Common Ways Some Parents Try to Hide from Their Support Obligations

Common Ways Some Parents Try to Hide from Their Child Support Obligations

Child support to ensure the care and well-being of your children is a critical financial obligation. California Family Courts follow uniform guidelines established under state law to calculate a parent’s child support obligation. The court’s child support order is legally binding and avoiding or ignoring it has serious consequences.

Unfortunately, some parents try to avoid this obligation by employing various means to “hide” assets or defraud the system and their children. California Attorney Judy L Burger is a Certified Family Law Specialist who can help you if you suspect a former spouse is trying to hide from their court-appointed support obligations.

Examples of California Child Support Fraud

Providing incorrect information to the family court about your income is child support fraud. For example, a non-custodial parent may try to hide income from various sources and report a lower amount to the court in order to obtain low support payments. Also, a custodial parent may try to hide income to get more money from the other parent.

Here are some common examples of child support fraud:

  1. Underreporting Income: Reporting incorrect income amounts and sources on tax forms and other documents.
  2. Working for Untraceable Cash: Working a job that pays in cash so there is no paper trail to prove the income.
  3. Quitting a Job: Resigning from a job so you have no income to report.
  4. Opening Accounts In a Family Member’s Name: Hiding assets in accounts in someone else’s name so they do not appear in your personal asset list.
  5. Concealing Funds in Cryptocurrencies: Hiding assets in cryptocurrencies to complicate how these assets are tracked or reported.
  6. Transferring Funds to Offshore Accounts: Hiding assets in overseas accounts that are not subject to United States or California reporting obligations.
  7. Shielding Funds Through Shell Companies: Establishing complex legal entities to hide assets and avoid an accurate reporting of your income.

The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger uses sophisticated forensic accounting methods and other investigative techniques to uncover hidden assets and income sources. If you suspect your spouse is employing fraudulent means to escape their child support obligations, contact one of our offices near you to schedule a consultation.

Possible Penalties for Avoiding CA Child Support Obligations

California child support orders are legally enforceable under the law and carry stiff penalties when violated. Those found guilty of ignoring or committing fraud to avoid their support obligations may face several different enforcement actions that can include:

  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Suspension of driver’s license or passport
  • Revocation of professional and occupational licenses
  • Bank and property liens
  • Appropriation of tax refunds
  • Appropriation of lottery winnings
  • Asset seizures
  • Imprisonment (contempt of court is a criminal offense)

The Golden State offers several programs to help if you have legitimate problems meeting your child support obligations. Don’t wait until you get seriously behind in your payments; contact your local child support office immediately to inquire about your options. Attorney Judy Burger can also help you with support modification requests and other legal remedies.

A California Certified Family Law Specialist Can Help You Get What You Deserve

Attempting to hide assets to get higher child support payments from your spouse and hiding assets to prevent paying your fair share are both fraud. CA Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger fights tenaciously for the care and well-being of innocent children and hurting families. She and her team can help you get the support you deserve from offices throughout California. Ms. Burger can also help you if your circumstances have changed and cause problems meeting your child support payments.

Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger in Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Oxnard, San Rafael, or Santa Barbara to schedule a consultation.

FAQs Relating to California Child Support

FAQs Relating to California Child Support

California laws that apply to child support are anything but simple. If you’re facing a divorce and have children, you may have many questions about the mechanics of child support. In this blog, we’ll discuss five of the common questions our office receives about this important topic.

What Are the Most Important Factors in Setting Child Support?

Many considerations come into play in setting child support in California. However, the three most important factors are the parties’ income, the number of children, and the parents’ comparative parenting time with the children (often known as “time-share”).

All of the relevant factors are set out in law. However, the factors have been built into a computer program that performs the calculations for the court. Have you ever heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out”? If so, you understand the importance of making sure the right numbers are provided to the court for input into the program.

What Is Included in Income for Setting Child Support in California?

One of the most complicated factors at issue in setting California child support is the parties’ net disposable income. Almost all types of income are included, such as traditional forms of pay like wages, tips, commissions, overtime, and bonuses, and other forms of earnings, such as interest, dividends, and rental income.

A few amounts are excluded from income, such as CalWORKs payments and supplemental security income (SSI).

In addition, the following items are deducted from gross income, such as these:

  • Income taxes, both federal and state;
  • Mandatory union dues;
  • Mandatory retirement deductions;
  • Contributions for Federal Insurance Contributions Act (known as “FICA” on your pay stub);
  • Health insurance and premium deductions for each parent and any children the parent is legally obligated to support;
  • Child and spousal support paid to a different spouse or child;
  • Certain job-related expenses under California Family Code § 4059(f); and
  • Court-allowed amounts for hardship suffered by a party.

Do California Courts Have to Follow the Child Support Guidelines?

Generally speaking, courts follow the child support guidelines. However, a few factors can change the amount of support.

For example, there are some mandatory and discretionary add-ons to child support. These include uninsured health care costs, certain child care costs, private school costs, extracurricular activities, and travel expenses.

Can a Parent Be Jailed for Failing to Pay Child Support?

Yes, a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support can be held in contempt of court and even jailed. Criminal contempt of court is a very serious matter that places the payer’s liberty at risk. If found guilty of contempt of court for failing to abide by a court order of child support, both community service and jail time are possible consequences.

Does Interest Accrue When Child Support Is Not Paid on Time?

Interest accrues on any child support amounts that are not paid on time. In California, the applicable annual interest rate is 10 percent per year.

If you are facing a divorce proceeding, especially one that involves child support, you should consult with an experienced California lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are well-versed in difficult divorce proceedings. Call today to see how we can help you: (415) 293-8314.