Factors that Determine Child Support, Defined
Gross Monthly Income- This is the first factor that will be examined when determining child support. Many types of income can be included in gross monthly income, including social security income, commissions, alimony, worker’s compensation, disability and unemployment compensation, rental income, bonuses, lottery and gambling winnings, and pensions. These will all be combined to find the total gross monthly income.
Monthly Income Disparity- This is the difference between the two parents’ gross monthly income. The parent who has more gross monthly income will likely pay more support, unless the parent with less gross monthly income has no custody.
Current Spousal Maintenance received or paid by either parent- This is also referred to as alimony, and is counted towards gross monthly income. It is usually awarded to a spouse who mainly worked in the home during the marriage, or supported the other spouse during the education and training of a lucrative career. Spousal maintenance can only be awarded to a former partner that was officially married.
Child Support paid by one parent for support of children not common to the other parent- If the parent has children with a different parent, those children can’t be excluded when determining child support. They must still be provided for. However, that doesn’t mean one parent will have to pay child support for a child that isn’t theirs.
Amount of the medical insurance premium for the children- If one parent pays for the child or children’s health insurance, that will be factored into determining child support.
Child care expenses- If one parent is fully responsible for an expense, such as daycare, this will be factored into child support calculations.
Parenting time schedule- This term has replaced custody arrangements in some jurisdictions. Parents can come up with their own parenting time schedule without court intervention if it is in the best interest of the child. Some parents may do one week on, one week off, or weekdays with one parent and weekends with another. Parents also usually decide which parent gets time with the children during school breaks like winter and spring break. Parents will usually have parenting time with their children on Mothers’/Fathers’ Day and their own birthdays.
How Marriage Impacts Child Support Payments in Arizona
Getting remarried can affect how much child support you have to pay. Plus, if your new spouse doesn’t work, possibly has other children, and you have to financially support them, it may reduce the amount you have to pay. However, if your spouse is financially comfortable, (possibly with a home and vehicles) so you don’t have to pay those expenses anymore, you could end up paying more. Either way, contacting our lawyers will help.
Child support can only be modified, at most, once per year. Therefore, you must be able to show a substantial and continued change in circumstances for a modification to be approved.
Also, substantial and continued change isn’t required if you request a modification 3 years or more since the last modification. There are three ways to modify child support. The easiest is modification by agreement, which is, as the name suggests, when both parents agree to the change in support. The modification will simply be filed with the court.
Additionally, there is also a standard modification. Either a parent or a governmental agency will request a hearing to determine if the child support currently being paid is appropriate. The parents will receive an Order to Appear at the hearing and attend a one hour conference to try to work out the amount of support to be paid.
Reaching an Agreement through a Hearing
Plus, the hearing will be held if they are unable to reach an agreement. Whereas the last method of modifying child support in Arizona is modification by simplified process. This happens more often than you may imagine. Therefore, if there has been a change of at least 15% in gross monthly income for either parent, this process can be used. Thus, one parent will file a Petition to Modify to Request a Hearing. The other parent will have 20-30 days to respond to the petition. Dependent on where they live. Additionally, the hearing will be held and the judge will determine whether a support modification is appropriate. Our AZ family attorneys will be a great asset if you are facing a hearing. Don’t delay. Call our Family law team now.
When Modifying Child Support in Arizona, Seek the assistance of an experienced AZ Family Lawyer
Even when using the simplified process, child support modification is a complicated process. If you are going through it alone, you risk either paying or being paid an unfair amount based on your circumstances. It is not only your financial well-being, but your child or children’s on the line as well. For that reason, you should at least consult with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court. Our office offers free family law consultations so you can get a better idea of what to expect. If you do choose to retain us, we offer low down payments and monthly payment plans. Call to schedule your free consultation today.
Contact Our Arizona Domestic and Family Law Attorneys
If you need help with any family or domestic law matter, please contact My Arizona Lawyers. Our AZ Family Attorneys are committed to asserting your interests and helping you start a new life. We offer free consultations and are reasonably priced legal representation. Family issues are some of the most highly contested issues. Passions run deep and often having an experienced voice in a family lawyer is often the better choice.
We serve clients in Pima County, Pinal County, and Maricopa County. Please call us today, or you may also contact us using the form below. With offices in Phoenix, Mesa, Tucson, Glendale, and Avondale, we also serve the Arizona communities of: Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Peoria. Also, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Casa Grande, and Queen Creek. Plus, Fountain Hills, Buckeye, San Tan, and Apache Junction. Additionally including, Sun City, Surprise, Goodyear, and surrounding communities. Not to mention, the counties of Maricopa. Pima. Pinal.