Scottsdale Family Law Lawyers
Need Child Support? Paying Too Much? Find Out How Our Attorneys Can Help
Arizona law requires custodial and non-custodial parents to provide reasonable support for their minor children. Child support affects all divorced or unmarried parents of minor children. The basic premise of determining a child support obligation is to determine what portion of each parent’s income would have been spent for the benefit of the child if the parents were living together.
Each case is different and will have unique legal issues to assess and address. Our law firm handles all types of child support issues, from the relatively simple typical case, to cases involving self-employed people, under-employed people, and more. No matter what the details of your specific situation may be, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a confidential, no-pressure consultation.
Contact us today and schedule your, low cost, no pressure consultation with an experienced attorney.
Child Support in Arizona
The Arizona Supreme Court has adopted a set of guidelines, which provide a formula for calculating the amount of monthly support owed by each parent. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines are available online. The purpose of the Arizona Child Support Guidelines is to provide consistent standards of support and ultimately a reasonable financial plan that is consistent with meeting the reasonable needs of the child/children and the parents’ ability to pay.
The amount of child support to be paid on a monthly basis is calculated by considering many factors. The main factors are as follows:
- The gross income of each parent
- Whether either parent has a child/children of other relationships
- Whether either parent is paying child support to a child/children of other relationships
- Whether either parent is paying or receiving spousal maintenance
- The cost to insure the child/children for medical, dental and vision insurance
- The cost of childcare of the minor child/children
- The amount of parenting time each parent exercises on an annual basis
It is important to accurately include each of these factors when calculating child support as failure to do so may result in one parent shouldering a significantly unfair financial obligation.
Once a Court enters a child support order, it generally does not terminate until the child reaches the age of 18, or graduates high school, whichever occurs last. If still in high school at 18, until the child reaches 19. However, the law allows for modification of child support payments upon a showing of changed circumstances that is substantial and continuing. When such changes occur, a parent should not fail to comply with a court ordered child support obligation. One parent must file a Petition with the court in order to obtain an order modifying the existing child support obligation. Without a new court order, the existing child support order remains in place. In most circumstances, the modification, if granted by the court, will only be retroactive to the first day of the month after the Petition was served on the non-filing party.
In Arizona, child support payments are made through the Arizona Child Support Clearinghouse, which records the child support payment made by the payor and then issues a check to the payee. Making child support payments through the Arizona Child Support Clearinghouse ensures that all payments are accounted for and there are no discrepancies between what the payor actually paid and what the payee received. The obligation to pay child support takes priority over all other financial obligations, which is why the failure to pay child support can result in such harsh penalties, including jail time for non-compliance with the child support order.
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8980 E. Raintree Dr., Ste. 110
Scottsdale, AZ 85260