Child support is a major bone of contention in Arizona court cases. Unlike Spousal Maintenance, child support is not tax deductible or income. People calculate support differently, sometimes based on misinformation. A divorce with children or custody change means the judge will be required to order support. The state of Arizona provides online child support calculators to help determine the amount of support required by a parent.
Temporary Child Support Orders Can be Modified.
Child Support, like custody, can be resolved on a temporary basis. Your support will be calculated based on a parenting time arrangement. Several factors contribute to child support calculations, like whether you pay for medical insurance. Do you contribute to the extraordinary or extracurricular needs of a child? Your obligation should reflect your financial contributions. Your support obligation will be populated into a “child support worksheet.”
Some conditions that may affect monthly payments:
Arizona Revised Statute §25-320 gives a comprehensive overview of the factors and authority a judge must consider.
- Income of both parents.
- Amount of parenting time awarded to each parent.
- Which parent has the child (children) on their health insurance policies.
Can my child support amount be changed?
You or the other parent may believe the current support order does not meet your child’s needs. To change or modify your obligation, you can request a hearing with the judge. Or you can ask the other parent to agree. You can even use collaborative law to reach agreements, or you can also agree to use mediation.
The judge has the authority to adjust the amount of support up or down. The judge will consider all evidence each party presents. It is so important to have the right evidence to prove your case, if you go to court. One major concern is learning how much income the other parent earns. Income can be very hard to prove even in child support cases. The judge can modify your obligation after a final order is issued only if a “substantial change” of circumstances has occurred since the entry of the existing order. The existing child support order controls your child support obligation, unless the judge issues a new order.
How does child support work?
At a time when you’re vulnerable both financially and emotionally, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced Arizona attorney. At Moshier Law, we’re ready to listen to your concerns and take a fact-based approach to preparing your case. We want to facilitate the best possible outcome for your unique situation. Call us today at (480) 999-0800 or use our contact form to arrange for an initial consultation.
To see the Arizona Child Support Statute, click here.
There are several factors that affect a court’s decision about child custody. Click here for A.R.S. §25-403 for the “best interest factors” a court must consider in awarding custody or legal decision-making in a contested case. Want to know more about sole legal decision-making? Click here to read A.R.S. §25-403.01. Click here for the Arizona Revised Statute on Parenting Plans, A.R.S. §25-403.02.
If one parent is involving dangerous people in a child’s life, this is an enormous concern for the courts. Click here for the Arizona Revised Statute concerning people involved with violent crimes or child abuse. Substance abuse and domestic violence against children can often go hand in hand. Read the statute concerning Domestic Violence and Child Abuse at A.R.S. §25-403.03 here.
What if your court order was issued less than a year ago? A.R.S. §25-411 carves out some exceptions if you need to move to modify your parenting plan.
Child Support is a judgment that falls due and vests each month. “Each vested child support installment is enforceable as a final judgment by operation of law.” See A.R.S. §25-503. It is a risk to stop child support payments without a court order.
What if you have two children and you are not observing the current parenting time arrangement or order? Call a lawyer now! Where there is a court order granting parenting time for more than one child, you cannot retroactively modify your child support obligation. You could incur an unaffordable judgment if you don’t file paperwork to change the order.