Phoenix, AZ – Child support is necessary for a child to receive the financial assistance of both parents, even if physical custody is divided. The family courts make this happen by ordering the parent with less custody time to provide some of their income to the parent with primary custody. However, there are certain rules that must be followed to arrive at the specific amount. Anyone who is about to be ordered to pay child support after a custody hearing or divorce should meet with an attorney to prepare for making payments and learn their exact amount.
How judges get the payment amount
As a general rule, the payment amount must be calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. This helps ensure that the payments are not too large and the parent will actually be able to pay the ordered amount. The goal of the judge will be to try to give the child a similar standard of living to a situation where both parents are raising the child together.
The process starts by looking at the sum of what both parents make. This gives the judge a basic support figure as a starting point. The amount changes from the basic support figure in most cases when the judge also considers the specifics of each parent’s custody time and differences in income between the two parents. The adjusted amount will consider these factors, as well as things such as health insurance and any additional needs that may be specific to the child such as special education or unique medical issues. Because many factors go into this calculation, it is best for the parent to get help from an attorney to get an estimate or a more specific amount.
Consequences for missed payments
A parent who has not made the required support payments can start to have serious problems. The courts will keep track of any unpaid amounts and these late payments will start to accumulate. They also have the authority to issue property liens, seize bank accounts, take away tax refunds and other government benefits, suspend a driver’s license, and prevent the person from getting their passport.
Because these consequences are severe, if the parent thinks that they can no longer afford payments due to something like a job loss or other serious financial changes, they need to get legal assistance to modify the payments as soon as possible.
Assistance from a family attorney in Arizona
Schneider and Onofry is a family law practice that works with local clients in the Phoenix area. They can provide assistance with divorces, child custody and support, alimony payments, and other related issues.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364
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