California Child Support Defined

Here in California, the Family Code says that child “support” refers to a support obligation owing on behalf of a child or an amount owing to a county for reimbursement of public assistance paid on behalf of a child. It also includes past-due support and arrearages; and, for children owed a duty of support, includes “maintenance and education.”

There is the general obligation of both parents to support their minor children “in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances.” Also, a parent’s first and principal obligation is to support his or her minor children according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life. California family law also requires that “both parents are mutually responsible for the support of their children,” and that “all minor children of the parents are owed a statutory duty of support.”

The child support obligation is not tied to the parents’ marital status; nor is it limited to biological offspring. Even same-sex “partners” may be a child’s parents, both of whom thus owe a child support duty. In addition, the child of a wife cohabiting at time of conception with her husband, who is not impotent or sterile, is “conclusively” presumed to be a child of the marriage. However, this presumption is inapplicable where the spouses were not living together as husband and wife at time of conception. And with the “sterility exception,” a husband may dispute this otherwise conclusive presumption at any time by proving he was impotent or sterile at the time of conception. Another exception is the “blood test exception,” where conclusive presumption may also be challenged by requesting blood tests within two years of the child’s birth. Blood tests offered to defeat the presumption must be ordered by the court and performed by court-appointed experts; otherwise, the tests have no legal significance regardless of the results. Further, blood test evidence may be used to overcome the presumption only if the motion for blood tests is filed within two years of the child’s birth.

An experienced Fresno family law attorney can give you more details about how child support obligations can affect you, considering the facts in your situation. In Fresno County, you may want to consult with a Fresno family law lawyer to find out how to go about filing papers properly in the Fresno County Superior Court. To schedule a no obligation consultation, call (559)222-4891.
Categories: Child Support