Child support is an amount of money that a court requires a parent, or both parents, to pay each month in order to support a child’s, or children’s living expenses. Below will help answer some questions you might have regarding falling behind on child support, or when child support legally completes.
If you are not able to make your child support payments and you fall behind, you are required to pay interest on the balance due in addition to the amount you owe. A judge is not able to remove this charge, as interest charges are added per the law. Interest charges are added by law, and the judge cannot stop them. Interest rates are as follows: 10 percent per year for child support due on or after January 1, 1983; or 7 percent per year for child support due before January 1, 1983.
Past-Due Child Support
If you owe past-due child support/arrears, your court order/wage assignment/garnishment, will include the full amount of owed monthly child support. This amount over your monthly child support is called a “liquidation amount. It goes to paying off the past-due amount/arrears. This amount goes to paying off your arrears. Even if you are paying this off in installments, interest will still be added to your balance.
Not paying child support means serious consequences. You can be found to be “in contempt of court” if it is discovered you have the means to pay and are not. This can result in jail time.
Ending Child Support
Typically, court-ordered child support will end when a child turns 18 years old, or if he or she graduates from high school. If an 18-year-old child still lives with parents and is a full-time high school student the support will end when he or she turns 19 or graduates – whichever comes first. Child support also terminates once a child: Marries or registers a domestic partnership, joins the military, is emancipated, or passes away. If both parents agree, they can decide to no longer support a child.
Source: California Courts, Child Support, 2014
33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202
Pasadena, Ca. 91106