Child support can become a contentious issue in any divorce case in Arizona because it involves two things that are hugely important to everyone: their kids and their money. Child custody and support are oftentimes intertwined as problematic issues before the court, which is why it is important to understand the factors that will come into play when these problems need to be decided by a judge.
When couples in Arizona are going through a divorce, child support can be one of the issues that causes the most concern. The reason is clear: child support can be a significant financial obligation for the non-custodial parent, and it can be a significant source of funds for the parent whom the child will be living with.
While most people in Arizona will only ever have limited exposure to our state's court system, one of the most common types of legal proceedings for people to be involved in is a divorce. Marriage and divorce trends change over time, but the common refrain is that about half of all marriages end in divorce. What many people may not realize is that divorces can be complicated legal cases, with several different - and important - issues to address before the case is resolved. In divorce cases involving children, child support can be a particularly thorny issue.
Like many other states, Arizona has a set of Child Support Guidelines which Arizona courts will use to calculate how much child support one parent will pay to the other. Although the amount called for under the guidelines will almost always apply to the parent without custody, in certain case, a parent with custody may also wind up paying child support.
A previous post on this blog discussed what all counts as income when it comes to figuring out how much child support an Arizona mother or father is going to have to pay. How much income each parent makes is often a difficult question to answer since, in many cases, figuring out how much income a person makes is more than just looking at a person's paycheck. For example, many Tempe residents do not earn the same income week after week but instead work jobs in which income varies.
Like other states, Arizona relies heavily on each parent's income when it comes to calculating how much child support a parent will have to pay. What Tempe residents might not realize, however, is just how broad the definition of "income" is in the context child support. The definition is so broad, in fact, that a person may wind up having income counted for child support purposes even though it would not have to appear on a person's tax returns.
Many residents of Tempe, Arizona and the greater Phoenix metro area may have the notion that if the only family law issue they are dealing with is child support, then they really do not need an attorney's help. Child support calculations are pretty streamlined these days, and there are many resources available through the state when it comes to enforcement.
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.
It is an unfortunate reality that some parents do not make their child support payments in full, on time or both, in Arizona. In certain cases, the supporting parent does not make any payments at all. Since delinquent payments of child support is a violation of the support agreement, the parent is likely to face a penalty. These punishments can be long lasting and difficult. Trying to find a way out of this situation can be complicated. Fortunately, there is the Settlement Program through the Arizona Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
Arizona parents who are ordered to pay child support are obligated to make their payments on time and in full. This is not a method of punishing the parent, but it is to ensure that the child is cared for. There are, however, methods of punishment that are used when the supporting parent is guilty of being delinquent in payments.