For a Child Support order to be valid and enforceable, it must have proper jurisdiction over the child support litigated and personal jurisdiction over the people who litigate.

If a pleading has already been filed outside CA, a California child support laws allows to exercise jurisdiction to establish a child support order here when

  • The petition in California is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other state for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by that state;
  • The other person timely challenges the jurisdiction in the other state; and
  • If relevant, California is the home state of the child.

A court may make a child support order in a variety of proceedings, including:

  • Dissolution of marriage, nullity, or legal separation
  • Civil actions to enforce parental support
  • Parentage proceedings
  • Actions to establish support brought by a local child support agency; or
  • Proceedings under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA)

In any proceeding for divorce, legal separation, or support of children, a court may make decision of parentage for children born before the marriage. Fam C §2330.1.

If there is no existing child custody and visitation orders, a parent may obtain such order when he or she is seeking child support. In order for a court to determine the proper support amount under the mandatory guideline   (Fam C §4055, the court  must first determine the percentage of time that the parent with the higher level of income (the “high earner”) has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent.

If the parents came into an agreement or understanding regarding the custody, they must attach a copy of the agreement

Significance of Initial Child Support Order

Temporary child support order, like permanent child support order, is calculated using the guideline and associated factors (see Fam C §4074; and findings that a court makes in temporary support (see Fam C §4056(b)) might be difficult to dispute later. That why it is important to handle an initial child support order application very careful, even if without discovering complete information about the spouses’ income and assets .

A party may apply for temporary child support order by setting up a hearing using a Request for Order.

Expedited Child Support Order

Courts very  rarely issue ex parte orders for child support order, but you can  file an application for an expedited order under  Fam C §3623. The  expedited child support order for automatically becomes effective after 30 days unless if the served party does not file a response.

Sometimes a child support order could be obtained more quickly by applying for a child support  order to show cause together with an ex parte application for an order shortening time (for service of process) to obtain a hearing date that is sooner than  prescribed by statute under  CCP §1005(b), stated  reasons why the client needs support without delay.