I felt from the moment I met her she was strong and would fight hard. I could not be happier with my outcome after trial. She quickly understood my situation, and made every effort to keep my bill down yet left no stone unturned. If your kids are important to you, if your case is important, then you need someone who really has your back, she will not let you down.
Laura H. (Yelp)

Santa Barbara Child Support Attorney

Child Support - An Overview

Along with dividing property and making child custody decisions, divorce often involves long-term financial arrangements in the form of child support. In most divorces one parent typically winds up paying the other child support. The exception to this rule is when parents share custody on an equal basis and both make about the same amount of money. But these circumstances are unusual. Whether you are trying to obtain child support or defend against such claims, an experienced team at Law Office of Channe G. Coles can help you understand your rights and how to protect them.

Santa Barbara Child Support Attorney

The biggest two questions regarding child support are, "What will I have to pay?" or "What will I receive?" The state of California relies on a statutory guideline equation when calculating child support. Whether you are going through a legal separation, a dissolution proceedings, a post-judgement modification or a paternity hearing, disputes often arise over the amount of child support payable by one parent to the other. If you have children and find yourself in such a dispute, it is especially important to have an attorney experienced with utilizing and applying the statutory guideline equation.

What the Judge Considers

The amount of child support you are required to pay or receive, will depend on several factors used in the formula, such as:

  • Income;
  • The number of children for which support is required;
  • Child Care Costs
  • Medical Expenses
  • Health Insurance
  • Medical Bills, etc.
  • Educational expenses
  • College
  • Private School, etc.
  • The amount of time spent with the child
  • Standard of living before the divorce

But the above are only some of the many factors considered when determining child support in California. Courts will sometimes look at certain nontaxable income and gifts that can affect an individual's support obligation or the amount of support that he or she is entitled to receive. A comprehensive understanding of the above factors is necessary to ensure that the amount of child support proscribed by the guidelines accurately reflects the true income and expenses of the parents.

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles we will look at all factors used in the guideline formula that are unique to your situation and give you an honest assessment of what your support arrangement should look like. We will also work to ensure that all of the other party's financial circumstances and assets are considered in the formula, including varying business income, overtime payments and seasonal work.

If the circumstances of your matter require, the court may order a portion of community or separate assets to be deposited into a trust or fund for your child's support and education. This requires a finding that this sequestering of assets is necessary to ensure that child support will be received. At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles our firm provides guidance and litigation support when the issue of establishing child support trusts arises.

Professional, Compassionate and Dedicated Representation

The Law Office of Channe G. Coles is competent and proven in it’s ability to counsel individuals throughout Santa Barbara County with divorce and family law matters and has helped many clients determine their child support rights or obligations. With her extensive experience and intense focus on family law, attorney Coles can answer all of your questions and represent you through any child custody or child support challenge.  

Alternatives to High Cost Child Support Disputes

Santa Barbara Child Support Attorney

Depending on the level of cooperation between the parties, pursuing a stipulated child support order outside of court will not only save you money but avoid the high emotional toll court battles can often take. By working collaboratively outside of court in applying the statutory child support guidelines, clients and their spouses can avoid additional attorney fees and costs incurred by expensive court appearances. Seldom do clients realize until it’s too late that fighting over small amounts in child support in court seldom outweigh the costs incurred in battling it out. Stipulated agreements can also allow clients and their spouses to bypass the state's child support guidelines all together and instead take a personalized look at the financial needs of their children and each parent's financial resources.

After undertaking a thorough review of her client's finances, attorney Coles will propose a support agreement that both parties can agree to and will provide for the children involved. As long as the support will meet the children's needs, courts are generally very deferential to these types of agreements.

Not only do thorough assessments of her clients' financial situations have a benefit on determinations for child support; they also allow them to understand how they may need to adjust their standard of living once a divorce has been finalized.

Santa Barbara Child Support Modification Lawyer

On one thing most of us can agree is that NOTHING ever stays the same. While the permanent child support amount is set by the court at the time of the divorce decree, the factors (or reasons) upon which it was originally based can change over time. A promotion or a new job that provides a higher salary, a layoff, a change in child custody arrangements; each can result in child support modifications. At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles we will analyze your current child support levels, and if need be, petition the court on your behalf to obtain a modification in the child support requirement which reflects the new situation.

A California child support order is only modifiable if there has been a "change in circumstances," since the last child support order was made. One caveat to this rule however, is if the judge ordered a child support amount below the guideline amount, a party can request a modification of this amount at any time without showing a change in circumstances. This is true even if your non-guideline child support order was reached by stipulation (agreement) between you and the other parent.

There are many good reasons why a child support order might need to be changed. Some of these reasons are:

  • The income of 1 or both parents has changed;
  • One parent has lost his or her job;
  • One parent has been incarcerated;
  • One parent had another child from another relationship;
  • There have been significant changes in how much time the child in the case spends with each parent;
  • The child's needs may have changed and there may be more (or less) costs for child care, health care, or education; and

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles we offer experience and expertise in navigating these "changed circumstances," both from the perspective of the paying parent and the parent to whom support is paid, to ensure that the entry of a new child support order reflects a real change in circumstances (if need be) and continues to provide an adequate basis of child support.

To speak to an attorney at the Law Office of Channe G. Coles about child support in Santa Barbara County, please visit us online at www.ccsblaw.com or call us at (805) 617-4618 for a free confidential consultation.

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