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California’s Approach to Enforcing Child Support Across State Lines: Strategies for Success

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What Are Child Support Laws in California?

During a divorce, one of the pertinent issues the divorcing parents have to resolve is child custody and support. The issues are often complex, and it is difficult to determine if the parents can’t agree amicably. Luckily, California has a set of laws that govern how divorcing parties should approach child support, as lawyers from a family law firm in San Diego explain.

Child support laws are listed in the California Family Code 4053, outlining that:

  • The most crucial obligation of mothers and fathers is to support their children
  • The obligation is mutual but depends on each party’s income and time spent with the children, based on the children’s best interests. The parent with primary custodial rights contributes a significant part of their resources for the child
  • Child support laws in California aim at improving the living standards of the children and, by extension, the custodial parent’s conditions
  • Children should share in the living standards of both parents
  • Child support orders should reflect the high cost of living in California

If you’re in the middle of a child support case in California, consult experienced child support lawyers in San Diego. They can help you understand the laws and how they can affect your case.

What Happens If the Paying Parent Works for the Federal Government and Stops Making Payments After a Transfer to a Different State?

All federal government employees are subject to the same child support laws as others. Income withholding procedures apply in their cases, ensuring they remit child support payments through an established system. Transfers within departments should not affect an income withholding order because a central payment office is concerned with such payments.

If you don’t have a formal child support order, talk to San Diego child support lawyers about establishing one. Once you have it, the lawyers can help you secure child support payments by income withholding. If the other parent has transferred to a different department, you can find their new location with the help of the Federal Parent Locator Service.

What If the Paying Parent is a Contractor Who Receives Payment from the Federal Government?

If your ex-spouse has not been remitting child support payments according to the court order, the law makes provisions on how you can pursue the payments. Some types of payments can be obtained through Administrative Offset, for example, if the paying parent is an independent contractor working for the federal government.

The system can intercept one-off and recurring payments to private vendors working for government agencies, travel and relocation reimbursements to federal employees, and federal retirement payments. However, some payment types can’t be intercepted through the system, such as:

  • Federal student loans
  • Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits
  • Some Social Security payments
  • Payments that are excluded by the head of the federal agency that administers them
  • Black Lung benefits
  • Railroad Retirement payments

When is a Case Eligible for Administrative Offset?

If a non-custodial parent owes at least $25 in the past 30 days, the case may be eligible for an Administrative Offset. The parent will be notified through a Pre-Offset Notice containing information about the Federal Tax Refund Offset. The notice allows them to contest the debt amount. If you are in a legal child support battle, consult child support attorneys in San Diego.

What Happens if the Paying Parent Moves Away from the State?

Once the court issues a child support order, the paying parent may relocate to another state for various reasons. Whether you know where they moved to or not, you can still have the child support enforced with the help of skilled child support lawyers in San Diego. They can help you file a case with a local child support agency to attempt to locate the other parent.

Child support orders in California can be enforced anywhere in the United States under federal laws. However, once the child support agency identifies the other parent’s location, they may not share this information with you.

Can I Still Receive Child Support If I Relocate with the Child?

Relocation of the custodial parent can be a contentious issue, especially if the other parent opposes the move. An excellent starting point is to consult your lawyers for legal counsel. They can petition the court on your behalf to modify the child custody order to reflect the residential changes.

The court can modify the child support order depending on the circumstances, such as changes in the parent’s income.

Otherwise, the non-custodial parent should continue remitting payments to your new address. If you miss payments after relocation, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act kicks in to help you enforce the child support order.

You can receive the payments electronically through:

  • Electronic transfers to international child support agencies, which then transfer the money to you
  • International Direct Deposit Enrollment, where you provide your bank and routing information and other details, depending on whether California Child Support Services can send money to your location

Navigating Child Support Across State Lines with the Help of Skilled Family Law Attorneys

Every child has a right to support from both parents, whether the parents are married or divorced. When the parents live in different states, enforcing child support orders after a divorce can be challenging but not impossible. With the help of skilled San Diego child support attorneys, you can fight for your child’s rights and ensure they get what they rightfully deserve from their other parent.

Khosroabadi & Hill, APC, is a family law firm that handles various family-related matters. Our team of legal experts has many years of experience in child custody and support cases and always fights for the most favorable outcome in every case. Tell us if you have an order that needs to be enforced outside the State, and we can help. Call our office at 858-240-2093 for a FREE consultation.

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