As child support attorneys, Santa Rosa-based Thomas Shields and Bailey Penzotti can help. Whether you are the parent who is paying or will be paying support, or you are the parent receiving or in need of child support, Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office, P.C. offers a unique experience.
Not just a lawyer for child support, Santa Rosa attorney Lindsay Torgerson is the firm owner, a parent, divorcee, and adult child of divorce.
In addition, Lindsay worked for the Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services for years prior to establishing her family law firm. Our attorneys use Lindsay’s insight and experience with Sonoma County “DCSS” to help guide you in your child support matters.
During your initial consultation of up to one hour, we can discuss how we can help you with:
- Establishing a Child Support Order
- Modifying a Child Support Order
- Child Support Wage Assignments
- Child Support Liens
- Contempt of Court for Failure to Pay Child Support (filing for you or defending for you)
- Child Support Order Evaluation (running calculations to estimate support)
- Family Support Orders
Need a Lawyer for Child Support? Our Santa Rosa Attorneys Can Help.
Our office offers flexible Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, and Windsor child support lawyer services such as:
- Full-Service Representation
- Limited Scope Representation (services limited to a specific task such as making a Court appearance on your behalf)
- Legal Consulting – Coaching (such as when you are self-represented or using “DCSS” but need legal advice and guidance in preparing for your hearing)
Please check out our client reviews to see for yourself what our clients have to say about us. It’s our commitment to providing high-quality legal services in a friendly manner that sets us apart from the pack!
Call our Santa Rosa Child Support Lawyer today at 707-669-0841 or CLICK HERE to request your initial consultation of up to one hour.
Child Support Legal Services in Santa Rosa, California
Child support is one of the most crucial elements in a divorce case – and often, the most emotionally charged. Children deserve to have their best interest looked out for even if their parents are no longer together – but that doesn’t mean it makes these conversations any easier. We understand that these agreements are incredibly unique for each situation, and we want to work with you to determine what works best for you and your family.
At Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office, we focus on getting fair child support agreements that not only meet our clients’ needs, but also provide for their children. You and your child’s other parent presumably both want what is best for your children—determining child support is just a matter of agreeing upon (or allowing a judge to determine) what is truly best for them.
Ready to discuss your case with our family law attorneys? Call 707-669-0841 to set up a consultation now.
California Child Support Laws
Under California law, the goal of child support is to allow a child to enjoy the same standard of living with both parents. This can be pretty simple when both parents earn roughly the same income – and have roughly the same parenting time. However, when there are massive earning disparities or differences in parenting time, child support is often an issue.
California law utilizes a formula that accounts for each parent’s income, the amount of time they spend parenting, and other factors. For example, if one parent is responsible for payment of extraordinary health care expenses, this may be factored into the equation computing child support. Similarly, if one parent is supporting a child from another relationship, this information may also be factored in.
Sometimes, you may have to make child support decisions more than once during your child’s life. Modifications to child support orders are a very commonly sought legal service due to the substantial likelihood of changes in financial positions over a long period of time. Unlike spousal support, child support calculations are the same regardless of what point in the proceeding that they occur, so there is likely not an opportunity for preliminary child support to be changed during the proceeding.
Child Support and Paternity
Child support decisions also often arise when paternity is in question. When a mother wants to seek child support, the first step is proving who the father of the child may be. In California, a child born to a married woman is assumed to be the husband’s child so long as the husband is not knowingly impotent or sterile. If there is any question of the child’s paternity, the court can order a DNA test.
If you’re planning on contesting or establishing paternity, we are here to help. This process can be challenging, especially if you’re just now learning that you might be a father or that a child you presumed to be yours is not biologically related to you. Having an attorney who can remain objective and advocate for your best interests allows you to limit your involvement in the legal process, if that’s what you want, and protect your own mental health.
After paternity is established, the next step is setting up child support and custody. Working with an attorney early in the process allows you to gather the necessary documentation to fight for a fair child support order.
Modifying Child Support
A child support order you negotiated five years ago may no longer meet the needs of you or your children. Perhaps you’re receiving child support, but your co-parent has had a significant increase in income. Maybe you pay child support and you have lost your job. Your children’s activities and expenses may have changed substantially. If you have experienced a change in your circumstances that affects your ability to pay or be paid child support, it is likely that you qualify under California law to request a child support modification.
Our team has handled numerous child support modifications, including those with unusual circumstances. Child support negotiations can be challenging if either parent’s income changes significantly throughout the year, if either parent is self-employed, or if one parent is accused of being paid under the table or works in a “cash only” trade. We know what we’re likely to face when we go to court for a child support modification, and we’re ready to help you get through this process with minimal stress.
How Our Attorneys Can Help with Your Child Support Claim
Choosing the right attorney for your child support case is key. Not only do you want to ensure that your children have what they need to thrive, but you also want to ensure that you are not taken advantage of during the process. We know exactly what to look for to ensure that nothing is being kept from us. We understand that you are worried about your financial future, and we will work hard on your behalf to get a fair child support order.
If you earn substantially less than your co-parent or you have primary custody, you may be concerned about being able to keep your children fed, clothed, and entertained. We know that both parents have an obligation to their children, and we won’t stop until we get a fair agreement that allows you to meet your children’s needs.
Our team has worked on everything from child support cases that follow California standard calculations down to the penny, to cases that have substantial adjustments to accommodate parents who work seasonally, have irregular income, or receive substantial bonuses and/or “perks.” We have also taken on cases where the other parent is hostile or contentious, refusing to supply income documentation or cooperate with court orders. No matter what circumstances you are facing as you prepare for a child support case, we are here to teach you about your options, keep you informed throughout the process, and help you make the best choices for you and your family.
Whether you are filing for child support as a standalone issue or it’s part of a much larger divorce or paternity case, our team at Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office can help. Our goal is to help every client feel informed, empowered, and involved to the extent they want throughout their family law case. While we handle communication with your ex-partner or their attorney, you can minimize your direct contact with them and focus on what is best for your children.
Reach Out Today to Discuss Your Family Law Needs
If you have any questions about child support, turn to the team at Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office. From exploring your options to navigating negotiations and getting a legal child support agreement, we will be with you every step of the way. To schedule a consultation and discuss your case in greater detail, contact us today.