The Concept Of ‘Jackson Credit’ For Child Support In California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThere have been instances in California divorces where one parent has ended up giving 100% of his/her time for child support despite having child custody. Usually, the parent who takes care of the child for the majority of time should pay less but in some cases the reverse took place.

The ‘Jackson Credit’ became applicable after the famous Jackson v. Jackson case.

The Jackson v. Jackson case

In the Jackson v. Jackson case, the mother charged the father with child support defaults when the child had been living with the father for 100% of the time.  Initially, the trial court supported the mother saying the father attempted to change court orders for child care support. However, when the father appealed, the court said that even though the law does not allow an individual parent to make changes in child care support rules, the father fulfilled his obligations for child support.

What is a Jackson Credit?

A Jackson Credit is granted to noncustodial parents who prove that during their custodial time, they paid their share of the custodial support. Courts allow child support credits to parents who take care of the child and provide child support as well. It saves one parent from substantial financial damage that can be incurred.

When can a Jackson Credit be claimed?

During arrears calculation, a non-custodial parent can claim a Jackson Credit for the time he/she spent with the child when he/she was not supposed to. Parents who can provide evidence that the child was under his/her protection for 100% of the time, are eligible for Jackson Credits. In many cases, parents who have failed to show proper evidence have been barred from receiving a Jackson Credit. Knowing how the credit system works can help save unnecessary financial loss. It is therefore important to talk to an attorney first before proceeding with the Jackson Credit.

Conclusion

The Jackson Credit is applicable for parents who have paid for child support despite giving 100% of their time for child care. The credit system has been established to help parents save themselves from financial losses. The Jackson credit was created after a famous case that involved a mother demanding child support from a father even when the father had been taking care of the child the entire time.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

Credit Scores Can Be Affected By Child Support Payments

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.During divorce, there are many factors that can negatively affect an individual. Child support payments are serious matters and default payments can even land an individual in jail. But there is another problem that arises due to untimely child support payments. Credit scores are also affected. Timely payments can strengthen the credit score and irregular payments can have the opposite effect.

Child support payments are seen with the same importance as mortgage or vehicles by credit companies. Child support reports default payments to credit companies. The credit companies keep a track of individuals with defaults. Default payments have an effect on loans or interest rates.

Individuals who wish to know how the child support system works should consider looking at the specific rules and regulations in the respective states.  In some states, child support dues are reported only after a certain time whereas in other states the dues are reported as and when the default takes place.

How do late payments affect credit scores?

There are many reasons why parents miss out on child support payments. They could be between jobs or their income has been reduced or there could be some other reason. One of the things the parents can do during such situations is, inform the court and put a temporary pause on the child support obligation. In cases where the petitions are not filed or the parent fails to take the necessary steps, the missing payments start showing up on the credit scores. Parents who stop receiving child support can sue the other parent and if the former wins then the credit score becomes worse. Child support obligations are very important and its relation with the credit score can be a complex matter.

In any case, it better to hire a lawyer before things go out of hand. An attorney who is experienced in the field of child support obligations and credit scores can provide a better understanding on the matter.

Conclusion

Credit scores are important for getting loans or good interest rates and should therefore never have a negative result. Failure to pay for child support can negatively effect credit scores depending on how jurisdictions report such failures to pay. But there are ways to prevent negative scores and parents can follow necessary steps to ensure they don’t end up with a bad score.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

What To Know About Child Support While Divorcing Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmIrrespective of whether the parents were legally married or not, they have a responsibility to support and look after their kids. If a marriage or a marriage-like arrangement has come to an end, the custodial parent is supposed to get paid by the non-custodial parent by the order of the court.  Both parents have the obligation to support their children.

Custodial and noncustodial parents

A custodial parent refers to that parent with whom the kids live for all the times or for a majority of the times post the divorce. On the other hand, a non-custodial parent is awarded access or visitation rights that may or may not include a specific number of night’s stays every month or week as decides by the judge,

Guidelines for child support

When there is only one custodial parent, which usually means that the kids stay with the parent for over 60 percent of times, the concerned state determines the child support’s base level for one or multiple kids. These guidelines aim to cover essentials such as public education, healthcare, clothing, shelter and food of the kids a parent is taking care of.

Both the parents may come to an agreement on payment of certain special expenses apart from the amount awarded as per the guidelines of the child support for the state where the kids are residing.

These extra expenses must be regarded as reasonable and essential by both the parents; essential since they should be in the best interests of the kids and reasonable with respect to the incomes of both the parents.

How long should the noncustodial parent pay for child support?

Child support is typically payable till the time the kids complete their school level education or are considered emancipated, The latter could mean attaining the age of getting married, becoming an adult, drop out of their school or leave home. Child support usually continues in case the children will go to a college and until they get their college degree. There are some instances where the judges directed to continue child support until the child obtained the Master’s degree. You should ensure that your divorce agreement clearly mentions until what time the child support should continue.

If the divorced parent has a special-needs child from their marriage who has to reside with one of the parents for the rest of their life and is dependent on that parent, the court may order the non-custodial parent to provide permanent child support. Situations like these could be complicated ones. So, you should ensure to avail sound financial and legal suggestions prior to getting your divorce agreement finalized.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

Child Support Payments After Loss Of Employment

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.A divorce is in itself a complicated process and becomes more complicated when children get involved. The first issue that arises is child custody. Since, only one of the two parents can become the primary caretaker of the children, it becomes a dilemma. The next issue that arises after the custody of children has been established is that of child support. Usually, the other parent pays more for child support than the one who is taking care of the children. In maximum cases, the two parents consult a lawyer and establish a parenting plan that also includes the amount of child support the supporting parent must pay. However, life can take unexpected turns and sometimes it’s for the worst. There are supporting parents who have lost their job after their divorce. If you are one such individual, then keep reading to find out the best way you can tackle your situation.

Modification of child support

The best course of action in such situations is to talk to your ex about a modification in the child support payments. The modification can be temporary or permanent depending on your situation. You can request your ex to take some load of your shoulders till the time you become financially stable again. However, if your ex. is also someone who has a hard time managing his/her finances, then some other alternative must be thought of.

Temporary arrangements for the child

If both you and your ex are tight on finances, then an arrangement can be made to have your children taken care by someone else like your grandparents. Such arrangements can be made only on a temporary basis and must be approved from the court.

Pool in from other sources

If you’ve lost your job but are financially secure, then pool in some money from other sources. You may have other assets like stocks, bonds and even property which you can sell for a certain amount of money. Use that money to pay for child support until you get a new job.

Conclusion

Getting a divorce where children are involved is a complicated issue and depends on many factors. After custody gets established, child support must be determined for each parent. However, it becomes a serious issue when the supporting parent loses his/her job. Luckily, there are ways to keep the cash flowing for child support. Out of all the options available, modifying the child support plan works best.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

What Role Does Parent’s Income Play In Child Support?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDuring a divorce that involves children, one of the parent ends up having custody over the children while the other parent pays a certain amount as child support.  It is very important that parents calculate the amount of child support they need to pay. Parents should first work out where and with whom the children will live. Once that is sorted out, both parents should decide on a certain amount that must be paid for child support. The parent who loses custody battle usually become the primary child support payer. It is usually the parent with the higher income.

To calculate the gross annual income, parents need to look at their income tax return and the amount that is stated. From that amount they must minus union dues if present. It will give a fair idea of what each parent earns in a month. Additionally, they can contact a Child Support Services officer to help them chalk out the best plan for child support.

A split parenting can occur when there are more than two children involved and when each parent becomes the primary caretaker of each child. In such cases, it becomes the duty to each parent to contribute equally for child support. But that again it depends on the annual income of each parent.

There are many child support calculators available online. Such online calculator which has been created by the state gives an relatively accurate idea about the amount each parent need to spend each year for child support.

Conclusion

Parental income is very important for child support decisions because it determines how much each parent should pay for supporting their child. A child support calculator considers important factors like annual salary and expenses and determines a guideline amount to be paid.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

What’s The Process for Filing For Child Support In California?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe process of seeking child support in California has different stages to it. It is advisable to enlist the help of experienced lawyers who practice child support laws in California. The process will require you to fill out a number of detailed information. It is best your lawyer helps you do this.

Child support cases can become quite complex. Self representation should not be considered. You may be a parent seeking or disputing child support, but these are the different stages in the child support process that you need to be aware of.

Filing a request for child support

The filing of a request for child support can be done in 2 ways. Most commonly, the parent seeking child support will have to file an FL-300 form. Or your attorney may want to type out the formal request declaration detailing in legal terms the basis of such a request. Sometimes a child support case may be filed because a local child support agency has approached the California Department of Child Support Services.

Declaring your income and expenditures

A request for child support should have a declaration of the income and expenditures of the parents of the involved child. Failure to provide these critical details will affect the process and outcome of the child support case. The parent seeking support may be denied the requested amount of child support.  The parent opposing the child support request, based on an assumption made by the court about his or her income, may have to pay more.

Serving the request order to the other parent

The other parent is served with the child support request order once the request has been filed. The method of serving the order depends on whether the other parent has already been served with a paternity or divorce petition. It is also greatly influenced by the fact that whether the other parent is a resident of California or not.

Deadline for responding to the order

The parent receiving the request order will have to reply within 9 working days of the court and before the date of the hearing of the child support case.

The hearing 

The court will review the documents submitted by each parent, and listen to testimonies made under oath to make a decision on the child support case. The court will listen to all disputes and issues that are well supported with factual evidence.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Calculating Child Support in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child support attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmThe calculation of the amount of child support in California is determined by a number of factors. Any child support payment includes the basic child support and health insurance coverage. There are other extra mandatory child support payments as well.

Factors influencing support calculations

There are mainly 4 factors that influence calculating the amount that is to be paid as support.

  • The number of children who are permitted to receive child support.
  • The parenting time or visitation right or custodial rights of each parent with the child.
  • The net disposable income of each parent. But computer software programs such as X-spouse and Dissomaster consider your gross income to determine how much can be set aside for child support.
  • In case there is more than 1 child, the youngest child receives the full amount of support an only child would have received. The other child or children is given an amount based on downward adjustment of the support amount.

Mandatory health insurance coverage

Every child receives a mandatory medical support from either or both the parents as long as the health insurance is free or is available at a reasonable premium. The health insurance should include medical, vision and dental coverage. Most commonly, group health insurance policies received at employment are the most reasonable of health insurances to be used in child support.

Mandatory child support extras or add-ons

  • Health care costs of the child that are uninsured are generally divided equally between the parents. California child support laws say not paying uninsured health care costs is akin to not paying child support. But payment of uninsured health care costs can be challenged in court which opens up scope for heavy litigation of such instances. All reasonable and necessary uninsured healthcare costs (those that are not related to cosmetic procedures) have to be shared by both parents.
  • A parent may be asked to pay an additional amount in support if the child needs special schooling or goes to a private school. But such costs are not needed if the child suddenly makes a transfer from a public to a private school. The parent’s ability to pay such costs will definitely be taken into consideration.
  • Travel expenses may have to be paid if the child has to travel a great distance to be with the noncustodial parent with visitation rights or the other way round.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Changing A Child Support Order

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmMany people nowadays have trouble meeting child support payment requirements due to change in their living or professional circumstances. If you receive or pay child support, they could be a time when you feel that the support order must be changed. You can make this happen.

Parents and the modification of support

The first step you must make is to see whether you and your spouse can reach an agreement to modify relevant child support terms. If this is possible, you can simply request a judge to approve such a change. This will be done without any hassle. There will be a problem only if the amount is less than what the State of California has stated in such a case. If this is the case, you must give a detailed explanation of why you are doing this and how can the new amount will provide for the support of the child.

Requesting the court to modify support

If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the change, you will require to ask for the appropriate court hearing. Both you and your ex could argue for the appropriate amount. The general rule is that for getting a modification you must show that something about your own circumstances have changed from the time the court gave the existing and last order. The court, depending in nature of changed circumstances, may grant a modification. The list of changes which will provide a temporary modification include the medical emergency of the child, the temporary inability of the payer to pay or temporary medical or financial hardship on the recipient parent’s part.

You may get a modification if either one of you change to a new job or lose the existing one and get a markedly different income. Another condition will be if any of you remarries and the income of the new spouse significantly jacks up the income of the household.  Modification will also be given if there is an increase in the cost of living or either one of you suffers a disability. It can also be done if the needs of he child change significantly or there is a change in the child support laws. The permanent modification of the child support order will be kept in place until the time the support is not needed or if the order gets modified due to changed circumstances.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Tips On Dealing With Back Child Support Arrears

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several real life instances wherein a parent falls behind on his monthly child support payments due to various factors, resulting in the accumulation of a hefty back child support debt. Due to the enormous interest on the unpaid amount, the debt culminates into a huge sum which the parent finds extremely difficult to clear.

In most cases, the court of law takes stringent action against such defaulters.  However, if you have genuine reasons for not being able to pay the monthly support for your child, you can follow a few guidelines of dealing with the back child support debt.

  • In case, you find out that the balance calculated for the back child support is erroneous, you can file for its re-evaluation with the court of law. For such a petition you will be require to furnish the receipts or proofs of payments made in lieu of the child support.
  • You can get up to 90% of you back child support arrears reduced through the Compromise of Arrears Program designed by the state of California to address the grievances of eligible non custodial parents. The reduction in the interest and arrears will be calculated on the basis of the individual parent’s assets and regular income. Depending upon the individual case, the parent will be required to pay off the debt in either a lump sum or in fixed installments over a period of time.
  • Although, bankruptcy cannot be cited as a reason for reduction of the back child support of an individual in the California courts, there are ways of getting the interest portion waived off. If the parent still has a job that will aid in paying off the debt within the next five years, the court of law can order a complete waiver of the interest applicable on the dues.
  • A parent has the right to file for a petition for ‘equitable forgiveness’ under which he will be exempted from making the back child support payments, in the event that the child was living with the former during the period of debt accumulation.
  • You can also negotiate a settlement with your spouse, which waives off your back child support payment in exchange for a lesser bulk payment to the latter.

If you face any support dues related problems, you should immediately consult your attorney and try to deal with the issue before it becomes too complex to resolve.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Child Support and Uncontested Divorce in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDetermining child support in uncontested divorces in California can be relatively straightforward.  The rules for deciding and calculating child support are the same for contested as well as uncontested divorces. The court simply uses certain predetermined calculations based on the income of the parents to determine the amount of support to be paid.

It is generally believed that the parents in an uncontested divorce will agree to issues related to their child. So it is advised that the parents should begin the process of discussing child support by exchanging details of all their income and expenditures. Honesty should be the best policy here. Each parent should declare at least one year’s income so that it becomes easier for the court to get a better idea about their averages.

Guidelines for calculating child support in uncontested divorce

The court follows certain guidelines when calculating child support. Following these guidelines opens up the possibility of modifying the amount being paid in support. The guidelines that are considered are as follows –

  • The number of children the separating couple have
  • The percentage of custodial time the parents have decide on
  • The tax filing status of each parent – whether it says ‘head of family’ or ‘ married filing separate’ and so on
  • The taxable and non-taxable income of each parent
  • The exemptions claimed by each parent
  • Deductions such as property tax and mortgage interest
  • Healthcare expenditures
  • The health insurance premium being paid by the parent paying child support
  • Any uninsured expenditures

If child support was calculated following all of the above guidelines, then the child support is modifiable. Otherwise it is not.

The child support payments continue till the child receiving the support attains 18 years of age. But the child has to complete high school. If the child has attained 18 years of age but is still a full time student at high school level, child support has to be paid till your child completes high school or turns 19 years old.

Child support may seem easy to figure out in an uncontested divorce but it can get complicated when it comes to declaring your expenditures and income.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

 
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