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CA Paralegal Services

What is mediation?


In mediation, a neutral and impartial person called a "mediator" helps both sides communicate and try to reach a solution to their dispute that is acceptable to both of them. The mediator does not make any decisions about the dispute. He or she just helps both sides talk through the issues so they can settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves the control of the outcome to the parties in the case.

How the court decides the amount of support:

Child support guidelines

In California, child support is determined using the guidelines established in state law (California Family Code sections 4050 and thereafter). Child support guidelines are based on various factors, including monthly net income of both parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

The court reviews child support agreements to make sure the guidelines are applied correctly and the child support amount is appropriate. In some speci c cases, the court may decide not to use the income guidelines to determine the amount of child support. 

Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

What is child support?

Both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children. The court may order either or both parents to make regular payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses. This payment is called child support. 

income and the percentage of time the child is in each parties’ care. The court may also order additional child support such as medical support, daycare expense, and other add-ons. The court may reduce child support based on certain hardship circumstances (see Family Code section 4050 and thereafter).

If you already have a child support order, the LCSA will enforce that order. If you don’t have a support order, but have an existing family law court le, the LCSA can act on your behalf and request a support order. If no prior court action exists, the LCSA will begin the process with the Summons and Complaint. 

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.

The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:

Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
Sexual assault;
Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.

The physical abuse is not just hitting. Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following you, or keeping you from freely coming and going. It can even include physical abuse of the family pets.

Also, keep in mind that the abuse in domestic violence does not have to be physical. Abuse can be verbal (spoken), emotional, or psychological. You do not have to be physically hit to be abused. Often, abuse takes many forms, and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused.

The court’s role in child support:

In most cases, the Court Commissioner or Family Law Judge has the nal authority for deciding the amount of child support to be paid and who will be responsible for making those payments. The LCSA may ask the court to issue a new support order or modify an existing order to either decrease or increase child support.

The support order may be part of an interim, temporary, permanent, or modi ed court order in a divorce, paternity action, child custody action, or separate child support action. The court sets the amount of child support based on both party’s