AZ Child Support
One of the most difficult tasks for a family law attorney is overcoming all the myths and misconceptions surrounding divorce and AZ Child Support. Clients will hear stories from friends and family member’s divorces, not realizing they’re rarely getting the full story including all extenuating circumstances of the other situation – after all, emotionally charged events are rarely recalled perfectly. If you base your case on hearsay, you could end up having to do even more paperwork or even having to involve an attorney when you would rather self-represent.
Thus, our local Maricopa family law attorney Billie Tarascio has compiled a list of misconceptions about child support laws in Arizona. Read these to start your case off with accurate information so you can pursue the best outcome for you and your family. Get the calculator here.
Remarriage and Child Support Modification
This might be hard to swallow, but just because your ex marries someone with a considerably higher income doesn’t mean your child support expenses will decrease. The new spouse and his or her income has zero relevance to you and your ex’s child support agreement.
Equal Parenting Time
Many believe that if each parent is spending an equal amount of time parenting, then child support is voided. False. Parenting time is taken into account, but is not the only influence. Things like income, insurance, child costs, and other things are all considered when calculating child support.
So you lost your job, but you already entered your child support. There are rules about waiting one year before you can modify some legal decisions, like parenting time, but child support is not one of them. You can ask the court for a modification at any time if you encounter a problem that would change your child support obligation by 15% or more.
Going to Prison
Prison, alone, does not excuse your child support duty. Because of this common misconception, there are many individuals released from prison with thousands of dollars of debt to child support. The only way to receive a suspension or reduction on your payments is to file for a modification with the court.
Written Agreements vs. Filing with the Court
When it comes to legal matters, filing the correct documents is vital. Child support can be a roller coaster of changes, but just submitting a written agreement between you and your spouse runs the risk of being ignored by the court. Parents must fill out a stipulation form and file that with the court. The costs of filing this form now may seem high, but in reality are minimal compared to the charges that will come up later if filing is done incorrectly.
Child Support Calculator
The child support calculator is only a reference when deciding costs. There are several circumstances that can deviate you away from the suggested amount. The child support calculator does not take into consideration things like your child’s trust account or their therapy needs; therefore the court can modify expenses according to these conditions.
A Fair Amount
The judge does not have to accept any proposed child support amount, even if you and your ex agreed it was fair. The judge will decide what is best for both parties and will also take the child into consideration.
Some parents may receive state assistance, like food stamps. These cases are referred to as IV-D, which means not only are both parents a party in the case, but the state is as well. To avoid conflict, the dependent parent must include the state as a party and serve them with a copy of everything so reimbursement to the other parent can occur.