May 12, 2014 By Paul Wallin
Paying child support is not always necessary.
In some situations, paying child support is not always mandatory.

Vladixa Boswell and her two children moved away from California. She changed the children’s names and did not ever notify the father of their new address. For 15 years, John Boswell did not see his children, and for that reason stopped paying child support.

15 years later, the mother wanted to enforce the child support order. She demanded the full $92, 734.94 that accumulated over that time. The trial court declined to enforce the child support judgment for several reasons:

  • The purpose of family law court is to achieve equity and fairness;
  • There was sufficient proof that the mother concealed the identity of her children; and
  • The mother was “unjust” in removing the father from the children’s lives.

The mother appealed the trial’s court decision. She felt that the trial court did not take into consideration her reasons for the father’s absence from the children’s lives. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision, saying they made a fair decision. The mother also waited too long to enforce the child support order.

Child Support Responsibilities (California Family Law Code Sections 4050-4076)

The purpose of child support payments is to help divorcing spouses provide for their children in a fair and equitable way. These payments will typically last until the child has turned 18 and finished high school.

The Department of Child Support Services enforces child support issues by:

  • Opening a child support case;
  • Locating parents who are obligated to make child support payments;
  • Collecting on support orders; and
  • Assisting with out-of-state child support orders.

    Stay up to date on child support laws in California.
    It is important to be up to date on all of the child support laws in California.

If you are overdue on a child support payment, you are deemed to have child support “arrears.” This is the legal term for debt for a payment. The consequences of this include:

  • Having your wages intercepted by the government to fulfill the payment(s);
  • A possible misdemeanor charge;
  • A revocation of your driver’s license; and
  • An increase in payments as a penalty for willfully failing to pay in the past.

Not paying child support  is obviously a very serious situation that you want to avoid. However, the decision in the Boswell case shows that you may not face these consequences. If the other spouse moved your children away, and willfully failed to notify you of their new address, you may not be required to continue making payments. The family court is designed to reach the fairest outcome for both spouses and the children, but this does not always happen. A knowledgeable attorney will help you achieve this.

Call the Family Law Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

We understand that these tough economic times may make it challenging to meet child support requirements. However, you cannot simply stop paying a court order unless you receive notice that you no longer have to pay. If you are involved in any divorce, child support, or other family law case you should speak with an experienced attorney immediately. The skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been skillfully handling family law cases for over 30 years. We can help you get the best possible legal outcome in your case.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our attorneys are always available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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