Justia Lawyer Rating
Badge - Universite Paris, Pantheon Sorbonne, Ecole de Droit de la Sorbonne
Badge - The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn
Badge - San Diego County Bar Association
Badge - Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Badge - The State Bar of California
Badge - United States Courts, Ninth Judicial Circuit

Child Support

In California, dissolution cases are required to proceed in a manner that places paramount importance on what is in the best interest of children. Accordingly, for divorce actions involving children, the question of child support is an early and continuing matter of priority for the parties and the court.

Once the parties' rights concerning custody and visitation of the children is established, the parties and the court will consider and resolve the parties' parental responsibility for the children. Parental responsibility covers a broad range of undertakings parents perform for their children. One such undertaking is the parental responsibility for the payment of child support for children under the age of eighteen (18) years or an adult child for whom support is needed on a continuing basis and authorized by the court. Both parents are responsible for providing financial support to their minor children and adult children with special needs. The level of support may differ between the parents based on income available for support, custody and visitation and other factors.

California has adopted statewide uniform guideline to inform the court in making child support orders. The guidelines provide for a complex calculation, the interpretation of which is difficult for most parents. For example, income available for support is generally determined based on gross income. However, the guidelines provide for mandatory and discretionary exclusions from gross income (e.g., deductions for contributions to a retirement account and circumstances of hardship). With the children's best interests in mind, the totality of a parties' separate assets, including rental income, may be considered in child support calculations and often the court is required to determine whether a party's current income reasonably reflects the party's true earning capacity.

At its base, California's child support guidelines calculate and allocate child support based on parents' respective income, the number of children for whom support is payable and the time during which each parent has physical custody of the child.

In an order for child support, the court must require that health insurance coverage is provided for the child(ren) by either or both parents, provided if it is available at a reasonable cost.

In California, a child support order normally terminates when:

  1. The child attains 18 years of age, (except that child support for a full-time high school student who is not self-supporting continues until the child graduates or attains age 19) whichever occurs first;
  2. As authorized by the court for an adult child with special needs;
  3. The child dies; or,
  4. The child becomes emancipated.
Child Support Arrears:

Child support is payable as directed in the court's order. Substantial penalties accrue for failure to comply with the order for support, such as the accrual of interest at the legal rate of 10%, which accrue as a matter of law for each payment missed.

Client Reviews
I am very grateful to Denise Oxley for her help in resolving a very difficult family law situation. She was very professional and knowledgeable. She listened to all of my concerns and always found a successful outcome to the proceedings. Her correspondence and responses were timely and focused on the problem. I always felt prepared to stand in the court room and face the Judge’s decision. Thank you, Denise, for your help. I highly recommend her. Lana
A very highly respected individual first and foremost. As a lawyer, well...her opponent's fear her in a court of law due to her knowledge base, experience, diligence, and most of all commitment. A colleague once said, "I want to introduce you to Denise Oxley. You need her because she is in it for the long haul." At some time in our lives we all have to sit in the defendants/plaintiffs chair. Denise Oxley will give you strong representation. Remember, knowledgeable, experienced, diligence, committed. Stellar qualities dealing with sensitive lives! T. L. Holman
My family encountered one of the most difficult situations of our lives when my son's girlfriend decided to take the kids away from their father and our entire family. We are a very close family so this affected us all. My son hired Denise Oxley to represent him in family court and that was the beginning of our healing process. Denise is very personal, a great professional and very knowledgeable. She was very interested in helping my son and I could tell that she really cares. Thanks to Denise, my son now has close to 40% of custody after just having one weekend a month I feel very lucky to have Denise on our side. Ana