When a couple ends their marriage, one of the most common issues to come up is child support. Child support is a payment that one parent must pay to the other to help with the financial needs of their children following the end of the relationship. Whether you are receiving or paying child support, it is important to have a Phoenix custody lawyer on your side to protect your interests.
In Arizona, the amount of child support paid is usually based on state guidelines that take into account various factors. These factors can include the income of both parents, number of children, childcare expenses, health insurance and other child related costs, housing cost, and parenting time. The courts may also consider travel expenses for visitation time with the child. It is important to have a qualified and experienced Phoenix child support attorney representing you in these complex cases.
The formula used by each state to calculate child support will vary slightly. However, most states will look at both parents’ monthly income, the number of children shared between the two parties and the amount of overnight visitation each party has with the children. The court will also determine the child’s financial needs which will include the cost of school, medical and dental expenses, as well as housing and food.
If either party experiences a significant change in circumstances, he or she may ask the court to modify the amount of child support payments. For example, if one party has a job loss or a substantial increase in income, he or she may qualify for a modification in child support payments. However, a change in circumstances must be substantial and it must affect both the income of the party seeking the modification as well as that of the other party.
Parents may also be required to pay child support if they have an incapacitated child that cannot live on their own and requires daily care. In this case, the court will order the other parent to provide regular payments until the child is able to live independently or reach the age of majority. Child support may continue after this age for the purpose of a college education or in cases where the child has severe physical or mental disabilities.
If a party is not paying child support, he or she can be held in contempt of court. A court may issue a judgment ordering the party to pay back child support and enforce this order by garnishing wages, suspending driver’s licenses or withholding federal income tax refunds. A Phoenix child support attorney can help facilitate the enforcement of past judgments by aggressively pursuing collection efforts. We have successfully represented a wide variety of clients in these difficult cases, including mothers and fathers. If you have questions about your specific case, please contact us today for a consultation with an experienced child support attorney in Phoenix.