Divorce is a complicated and confusing place to find oneself. Once a child is involved, the confusion and complication become magnified, and no longer is the court solely interested in finding an amicable solution that meets the needs of the spouses. Instead, the court becomes predominantly concerned with what is in the best interest of the child. In most divorce situations involving children, child support is an issue. It is the court’s responsibility to ensure that the child who is supposed to receive this financial support does in fact receive it.
In any type of legal action, there is always a chance that the person who ordered by a judge to do something will choose not to do it. This is no different in the case of child support. As much as we may like to believe that parents will act in the best interest of their children, that is not always the case. Because of this fact of human nature, California courts have the ability, upon a showing of good cause, to order that the parent who is required to pay child support post a security with the court. Cal. Fam. Code § 4012.
The amount of the security that can be required by the court is capped at the total support payment that the parent would pay over the next year, or an earlier time if the child support is scheduled to end in less than one year. These funds are held in an interest-bearing account and are available to the child if the parent who is required to pay fails to do so. Cal. Fam. Code § 4560.
Should the court-mandated child support not be paid, funds can be released from the account when payment is 10 days late, and the court will then require that the parent who is required to maintain the security account replace those funds. Cal. Fam. Code § 4570 et seq.
Once a court is involved in maintaining the best interest of a child, it will exercise the full extent of its ability to ensure that children are properly cared for and that the parents truly share the responsibility of having children. These requirements are designed to look after the best interest of the child, but they are not designed to be punitive in nature. For that reason, if a parent can prove undue financial hardship, the obligated parent may sometimes reduce the amount of money placed into the security fund. Cal. Fam. Code § 4565 et seq.
Divorce can be a messy place to find yourself, but you can rely on the California court system to do its best to ensure that the innocent bystanders – the children – continue to have the support they deserve from both parents.If you want to learn more about the legal requirements for child support security and how they apply in your case, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We can help. Call us today to make an appointment: (415) 293-8314.