Nearly half of all single parents have a written form of child support agreement for their children.
While the subject of child support is rarely an enjoyable topic, it’s necessary for the health and wellness of children in a family.
Arizona child support can be slightly complicated, so let’s review some of the logistics to gain a better understanding of how Arizona operates their child support laws.
Arizona Child Support Overview
If paternity is a question, the court will pay for paternity testing to determine the child’s biological father. However, the determined father must pay the court back for the testing. A test score of over 95% probability concludes that the father is identified in the state of Arizona.
If you are identified as the child’s father, you are required by law to pay child support. You are not required to pay child support if you are not the biological father of the child in question, with certain exceptions to the rule, such as in the case of adoption.
Court-Ordered child support deems all other financial obligations secondary to the custodians of the child. In other words, child support must come first before any other financial necessities.
After paternity and custody has been hashed out, it’s time to move on to iron out the detail of child support.
Child Support Calculations
When calculating how much of each parent’s income should be allocated to supporting their child, first each parent’s adjusted gross income is combined to determine their Combined Adjusted Gross Income.
From there, a series of calculations and adjustments are made based upon the specific circumstances of the family, including adjustments for health care, child care, education expenses, and the special needs of any of the children.
After The Total Child Support Obligation is calculated the amount each parents proportionate share is determined by their percentage of the Combined Adjusted Gross Income, with adjustments made based on costs associated with parenting time.
This is endorsed and established by the Arizona family law, and a full report can be found in the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Sifting through all the jargon can be tedious, so having an experienced family law attorney examine your case is the easiest way to determine the appropriate amount of child support obligations.
Child Support Modifications
If you experience a job loss, increase in income, disability, change to health insurance, or any other modifications to your income, these changes must be documented. Claiming these changes could cause your child support payments to increase or decrease based on the situation.
To make changes, you’ll need to fill out a Request for Modification of Child Support and mail it to Arizona Department of Economic Security. The length of time for changes to be made can take anywhere up to six months.
Some instances may arise in which the court will need to deviate away from the guidelines. However, the court must determine a justifiable reason to stray away from the instructions, yet they will do so on behalf of the child.
Falling Behind on Payments
Finding yourself in a financial strain is stressful enough, especially when you have others to care for. In some cases, if you cannot manage to pay your child support when it is due, Arizona offers a settlement program.
This program works with the parent to ensure that any of their missed payments are paid promptly. Having a settlement keeps your payments current and up-to-date.
In Arizona, a child support agreement is terminated once the child reaches the age of 18 years old, or 19 years of age if they are still a high school student at the age of 18.
Child Support in Arizona: Do You Need Help?
Decoding Arizona child support can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Our team can assist you with our knowledge and strategic insight. Call Reppucci & Roeder at (480) 300-6012 today to see how we can help you.
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