Frequently Asked Questions
Child Support Law Questions:
Domestic Violence Questions:
Child Support Law Questions:
- Why do I have to pay by wage assignment?
TState law now makes this mandatory. If the parties agree that there
is good cause to issue a "stay" of the wage assignment, it can be avoided,
but in most circumstances, it is actually better to pay by a wage assignment
because it creates a clear paper trail of how much was received and
- What happens if I don't pay my child support?
Failure to pay court ordered child support (even by a month) can result
in the worst of circumstances:
||You can go to jail, pay fines, lose your driver's license or
any other state license, have your passport revoked, have your
wages garnished for more than the support amount to make up for
the back payments, have a lien recorded against your home, have
your bank accounts levied, and find your tax refunds intercepted.
||These are no longer the exception, they are the rule!
Counties have become very efficient at collecting child support
over the years, and your child support obligation routinely hits
your credit report within a few short days of the order!
||If you are having problems paying your support, ACT NOW! You
MUST deal with it quickly, as the consequences become worse with
every missed payment.
||More importantly, if you need to modify your child support obligation,
YOU CAN ONLY GET RELIEF RETROACTIVE TO THE DATE YOU FILED YOUR
MOTION TO MODIFY. It often takes 2 to 3 months from the time you
file your motion with the court, until the date it is heard. If
you are out of work, or the circumstances surrounding your employment
have changed, and you have not filed a formal motion with the
court, YOU STILL OWE THE MONEY, as the court can only go back
to the day you filed the motion to change your support order.
||Don't make the mistake of waiting to modify your support. Every
day your motion is not filed is a day you owe the support REGARDLESS
OF WHETHER YOU ARE WORKING OR NOT!
- Can the county increase my child support?
Any time there is a change of income of either parent; there is a chance
that support may either go up or down. Child support may be reviewed
or modified at anytime the court finds a change in circumstances, which
may include a change in your visitation schedule. Anytime your custodial
arrangement changes, there is a substantial likelihood that your support
orders should be updated. Call NOW and get the facts before making a
- The County keeps sending me statements showing
I owe more than I should?
This has become one of the most common issues facing parents who pay
support. Our laws have been revised over the past several years, and
States and Counties are now in the child support collection business.
In the majority of cases, modifications of support happen routinely,
and the Counties literally cannot keep up with the changes as quickly
as they occur. Over the years, we have found County calculations of
support arrears, interest, and penalties ARE ALMOST ALWAYS WRONG in
some measure, USUALLY BY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS! If you find yourself
facing this problem, you need to have good advice. Our support laws
are without a doubt the most complex in the country, and in most cases,
good advice can save you thousands of dollars.
- My ex does not let me see my child. Do I still
have to pay?
Yes. The two issues are not related. Once you've been ordered
to pay support you cannot discontinue just because the custodial party
is withholding your child from you. There are other legal avenues to
take when access to your child becomes an issue, but don't assume the
two issues are related, because they are not.
- Can I deduct support payments on my taxes?
Child Support payments are not tax deductible to the paying parent and
are not taxable income to the supported parent. Spousal support may
be deductible by the paying spouse if certain requirements are met.
The tax consequences of support are extremely technical, and these questions
should only be directed to a knowledgeable family law attorney. (No
offense to the CPA's out there. We love em', but they routinely get
it wrong. We see it every year at tax time, when the clients bring in
their tax returns, only to hear the bad news). Don't risk the headache
of making a costly mistake with your support issues. Call us now, we
Domestic Violence Questions:
- When domestic violence is involved, what should
The victim should retreat to a safe place. Immediate police assistance
should be requested when needed. Local law enforcement personnel, city
and district attorneys may be very helpful not only in prosecuting the
crime, but also in providing referrals to other local assistance ( ie.
shelters, safe houses, counseling, and legal assistance). A victim should
never try to do it alone. Outside help and support from others is essential.
The typical abuser has a very dominant and aggressive personality that
is both manipulative and controlling. Whatever your background, a victim
of Domestic Violence should not back away from getting help. Domestic
violence does not discriminate and affects every social class. If you
or someone you know has been abused or is a victim of domestic violence
it is essential that help be sought. In this day and age, domestic violence
orders have become an extremely powerful tool, and, all too often, are
used for tactical advantage in family law proceedings. If you find yourself
on the wrong end of a temporary restraining order or falsely accused
of domestic violence, YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY. In twenty minutes time,
you can find yourself out of your home, without the ability to see your
children, and the consequences can be enormous. Understand that THERE
IS A LEGAL PRESUMPTION AGAINST AN AWARD OF CUSTODY TO A PERSON WHO IS
FOUND TO HAVE COMMITED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. This can have devastating
consequences for your relationship with your children, which can LAST
FOR YEARS. Often, domestic violence happens in divorce, if for no other
reason than both spouses are upset, with no solution in sight. Even
the best of parents are tested when facing a divorce and the heartache
associated with the break-up of the family. Whether you are a domestic
violence victim, falsely accused of domestic violence, or someone who
committed an act of domestic violence, we can provide you with the advice
and resources necessary to get you and your family back on the road
to a new, healthier beginning.
- Once A restraining order has been filed, what
is the penalty for violating it?
Violation of a restraining order is contempt of a court order. Violation
of a valid restraining order may result in the violator being taken
into immediate custody or jail. The offender may be charged with a misdemeanor
or a felony and may be sentenced or fined.
- What is the difference between a temporary restraining
order and a
restraining order after hearing?
A "Temporary Restraining Order" (TRO) is normally issued after an "ex
parte appearance." An ex parte appearance is an appearance in court
by one party without the other party being present. The Temporary Restraining
Order (TRO) is an order from the court directing the named person to
refrain form particular acts and to stay away from particular places.
The order is only effective if it is served upon the person to be restrained.
Once the person has been served an "Order to Show Cause" hearing is
scheduled where both parties will have an opportunity to be heard and
the court will be given additional information to determine if a more
permanent order is needed or the original order shall be vacated. A
TRO usually can be issued the same day it is requested and it remains
in effect until the Order to Show Cause hearing. The hearing is typically
scheduled to occur within 15-20 days after the date issued. Once the
hearing takes place, the court may determine that a more permanent order
be established. That is referred to as a Restraining Order After Hearing.
The order in effect may be for a specified time, even for years. The
Restraining Order After Hearing may also be renewed for additional periods
of time upon request by the protected person and upon approval by the
court making it for a permanent duration.
- Are there other remedies available to prevent
further domestic violence?
In order to try and prevent further incidents of domestic violence the
court may issue a Restraining Order or a Protective Order. The Court
may include certain restrictions within the order under the premise
of providing protection to the victim. Orders issued in a Domestic Violence
case may include: Kick out orders (where one party is ordered by the
court to leave the house), stay away orders (where restrained party
may not contact, come in contact with, attack, threaten, etc.), a 100
yard stay away (person cannot come within 100 yards of protected person),
orders to enroll in counseling ( anger management, batterer treatment
counseling etc), and orders prohibiting the purchase or possession of
firearms. The Court's ultimate goal is to protect and reduce the potential
for harm on others.
|Divorce Legal Services Has Offices Located In
Northern California - Contra Costa.
Toll Free: 1-800-949-7004