Californian residents are fortunate to have one of the most comprehensive and inclusive Child Support systems in the nation. In theory this system is supposed to provide certain legal assurances that children will be properly supported and provided for in those situations where the parents do not live in a continuous familial relationship with each other. In practice, there can be all kinds of circumstances that undermine this assurance or that make the payments less fair than they probably should be.

If you’re faced with either situation, you should consult a lawyer. A leading child support attorney, Carlsbad based Fischer & Van Thiel, recommends that you should seek assistance at the earliest opportunity, as delays can be costly, and may harm the favorability of the outcome for you. A qualified lawyer will know what steps need to be taken and will be able to advise you on the full legal situation that you find yourself in.

Calculating the correct amount of Child Support payments is a complicated process. It takes into account how much income is earned by both the custodial and non-custodial parent (including situations where neither parent officially has custody, or where a third party has custody), who is the “primary care-giver”, whether there are any pre-existing child support orders with which either parent has to comply, and various other miscellaneous factors that need to be taken into consideration.

It makes a difference which parent earns the most income, which parent has custody, and how much time the non-custodial parent spends with the child, including whether that is on a regular basis or not. These factors can cause dramatic variations in the amount of support that would be awarded.

It also can make a difference if the parent is considered to be a “bioligical parent” or not. In the legal definition, a biological parent is one who contributed to the DNA of the child. The amount of difference this makes is not always as much as you may think. In such cases where a non-biological parent is assessed for child support, the situation becomes very complicated indeed.

One very important factor that will make a big difference to the assessment is the length of the relationship that exists between the biological parent and the non-biological parent. Then there is the matter of how and when the child was conceived.

For example, if the relationship between the biological and non-biological parents only came into existence after conception, and where the non-biological parent knew both that a child existed (or was going to exist) and that they were not the biological parent of the child, it would be a fact that the person willingly took on the role of a parent of a child they knew was not their biological offspring.

On the other hand, in the conception occurred after a relationship existed, and it was not known to the non-biological parent at that point that they were not a biological parent, this would make the matter very different. So with all these complications, it is easy to see why having a lawyer to help you understand your rights and to help you fight for them is so important.