The legal system regarding child support and family law is complicated. Each state, and sometimes county, have specific guidelines that must be followed. This is particularly true if you are paying child support. Well, paying and managing child support in San Francisco county is unique too. Here are three things you need to know:
- You have to start a child support case – It goes without saying, but the only way to make sure that you are paid any child support you are owed is to open up a child support case. Thankfully, this is a fairly simple process, and one you can do right here on the San Francisco Superior Court website. From here, a child support order will be issued to the other parent, provided that they aren’t in the know already. Given that this is California, there is an option to garnish the other parent’s wages. But as we’ve seen, there are issues with this approach – such as not having a reliable record. And during tax season, this can be a major issue. With SupportPay, you are protected when it comes to document and record keeping of payments so that you don’t have to worry if a court order happens. Plus, if you’re receiving child support, then you have a simple way to track when you will be receiving payments.
- It’s a lot harder to modify a child support order than you think – In San Francisco, child support orders tend to follow state guidelines. Which means to alter or amend an existing order, demonstrable changes in wages, living, or custody must be proved to the courts. And not just for a small amount of time – but for a sustained period. And just because an order is modified – that does not mean the need to pay child support ends. In certain cases, back pay can still be owed. Needless to say, once you have child support obligations, you are required to pay.
- There’s a calculator that San Francisco uses to determine child support – Again, each state and even county may differ on how and in what ways the amount of child support is owed by a parent. This calculator here, which is based on California’s Child Support Guidelines, can also be found in our California child support State resources section, which gives you access to more information about managing and paying child support in California. We recommend you go through this content, which will help to answer all the questions we haven’t covered here.