Child Support

A divorce is a legal proceeding wherein one or both spouses are seeking to end their marriage.  As a part of the divorce proceeding, the Court will issue orders pertaining to custody of the parties’ child/children.  The court may also grant temporary orders during the divorce proceedings before a final decree is issued. These orders include the payment of child support and visitation rights / parenting time with the children.

The Arizona Revised Statutes dictate how much child support will be calculated. There are Child Support Guidelines set by the Arizona Supreme Court, which establish a uniform standard used to determining a child support obligation. There is also a child support calculator (available online) that allows a person to plug in certain numbers such as income, health insurance, day care payments, etc. in order to show how much a spouse can expect to pay in child support. Child support cases take into consideration the financial situation of both parties, therefore good documentation is imperative. This documentation may include: tax returns, credit reports, car payments, pension statements, real estate records, credit card balances, and investment statements. The Arizona Child Support Calculator usually provides an accurate assessment of the level of support that will be required, but in some situations deviations from this amount are granted. An attorney can take the time to go through these possible situations with you if you are facing this issue.

Once the divorce is finalized and the court has determined the child support and visitation rules, both parties are legally obligated to follow the court order-and to follow it correctly. In the event a spouse violates a court order granting child support, there are several remedies available to the other spouse including the garnishment of wages, bank account and asset seizure, and in extreme cases, criminal penalties such as imprisonment. Although divorce decrees are final, the court is allowed to revisit issues such as child support and custody in certain cases. If circumstances regarding child support change that would result in an outcome that differs by 15% or more (such as a parent losing a job or getting a substantial raise), the court may revisit the original orders and change the amounts due.

You can see that there are very specific laws regarding divorce and child custody. An attorney can help you understand the differences between terms such as an absent parent, a custodial parent/person, and a non-custodial parent; or what the age of majority is, or the difference between an alleged father and a legal father.  Going through a divorce is hard enough without worrying about understanding all of the laws and your legal rights. It is important that you find a qualified law firm to help you with this process. We believe our lawyers at The Carroll Law Firm are the perfect choice in helping you through this difficult time of important decision making.

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