Tempe parents have no doubt heard of child support and know that it involves one parent making payments to the other. But, what exactly is child support and how does it work? This blog post will provide a brief summary of this issue.
In a divorce or separation, often one of the parents will be awarded physical custody of the child. The other parent is then ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent.
This formalizes the financial role that the noncustodial parent is expected to play in the life of their child. The child possesses the legal right to child support, and the money is meant to support the child's proper care and upbringing.
The dollar amount of child support payments is established by a child support order, issued by a family law court. In Arizona, courts take a number of factors into account when putting together a child support order.
These include the number of children each parent is responsible for supporting, the amount of spousal support paid and received, the before-tax income of each parent, the cost of health insurance and daycare and more. But, courts may deviate from these factors, when there are significant reasons to do so.
Once a child support order has been issued, can it be changed? Yes, if there is a change in circumstances, justifying a change in payments.
For example, if the custodial parent experiences a decrease in income or an increase in living expenses, the payment could be adjusted upward. It could also be adjusted upward if the noncustodial parent experiences an increase in income or a decrease in living expenses. A payment could be adjusted downward, if the situations are reversed.
There is much more to child support. Child support attorneys can be excellent resources for those with questions on child support.