Child Support FAQS 2020-05-16T17:35:08+00:00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILD SUPPORT 

EXPERIENCED ARIZONA CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEYS

ANSWER:

Regardless of your relationship with your child’s parent, your child has a right to adequate financial support from parents who are able to provide it. It is a parent’s legal responsibility to financially support their child. Having a child support order ensures that payments will be consistent, timely, and fair, and there will be legal recourse if a parent fails to pay.

ANSWER:

The judge for your case will use state guidelines as a basis for determining your child support payments. Factors they will consider include both parents’ income, both parents’ other children, costs for the child’s healthcare, education, and childcare, and the amount of parenting time each parent has. The judge can use their discretion to deviate from whatever amount they calculate. If you think you have been ordered to pay an unfair amount, you should consult with an attorney to analyze your case.

ANSWER:

Yes, the court will not hesitate to enforce a child support order. Your ex’s past-due child support balance is referred to as “arrearages” and your ex is “in arrears.” Your ex can be charged interest on their arrearages. The court can find a parent in contempt of court for failure to pay child support, which can result in a jail sentence. However, the court will typically use less drastic means before resorting to the threat of jail time.

ANSWER:

Some incentives to pay child support include revoking your driver’s, business, or occupational license while you are in arrears, withholding tax refunds and sending them to the custodial parent, and wage garnishments. A wage garnishment has the additional disadvantage that your employer will be made aware that you haven’t been paying child support. You may even be denied a passport if you are too far behind on their child support.

ANSWER:

The court will likely require the other parent to provide proof of income. Examples include pay stubs, tax returns, and W-2 forms.

ANSWER:

If you lose your job, your best course of action is to immediately petition the court for a child support modification. Since income is one of the factors when determining child support, and the change is likely to be substantial and continuing, the court may reduce or pause your payments until you find new employment. You should do this as soon as possible because you will keep accruing child support debt at your current monthly amount until it is modified, and your arrearages can’t be retroactively modified.

ANSWER:

If the paternity of the child in question is unclear, you can request a paternity test from the court. The judge will choose which parent, if not both, will pay for the test. It should only take a few business days after testing to determine if you are the father.

ANSWER:

Child support is one of the debts that is absolutely not dischargeable in a bankruptcy. However, when you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay of protection goes into effect. The stay freezes your assets so creditors can’t forcibly collect on their debts. If your wages are being garnished for child support, the automatic stay will pause the garnishment for Chapter 7 filers. Garnishment will resume after your case is discharged (about 3-5 months) but you will still be liable for the support payments you missed during your bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to include your back child support in your payment plan. This gives you 3-5 years to catch up on your payments before facing a wage garnishment or the other consequences of failure to pay child support described above.

ANSWER:

The judge will consider a variety of factors while determining what the child’s basic support needs are. One of these is parenting time. The parent with less parenting time typically is the one who pays support, but this isn’t always the case. Time periods of 12 hours or more will count as a full day of parenting time. Time spans of 6-11 hours will be half a day, and 3-5 hours a quarter of a day.

Other factors the court will consider include medical and dental expenses, if one parent pays for the child’s insurance, childcare expenses, the income of both parents, the parents’ other children and if they receive support for them, educational expenses, and extraordinary expenses the child requires. Judges use guidelines to calculate all these factors to streamline the process.

ANSWER:

Once the judge calculates the basic child support amount, they have the option to reduce or increase child support payments. Even if the parents agree to their child support payments, the judge can choose to increase or reduce the amount. The judge has this authority because in the past, one parent might give up all custody rights in exchange for not paying child support. Although one parent would get their desired custody order, the child would often end up with insufficient means for an adequate lifestyle. The judge has an obligation to also look out for the needs of the child. The judge will review each case’s circumstances to decide whether the calculated child support amount should be adjusted.

ANSWER:

Child support payments will continue either until the child has reached the age of eighteen and graduated high school, or if the child doesn’t graduate high school, until his or her nineteenth birthday.

ANSWER:

Child support guidelines only provide calculations for families whose income is up to $20,000 per month. If one parent wants support beyond that amount, they will need to prove to the court why it is needed.

ANSWER:

Child support can be modified as to current and future payments, but not retroactively. If you believe your support payments are too high, you can only have them lowered going forward. To obtain a modification, you must prove that there is a “substantial and continuing change” that requires the support order to be modified. A change is not considered substantial by the courts unless it is a change of at least 15%. You must wait at least one year before modifying child support orders.

Contact Us

My AZ Lawyers

Info@MyAZLawyers.com

Send Us a Message

Best Way To Contact You

PhoneText MessageEmail