Married or unmarried, caring for a child can be costly. Therefore, it is important that these costs are still addressed when parents are no longer in a relationship Child support can play an integral role in ensuring that a child is provided with the financial resources needed to ensure his or her well-being. However, in order to ensure that child support obligations are fair, a court will often conduct a balancing act where a child's needs will be analyzed in the context of his or her noncustodial parent's income. After all, a court will not want to impose a child support obligation that leaves a noncustodial parent destitute. This will simply deter a noncustodial parent from meeting his or her obligation.
Since a significant part of the child support determination is based on income, though, there has to be careful consideration with regard to what constitutes income. Most obvious are wages earned through employment as well as income derived from self-employment. However, there are a number of other types of income that may be counted for child support determination purposes. For example, unemployment benefits, Social Security payments and income from rental properties and lottery winnings can all be included in an income determination.
The court relies on parties to a child support matter to honestly report their income on a declaration form. Although it is perjury to lie on these forms, many people are dishonest or they merely fail to recognize that certain types of income are countable. When it is discovered that forms of income have not been reported to the court, then it is probably time to seek a child support modification, as doing so may lead to the imposition of a more significant child support obligation.
Whether an individual wants to establish a child support obligation or modify an existing order to either increase or decrease that obligation amount, he or she needs to be prepared with strong legal arguments supported by evidence to support his or her position. Failing to do so could lead to an unwanted outcome. This is why many Californians choose to turn to experienced family law attorneys for assistance.