be allocated to child support by the difference between the higher-earning parent’s net income and the product of the higher-earning parent’s time with the child and both parents’ combined disposable income.

Your Huntington Beach Child Support Lawyer

Child support represents an important and urgent financial need for your children. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner your attorney can begin working on your case and get you the help you need to ensure your children’s welfare is being properly met. To discuss your case with an experienced and qualified member of our team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, contact our Huntington Beach office today and schedule a consultation.

Huntington Beach Practice Areas

Child Custody

Child Support


domestic violence

Family Law

spousal Support


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