If you are a parent going through a divorce in California, it is quite likely that you will have to work out a child support payment plan. The final terms will have to be approved by a judge, which requires you to appear at a hearing. As you can imagine, you want to make sure that when the big day arrives, the process goes as smoothly as possible.
So what can you expect when you go to court for your hearing? Well, first you will need to check-in, at which time the receptionist can answer any general questions you may have. After you check-in, you will be interviewed. The interview will want the following from you:
- Receipts and verification of childcare services.
- Your three most recent pay stubs.
- Details of visitation, including durations, times and dates.
- A completed form declaring your expenses and income.
- If you are self-employed, provide your latest federal tax return.
You and your child’s other parent will meet individually with the interviewer who will review your case and verify your information. At this point, you and the other parent can meet jointly with the reviewer, and if all is in order, you will be given a chance to agree to child support terms before the hearing. If you are able to reach an agreement, you both will sign a stipulation attesting to that fact. And if you can’t reach an agreement, then you are off to your hearing in the assigned courtroom.
The child support hearing process is a straightforward affair, but it is critical that you be well prepared before you walk into the courthouse. And you can benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced Orange County family law attorney. The attorney can act as your representative throughout the process and even represent your interests if the final terms must be decided in the courtroom.