Child support is a legal obligation of financial contributions by one parent or both parents. It is typically owed from the parent exercising less parenting time to the parent exercising the majority of parenting time. If parenting time is split between the two, a smaller sum is usually awarded to whomever earns less income. The funds are provided for the care and raising of the child including: food, clothing, housing, and any special needs.
The Arizona Child Support Guidelines consider many factors to determine the amount of child support that should be awarded. These guidelines have been put in place in order to ensure that a child’s needs are met, support orders are consistent among similar situations, and to help the courts determine a fair and reasonable plan for each case. According to A.R.S. §25-320 (D), the monetary amount of child support and the length of time it is given is calculated based upon, but is not limited to the following:
- Financial resources and needs of the child, custodial parent, and non-custodial parent.
- A standard of living the child if the home had remained intact.
- The physical and emotional condition of the child.
- Educational or childcare expenses paid by either parent.
- Medical needs of the child, including healthcare plan, premiums, or cash support.
- Length and related expenses of parenting time.
- Any disabilities the child may have.
- Spousal maintenance paid or received by either parent.
Depending upon your unique situation, child support payments are either given directly to the other party, or processed through a child support clearinghouse. If child support payments are enforced by the Department of Economic Security’s (DES) Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), you will be required to use a child support clearinghouse in order for your payments to be credited to your account. Each child support order is assigned a termination date by the court. The presumptive date is the last day of the month of the child’s eighteenth birthday but may be pushed back to the last day of the month of their high school graduation or nineteenth birthday depending upon which of the two comes first.
Child support orders may be altered if there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. The alterations may be ordered by the court or approved by the judge based on the agreement of the two parties.
If you need assistance with any Arizona Child Support issues, contact the experienced child support and family law attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele Law Firm. Call for a consultation (520) 339-6804 or email [email protected]