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Can my child's mother file right for child support without even trying to reach an agreement?

Los Angeles, CA |

If I am willing or trying to initiate an agreement can the mother just ignore me and go straight for child support? I had to find out through my employer that she has filed for child support even though I have been buying everything for the child and splitting daycare fees. When I found out about this through my I tried to call her and all I got back was a text message that said "**** you".

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Yes. The child has every right under California law to be supported pursuant to the Guideline regardless of your intent to negotiate a settlement.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


  2. Keep records of what you have paid. Child custody and child support are separate issues. It is better when the parties can agree, but it is not always possible. Good luck.


  3. It's unfortunate that you have to deal with a disrespectful mother. However, she is allowed to go to court and ask for child support even if you are trying to settle the issue. Keep a record of what you have paid for, etc. You should seek legal representation, at least on a limited scope basis to protect your rights.

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  4. When you say you found out through your employer, does that mean that a wage assignment was issued? Is CSSD involved? You may want to contact them and make sure the order is correct, and give her nothing outside the court order until things are settled. If she wants to have that disrespectful attitude, then maybe you need to deal with this through the courts. For further information, click the link below.

    Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.


  5. Let me re-word your question as follows: "What is the benefit of mom filing for child support if we are currently attempting to reach an agreement on support?" By asking the question in this way, we get to the real issue, which is as follows: The reason it is prudent for mom to file a motion for child support--even though the two of you are attempting to "reach agreement" is because there is a good chance that you, too, will NOT reach an agreement. Also, the court will only order support retroactive to the day mom filed her petition for child support. For example, if mom were not to file a motion for support--as you propose--and then after several months of attempting to reach an agreement with you, nothing is resolved, mother has lost all those months of child support. On the other hand, if mother files her motion now and the hearing is not set for a few weeks, you two still have time to negotiate; however, if negotiations go south, the hearing is already set and support will be ordered retroactive to date of filing. Also, the other reason it's important to file a motion for support because you and the mom want to ensure the support is set at "guideline"--a figure that reflects your income, mom's income and the percentage of visitation you each have with the child.

    The fact that that you receive a message that said "**** you" proves my point--negotiations went south! Also, from my experience, when negotiations were fruitful, the amount agreed to was usually too high or too low. It's better for the court to calculate the proper "guideline" amount.

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