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Paying Child Support in California

Paying for Child Support

In California child support litigation, sometimes the system works and results in fair support order based on reality—but sometimes the court gets it wrong, and the resulting child support order leaves almost every penny of disposable income in the hands of one parent. We have had clients—men and women—who have come to us for help who literally had no money left over after an opposing attorney exaggerated their income, and who were sleeping on the couches of friends and sympathetic family members. If you are a child support payor, the expert California family law attorneys at Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC can help you achieve a fair settlement now, based on financial realities, not the fantasies spun by opposing counsel, and put into place a structure that will keep you out of court in the future.

The current state of California child support law is chaotic: a Judge in one courtroom may rule one way, and a Judge in the courtroom down the hall may rule another way on the same set of facts. Rife with both potential unfairness for both payor and payee, going to court on child support issues in California is like spinning a roulette wheel.

This unfairness can be exacerbated when the Department of Child Support Services (“DCSS”) is involved. While most DCSS attorneys are fair, all of them will aggressively pursue the maximization of child support for their clients, and often all they have to go on is what their client tells them—they have no time for independent investigation.

When you couple this system with the fact that many DCSS cases are heard in front of the same set of Judges—i.e., a judiciary who works with these same DCSS attorneys day in and day out—this can be a recipe for disaster.

Child support payors in California might find that the court bases the support they pay on the income they received last year, in the hopes that history will repeat itself and they will get the same bonus and overtime this year. If they don't? Then they will often be paying most of their take-home pay out as support, with nothing to live on.

Child support payors might find that the court requires them to pay support to a payee parent who refuses to work when they could work. Or to pay support based not only on their income but also on the money their business needs to reserve to keep the business afloat (support payors who are business owners are especially vulnerable to overreaching attorneys.)

All of these unfair outcomes are within the court's discretion to order—and they can be life-wrecking. The California attorneys at Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC have been representing Child Support Payors since 1999. Our approach to child support is unique: we develop a strategy for resolving your child support based on financial realities, not the fantasies spun by opposing counsel, and lay the necessary legal groundwork to allow and encourage the supported parent to also contribute to the financial support of their children. As with all matters, the objective is to resolve issues peacefully through negotiation if possible, but to fight for our clients aggressively if, when and only to the extent necessary.

“I have had an excellent experience with Bill Woodcock and his supporting staff while they represented me in a family law matter. Their billing and fee structure is reasonable and never did I get the sense that anyone was trying to over-bill me or that they were creating unnecessary work just for the sake of additional fees. Bill is extremely well versed in the Family Code and also relevant case law. More importantly, when it is appropriate, he is very much willing to help find solutions with the other side (much cheaper to find the middle ground where possible) as opposed to fighting over every little thing (extremely expensive). That said, when push comes to shove, Bill can be very aggressive and was always able to represent my position to the fullest extent possible because of his knowledge, experience, and preparation. Bill's supporting staff is also very attentive and detail-oriented. Before this I had no experience with the family court system or family law and it was very comforting to have Bill and Elvira (his paralegal / office manager) be able to explain things clearly in terms that I could understand (not just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo). I highly recommend this firm for representation.”

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