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Who can best help in child support issues?

Child support is the regular periodic payment of money ordered by a court to the custodial parent of a child to meet the child's basic living expenses. The order is made by the court with the best interests of the child in mind. In California, child support can be payable by one parent or both parents, depending on the court order.

Who can help fill out support forms? A family law facilitator can help a parent fill out child support forms for obtaining child support payments or for modifying existing support orders, which are required by the state's legal process. The facilitator can also help a parent calculate the appropriate child support amount using state guidelines and explaining what factors courts consider when making decisions about child support.

Who else can help with child support issues? A parent can also seek the help of their child support agency. This government agency helps parents with the enforcement of both child support orders and support modifications while also handling collections. Most of the money is collected through wage garnishment. Child support agencies do not charge for their services. Various other government entities also assist parents with issues related to child support, including locating missing parents, establishing paternity, enforcing child support orders and collecting any outstanding support.

When is assistance required? Parents must get help when they decide to review or modify existing support orders. Support can be collected in various ways if a parent is irregular in making payments or refuses to pay. Consistent failure to pay or refusal to pay can mean jail time for the parent who does not comply with the support order. Parents can also seek advice and help from a qualified legal professional.

Source: courts.ca.gov, "Child Support," Accessed on Nov. 13, 2014

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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