Family Law Overview

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Carlsbad DCSS Issues

When someone has a child, there are many responsibilities that the parent has to the child that are enforced under California law. These include providing financial support for the child to make sure that they are well cared for and have all their needs met until the age of 18, along with a wide range of many other responsibilities.

If a parent tries to avoid these responsibilities for some reason, the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can help ensure that the parent’s responsibilities are enforced. Common disputes among parents include whether the parent is to pay child support, who should be responsible for custody and visitation, and other contentious issues or unresolved problems. DCSS does not have the power to determine these issues but instead serves as an organization of standards to enforce your rights and responsibilities as a parent. The organization does not take sides by representing either parent but rather represents the child’s best interests.

Carlsbad Child Support Attorney for DCSS Help

If you are facing difficulties or concerns with DCSS, call our firm. It is vital to get the help of a good Carlsbad child support attorney. This will ensure that you have a strong advocate to help defend your rights and ensure that your child(ren) receives the financial support they are entitled to, which will be essential to their future and well-being. Carlsbad child support attorneys have experience defending clients from various accusations, ranging from avoiding payment to failure to meet the visitation schedule. You should not attempt to go through this process without professional help, as California child support disputes are complex, and your child’s best interests are at stake.

What Is DCSS?

DCSS is the acronym for California’s “Department of Child Support Services.” The purpose of DCSS is to collect child support on behalf of custodial parents (CP) and to distribute child support on behalf of non-custodial parents (NCP). This is not a law firm; this is a government office that functions as an intermediary between the California Department of Child Support Services (CDCS) and non-custodial parents. CDCS and the CP must agree on a payment plan, and it is up to CDCS to track down NCPs who don’t pay their child support.

Other services of DCSS include:

DCCS serves as the final authority for making decisions when it comes to these listed issues. In most cases, the CP or NCP can request a DCSS review of any order made by a judge if they feel that the order does not reflect their best interests. CDCS can also initiate reviews of orders on its own if it has reason to believe that the child and/or medical support is too low or if the parent receiving child and/or medical support fails to maintain health insurance for the children.

What Is the Average Child Support Per Child in California?

In California, the courts operate on the estimate that the monthly cost of a single child is $1,000 on average. However, the amount of child support ordered varies greatly depending on the income and needs of the custodial and non-custodial parent. A child support attorney can help you determine the average child support and what factors affect how much is paid. Generally, the parents share the cost of raising a child or children. Each parent pays for expenses that exceed his or her individual contribution. These expenses include medical and dental costs, childcare, school expenses, and special needs not covered by insurance.

What Happens If You Stop Paying Child Support in California?

If you are behind on your child support payments, a California judge can hold you in contempt of court and issue a warrant for your arrest. In addition to fines, imprisonment, and other penalties for not paying child support as ordered, the CP can seek a “Civil Judgement” against you for the unpaid child support. The CP can report this judgment to credit bureaus and lenders as a delinquent account, which will lower your credit score and make it difficult to obtain loans and credit cards.

Other consequences that can be enforced by DCSS include:

These enforcement methods are all in place to incentivize parents to pay child support. When issues arise, such as you losing a job, getting laid off, or suddenly becoming unable to meet child support payments, it is best to communicate with a child support services attorney who will work under DCSS and work out a suitable payment plan instead of simply ignoring your responsibility to provide child and/or medical support.

How Much Do You Have to Be Behind in Child Support to Go to Jail in California?

On average, if an individual is behind two years on child support payments or in excess of $10,000, they are facing a felony charge and could be sentenced for up to two years of incarceration. The amount of time you will spend in jail for not paying child support depends on whether the custodial parent could provide some form of financial assistance until the time of the county’s involvement. For example, suppose a custodial parent can provide proof that they were recently laid off from a job and unable to secure another source of income. In that case, the court may choose not to incarcerate the individual. However, if they have been able to find a job and simply chose not to, incarceration is a real possibility.

In some cases, judges do have discretion on how harsh the sentence will be depending on the parent’s background, mental health, and whether they have any other dependents.

What Value Can a Carlsbad Child Support Attorney Provide?

The difference between the DCSS and a child support attorney are simple: DCSS seeks to enforce the terms of child support orders through fines and incarceration. A child support attorney looks at your situation, assesses their merits, and provides you with the legal support necessary to either abide by the terms of your existing agreement or seek other alternatives. A child support attorney stands with you to fight for your rights, while DCSS is merely an agency focused on enforcing the terms in place.

While you may be tempted to handle this matter on your own, it does add a level of risk and difficulty that you do not need to face. A child support attorney can add a ton of value to your child support case by:

By leveraging the support of an attorney, you are ensuring your child support case is handled in the best possible manner. You not only save yourself from stress and heartache but also help provide for your child in the best possible way.

What Characteristics Should I Seek in My Child Support Services Attorney?

When you need assistance with child support or divorce issues, talk with our firm. It is important that you receive the best service and have an attorney you can trust and who will treat you with respect throughout this process. The following characteristics will help you identify a child support services attorney who is a great fit for your needs:

  1. Experience – You can never go wrong with selecting a lawyer who has years of experience and knowledge in the respective field. This is because they will be able to provide you with a number of insights and options that the average person would not consider without years of legal schooling and direct work experience.
  2. Honesty – Working with a child support services lawyer who is honest and has your best interests at heart can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. If you need assistance with child support issues, you must work with an attorney who will provide you with a level of transparency and ensure your rights are protected throughout this assignment.
  3. Communication – A child support services attorney who is knowledgeable and proficient in communication can make all of the difference for your case. If you are unsure about anything regarding your case, a good attorney will take the time to explain everything in a manner you can understand without missing any important details.
  4. Accessibility – Your child support services attorney should be easily accessible when you need them. This is not only during normal work hours but also after-hours and weekends if necessary. If you are unable to reach them directly, you should be able to contact an office manager, legal assistant, or anyone else involved with your case,which will help provide you with information as quickly as possible.
  5. Cost-Efficiency – You should never have to break the bank for legal services, and your attorney should not charge you an arm and a leg to handle your case. If the attorney is charging you an unreasonable cost for services, then it may be time to look for someone else who can provide you with a better price.
  6. Empathy – While your child support services attorney must be firm and assertive to provide you with the best possible legal representation, they should also be empathetic enough to understand your perspective and feelings. If you’re stressed, scared, or overwhelmed with the current situation, your attorney should be able to comfort and reassure you to better ensure the outcome of your case is positive.

Protecting Your Rights & Children's Best Interests

If you are facing child support issues, it is important to work with an attorney who can advise you of your rights and ensure you and your children’s best interests are looked after every step of the way. To learn more about how an attorney can assist you with child support services and navigating DCSS issues in Carlsbad, contact the family law office of Paula D. Kleinman today. Paula D. Kleinman is a child support services attorney you can trust to handle your case from start to finish with the highest quality of service.

Whether you need assistance with establishing a child support agreement or would like to modify an existing arrangement, Paula D. Kleinman can be your go-to legal representative for any issue involving child support. To discuss your case with Paula D. Kleinman today and get the legal help you need, fill out our online contact form today, or give us a call.