Many years ago it was common for mothers to receive primary custody while fathers paid child support. However, as family law has modernized both child support and custody orders have become more equitable between men and women. Today the central inquiry for custody awards is the best interests of the child while child support orders are based upon respective income and percentage of custody. Nevertheless, to overcome traditional bias many fathers benefit from representation by a divorce attorney specializing in fathers rights. To learn more about your parental rights call fathers rights attorney Micahel Benavides at (916) 250-1610 to schedule a consultation.
As part of an action to receive rights regarding custody, visitation or support, the father is sometimes asked to establish paternity, such as by signing the birth certificate, signing an acknowledgement of paternity or by DNA testing accepted by the court.
Enforcing The Order
Once the judge orders child support to be paid to the father, he can choose to have it enforced. The State of California has its own child support system in place and laws concerning child support. The child support enforcement agency assists custodial parents (both mothers and fathers) in seeking child support orders from the court.
Whether you contact your state child support agency or a private lawyer for assistance, you will need to provide specific information to establish a court order. The agency or attorney will need the mother’s contact information and last known address and place of employment. You may also need to provide a birth certificate and proof of paternity, certain financial information, such as information regarding your assets and income, and expenses related to the child.
How Much Child Support is a Father Entitled to Receive?
In California, both parents have the same responsibility to provide for their children. Additionally, children are entitled to the same lifestyle, at a minimum, that the parents have. The state of California establishes child support guidelines that determine how much an average child will need based on the other parent’s income and number of children to be supported. There can be special circumstances that justify the court from ordering a standard amount of child support, such as medical expenses or high childcare costs.
If the Mother Defaults on an Order
It is usually best that the child support order specify that the mother’s income be directly withheld from the mother’s paycheck to avoid problems with mothers defaulting on an order.
Should a mother (or father) refuses to pay court-ordered child support, there may be several enforcement options. A child support agency can request a suspension of the mother’s driver’s license or professional license, intercept tax refunds or federal payments, denying passports, place liens on property and report the debt to credit bureaus. A contempt of court action can hold the mother civilly or criminally liable for not obeying the court’s order. The mother may be required to post a bond equal to the amount of child support that she is behind or may have to serve time in jail. Generally, the court tries to avoid jail time, as this prevents the mother from working and providing child support.
It is important for fathers to keep in mind that the court typically favors mothers in family law issues, but that does not mean that a father cannot obtain child support. However, it does mean that the process can be a little more complicated and may take a bit longer to accomplish. Accordingly, many men benefit from hiring an attorney specializing in fathers rights. To learn more about your rights, including your potential right to child support, call men’s divorce attorney Michael Benavides at (916) 250-1610 for a consultation.