Can my tax refund be garnished for child support in California?

Ok so here's some background info. My child is 10. 6 years out of his life I was incarcerated. I was released 2 Years ago. I became employed for 4 months early last year. My checks where being garnished for 400.00 a month! The child support order mas made while incarcerated and the my childs mother decided to go back to the child support agency and re open my case therefore I was order to pay 400 dollars a month. My child's mother has been getting Cash Aid/ Welfare and FoodStamps throughout my childs whole life. So my payments are going to the welfare I guess. Now I am married and have 4 step children. Haven't adopted them legally but I support them and my wife. I am unemployed but I want to do my taxes. Should I file jointly, seperate or never married? I've only been married for 4 months.

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Amanda Marie Cook

Amanda Marie Cook

Estate Planning Attorney - San Diego, CA
Answered

You can't file single. You have to file married jointly or married separately. Your refund can be intercepted to pay back child support. To the extent that the refund belongs to your wife, if it is taken she may file for injured spouse relief.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can... more
Edmund Lee Montgomery

Edmund Lee Montgomery

Child Support Lawyer - San Bernardino, CA
Answered

There are several issues with your case. First, if there are child support arrears they can take your tax refund to satisfy the arrears. The only way to stop that is to apply the refund to next year’s taxes but that will not stop the State refund from being intercepted.
Second. If you are going on general relief you need to have the support order modified. The order will continue to accrue until it is modified. Just because DCSS is not collecting does not mean it is not accruing.
You need to go by the court facilitator’s office and talk to them about modifying your support order.

Eduardo Guillermo Sanchez

Eduardo Guillermo Sanchez

Business Attorney - City Of Industry, CA
Answered

You must file either married filing jointly or married filing separate. Your tax refund can be garnished for child support payments due.

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