Child Support Lawyer

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Child Support

The issue of child support can often be the most emotional and contentious part of a family law case. Frequently, what should be a straightforward review of income and expenses turns into a fight over who should have more time with the children, regardless of what might be best for them.

When you have a child support lawyer who is experienced with child support issues and who understands the latest information on interpreting how the state’s guidelines might impact your case, you can have peace of mind in knowing nothing is left to the unknown. That means looking at credits for proving medical insurance for your children, childcare expenses necessary for parents to work to attend school, or other work-related expenses paid by a parent. At the Law Offices of Stephen L. Cawelti, we ensure our clients have every aspect of child support analysis reviewed and considered, whether for settlement or in court.


Even after child support has been ordered, that’s not always the end of the story. Enforcing support, including figuring out past due child support and how to collect it, is a critical part of our knowledge base. Sometimes parents go years without trying to get past due support from the other parent. It’s a hassle, it’s confusing, and many people don’t want to “bring it all back up again” after their case is over. Key to remember is that child support is for your child, not you. You have many tools available to get the past due support that is due, often with penalties and interest. Once recovered, that money can be used for future college expenses or other educational needs. Or whatever your child requires. Speak to an experienced child support attorney to see how child support enforcement can help your children.

Child support modifications can also be an issue. Unlike some spousal support issues, child support is generally flexible depending on the income available to each parent. That means that when things legitimately aren’t so good for an earning parent, child support can be lowered. Likewise, as a parent’s financial picture improves, a portion of that good fortune should help the children. That goes both ways; it’s important to know what is fair when it comes to upward and downward modifications of child support. Don’t get taken advantage of! Know your children’s rights.

Spousal Support

When there is a difference between the incomes of the parties, the court can order spousal support (sometimes called alimony).  The amount the court is likely to order depends on a number of factors, including the parties’ respective incomes from employment, if any; investments and dividends; rental property; gambling income/losses; and profits from owning a business or joint venture.  Unless both parties are standard W-2 earners (and sometimes even if they are), calculating the “correct” amount of spousal support can be very complicated.

The length of time of a spousal support order is also largely up to the discretion of the court.  As a result of both the amount and duration factors, it can likewise be very difficult to come to an agreement about spousal support outside of court.  That’s when an experienced attorney provides the best value to clients.  Knowing “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em” is critical, particularly when there are so many things the court can look at in making a spousal support order.  A detailed cost-benefit and risk analysis can pay large dividends, whether the parties have limited or virtually limitless resources.

At the Law Offices of Stephen L. Cawelti, we have access to the financial experts that are right for all type of cases.  No one forensic accountant is best for every client.  That’s why we carefully examine the needs of each of our clients individually.  Every case is different, and with the Law Offices of Stephen L. Cawelti, you’ll be assured of a customize strategy for every aspect of your spousal support case.

Support Enforcement

The collection of past due payments for child support and spousal support are unique areas of family law that require special knowledge and handling.

Sometimes it seems easier to focus on the future instead of ruminating on the past when it comes to an ex partner’s failure to pay court-ordered support.  Particularly if you’ve somehow managed to make ends meet, seeking help to enforce your support order might seem like a daunting task.  Maybe you’ve heard “you’ve taken enough from me already” or “it’s always about money with you.”  Don’t feel guilty about enforcing your rights, or your children’s rights!

Too often, people forget that financial support can mean the difference between struggling and security.  If you’re getting by without the full amount of your court-ordered support payments, that usually means you’ve had to use other resources that would have otherwise been available to you.  Plus, depending on your particular situation, you may be entitled to interest and penalties for back support, and even attorney’s fees to reimburse you for your enforcement efforts.  You have options; don’t let the past hold you and your family back.

Whether you’ve been short-paid or you get no payments at all, you should know your rights before you make decisions about your family’s financial future.  Before you make the difficult decision to start a legal fight, educate yourself.  You have control over your destiny; knowledge is power.

Support enforcement doesn’t automatically mean you’re starting World War III; avoiding court is our specialty.  Specifically, Stephen L. Cawelti was able to settle his client’s past due support dispute for almost $1,000,000 without going to court.  He was able to leverage the tools available to support recipients to maximize the pressure to settle.  Whether it’s seizing property or levying financial accounts, the Law Offices of Stephen L. Cawelti can help you plan your strategy for maximum impact.  Of course, “your mileage may vary”, but with our firm’s experience in support enforcement, along with our background in human psychology, we can help you devise the best plan to get you your money.

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Burbank California 91505

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