Divorce is an emotionally fraught time for most spouses, often leading to divorce disputes. No two aspects of divorce are as hotly contentious as child custody and child support. Arizona family courts make all decisions in the best interests of the child, including deciding child support according to the state’s guidelines. Arizona’s guidelines for child support aim to ensure that children don’t suffer a sudden change in their accustomed lifestyle due to their parent’s divorce. They also ensure that all parents fulfill their obligation to financially support their children, even when unmarried.
Whether you’re a divorcing parent, you’ve received a court order for child support, or you’re a single parent seeking child support from your child’s other parent, a child support attorney in Anthem can help. Call the Anthem child support lawyers at Stewart Law Group today so we can help determine your rights and obligations in your unique case.
Why Choose Us for Your Child Support Attorneys in Anthem?
The Arizona child support lawyers at Stewart Law Group have over 100 years of combined experience in Arizona family law, including child support determination. With an intentionally small caseload, we provide each client with the attention and dedicated advocacy they deserve for the most important legal decisions to impact their lives. We’ll provide the following advantages to your child support case in Anthem:
- A team-spirited approach to legal strategizing to pull from our team’s ten decades of combined legal knowledge and experience
- A results-oriented attorney to provide experienced legal representation and counsel throughout every stage of the process
- Individualized representation from an attorney who understands that each unique case requires a personalized approach
- Representation by a team of dedicated family advocates with a strong local reputation in Anthem
From the first filings to in-court representation and the final orders, your child support lawyer in Anthem puts a plan of action in place to maximize your chances of the resolution or outcome you seek in your case.
Arizona’s Child Support Laws
In its most basic form, child support in Anthem and throughout Arizona provides support to the parent with the greater share of parenting time from the parent with the lesser share of parenting time with the understanding that each parent pays for the bulk of their children’s daily expenses while they have them in their custody. The total support amount helps approximate the amount the parents would spend on their children had they remained together.
In Arizona, the following important factors contribute to the state’s child support laws:
- Both parents’ gross incomes
- The amount of parenting time each parent has with the children in their custody
- The children’s expenses
- Any special medical or educational needs of the children
- The number of children in the home
- The financial resources and requirements of each parent
- The children’s accustomed standard of living
- The medical support plan for the children, including health insurance and deductibles
Your Anthem child support lawyer will help you determine the amount of child support you are likely to pay or receive depending on the facts of your case.
How is Anthem Child Support Calculated?
The state uses a guideline and formula to determine the appropriate amount of child support paid from one parent to the other based on the above factors. In most cases, the higher-earning parent pays the lower-earner, or if both parents earn approximately equal amounts, the parent with fewer custody days pays the parent with the majority of child custody days in the schedule determined either in a settlement agreement or by a judge.
Steps for Navigating Child Support in Anthem, Arizona
Your attorney from Stewart Law Group will help you navigate the child support order process in Arizona, but it helps to know what to expect. Typically the steps you’ll need to take are as follows:
- Gather all relevant documents including proof of your income such as tax forms and income statements as well as proof of child-related expenses such as healthcare, education, and childcare.
- Consult with an attorney for legal representation throughout the process
- Attend all scheduled meetings and hearings to remain actively engaged throughout the process
- Maintain availability with both your attorney and your spouse for negotiations to facilitate a fair resolution
- Attend the final hearing and receive the child support orders
Your attorney will guide you through the process so you avoid common pitfalls and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your case.
Penalties for Not Paying Child Support in Arizona
Arizona has strict laws for child support paying parents. It’s a felony crime to fail to pay child support. This crime is punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison and a $1,000 fine. Before jailing a parent, the court attempts enforcement measures such as garnishing wages, placing liens on real property and assets, and intercepting tax refunds, lottery winnings, or unemployment benefits. The state may also revoke commercial and recreational licenses from those in arrears and report the delinquent payments to credit reporting agencies.
Typically, the state tries other enforcement measures before fining and jailing delinquent parents since this makes it more difficult for the parent to earn income to make payments.
Can you Modify Arizona Child Support Payments?
Arizona courts understand that circumstances sometimes change. Either a paying parent or a receiving parent may seek a modification of their existing child support orders when there’s been a significant ongoing change in circumstances such as any of the following:
- Loss of employment
- A change in the child custody/parenting time schedule
- Parental disability or illness
- A change in health insurance
- A change in a child’s medical needs
- The addition of another child in the paying parent’s household
- Parental incarceration
When a significant long-term change in circumstances occurs, a parent may seek a modification of their existing child support orders. A child support lawyer in Anthem can help ensure a smooth request process and the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Call the Anthem Child Support Lawyers at Stewart Law Group Today
If you’re facing a divorce, seeking child support from your child’s other biological parent, or need a modification of existing child support orders in Arizona, the Anthem family law attorneys at Stewart Law Group are ready to put their years of experience in Arizona family law behind your case. Call our contact our Anthem law office today so we can begin a strategy for your case.