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Child Support Laws In Arizona

Child support is a crucial component for ensuring that children’s basic needs are met. The state of Arizona employs a formula, which is contained in state guidelines, to calculate what amount of support is appropriate given a particular set of circumstances.Various factors are added into the formula, including:

  • Gross monthly income of each party
  • Number of parenting time days
  • Health care costs
  • Day care or before and after school costs

Spending more days with your child reduces the amount of child support you are obligated to provide.

When those who are obliged to pay child support fail to meet that obligation, the family court judge can take various forms of action.

Accountability Court

In Arizona, we also have Accountability Court to deal with those who habitually fail to meet their child support obligations. Various requirements may be imposed by the Accountability Court, including having to appear on a weekly basis and report to the court on such matters as how many jobs you have applied for in a given week. Failure to comply can result in an arrest for contempt of court.

Creative Solutions For Your Individual Needs

At
DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, we understand how important it can be for both parents that child support levels are set correctly. For the parents paying child support, they need to retain sufficient funds to meet their own obligations. For the parents receiving child support, they may meet their needs (and the child’s) without the appropriate amount of child support. Our 30 years of combined experience allows us to provide our clients with exceptional representation on child support issues.

When Do Child Support Obligations End?

Many people assume that a parent’s child support obligations end when the child turns 18. In Arizona, that may not be true.At DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, in Phoenix, our lawyers understand how important it can be to both parents to set child support payments correctly and to continue those payments for the required amount of time. Our in-depth understanding of Arizona child support laws allows us to give you accurate advice about your rights and obligations.

How Long Must Child Support Payments Continue?

In Arizona, a parent’s obligation to provide child support ends:

  • When a child turns age 18, if he or she is not in high school
  • When a child graduates from high school or reaches age 19, whichever comes first

However, if a child has special needs, child support obligations can continue indefinitely. In this case, the parents may litigate whether child support payments should continue beyond age 19.

Does My Ex Have To Help Pay Our Child’s College Expenses?

Parents in Arizona are not required to provide financial support to a child in college. However, parents can form an agreement to make provisions for college expenses. Since the family court will lose jurisdiction of your child when he or she turns 19, the agreement may be enforced in civil court.

Child support responsibilities in Arizona

In Arizona, child support guidelines are imposed by Arizona’s statutory law. Under the obligation, a custodial parent of a child may be entitled to specific payments from the noncustodial parent. These payments are intended to assist with child-rearing responsibilities.The idea is that a specific amount of each parent’s income should be put toward supporting the child. The amounts allocated for the
child support obligation are set out in the Schedule of Basic Support Obligations. In general, the amounts are assigned based on the monthly adjusted gross income of the child’s parents. However, health care costs and childcare costs are also factored into the equation.Based on each parent’s adjusted gross income, a portion of the total support requirement is allocated to the parents. Assuming there are natural expenses that evolve from being the custodial parent, typically, the noncustodial parent pays his or her required share to the custodial parent. However, if custody is equally shared between both parents (and they have the same adjusted gross income), neither party would need to pay additional child support. Raising the child for a significant portion of the time would account for such expenses.However, the goal of the support program is to meet the child’s personal and independent needs. This means there are no hard and fast rules. For this reason, the court may depart from traditional guidelines if specific factors are satisfied. Specifically, the court may make adjustments if it finds the following to be true:

  • The guidelines, in practice, are insufficient or unjust in the particular circumstances.
  • The departure does not go against the best interests of the child.

The court may also make a departure from traditional guidelines if the parties are in agreement with a specific deviation.

Altering the child support obligation

Parties are entitled to receive tax return documents from each other every two years, until the payment duty is complete. Changes in a party’s adjusted gross income could trigger a need for an adjustment in one’s child support obligation.

Arizona law allows modifications in child support if upon review of the state’s guidelines, a change of at least 15 percent in the amount owed would occur after recalculation of the required payment. A modification can be made when there is either a significant increase or decrease in a parent’s
income.

Moreover, it important to note that if the noncustodial begins to spend a lot more time with the child, he or she could also pursue a change in the monthly payment obligation.

Ultimately, the obligation to contribute to a child’s needs is very important in Arizona. If you are the parent of a child in the state, you may have specific financial responsibilities to your loved one. On the other hand, you could be entitled to assistance from the child’s other parent. If you would like to learn more about your rights or obligations in your particular child custody case, take the time to speak with a qualified family law attorney in your area.

Contact The Phoenix Child Support Attorneys Of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC

When you face child support issues, choose the right attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. Turn to the Arizona child support attorneys of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC. To schedule an initial consultation, call 602-626-9552, 800-409-0262 or
contact our office online.

Awards & Accolades

DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC and founding attorney DeShon Laraye Pullen received many prestigious honors, including: Small Firm of the Year, Best Law Firms in Arizona, Family Law Litigator of the Year, selection to Arizona Super Lawyers and a Superb, 10.0 Avvo rating.