A parent in California who either needs to collect child support or pay it could run into problems as the years go by. When child support goes unpaid, a parent could approach a state agency and request an enforcement action. On the other side of the coin, a parent experiencing financial difficulty, like unemployment, could take steps to limit falling behind on payments by petitioning a court to modify the amount of support owed.
California court documents have revealed that Jesse Williams, one of the stars of the popular television drama "Grey's Anatomy", must increase his child support payments to $50,629 every month. He has two young children, ages 2 and 4, and had been sending his ex-wife $33,242 a month until she petitioned a court for a higher sum.
Most California parents who are ordered to pay child support do what they can to make those payments on time for the sake of their children. However, there are instances when a parent may suddenly become disabled, preventing him or her from working and earning a regular income. While the noncustodial parent's obligation for providing child support will not suddenly cease, he or she may not be able to provide reliable child support.
A parent who lives separately from his or her children may be ordered to pay child support. The money they pay could be used to cover their children's basic needs, extracurricular activities or anything else. Because this monthly payment is court-ordered, noncustodial parents are required to pay the full amount whether they can afford it or not. There is something California parents can do if they don't have enough money to pay child support.
If parents in California or any other state get a divorce, it may result in one person paying child support to his or her ex. The amount of a given payment is determined by a variety of factors based on information supplied by the parents. It is never a good idea to be less than honest when providing this information. Typically, the judge in a case will know if an individual is trying to game the system.
Historically, ongoing financial support after a divorce has been the responsibility of the husband. In recent years, however, gains made by women in the workplace, as well as changes in child custody arrangements, have transformed post-divorce financial settlements. As a result, many women in California now pay their ex-husbands alimony or child support.
Some custodial parents in California must deal with the negative stigma that comes with being a single parent receiving child support. Research shows a different reality than what's often portrayed. According to the report "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support," many parents receive far less monetary support than they are owed.
For families in California, delinquent child support can be a particular problem for single parents working hard to make ends meet and cover the costs of everyday expenses. Dealing with the problems caused by unpaid support has been addressed in many cases through withholding payments from a person's paycheck, thus ensuring that the child support is regularly paid. While child support is managed by the states, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, works to coordinate enforcement efforts throughout the country. This project is highly successful. In fiscal year 2016, $33 billion in child support payments were processed through its system.
In order to ensure the best interests of their children, many California parents are willing to make reasonable child-support payments. However, there are some situations in which satisfying current child support amounts is difficult. Such a situation can create financial and legal hardships for the parent making the payments.
Child support enforcement can be a constant source of stress and confusion for single parents in California as well as the government agencies charged with overseeing the efforts. When parents do not receive their court-mandated support payments, raising children can be difficult. However, many states do not have the modern technology necessary to keep the system functioning well. In this context, the federal government is preparing to develop a nationally networked system for child support enforcement across the United States.