When parents get divorced, two primary concerns must be addressed: child support and child custody. In most cases, one parent has primary custody of the children, while the other enjoys visiting rights and pays child support on a monthly basis by using the Arizona Child Support Calculator. The majority of parents are aware that a variety of reasons influence child support, but few are aware that a parent’s remarriage is a viable cause to change the amount of child support.
Arizona Child Support Basics
The Arizona Child Support Calculator is used which determines who pays child support and how much it costs.
If the children’s financial requirements are still addressed, parents might agree on a different sum which is reviewed by the judge.
When parents cannot agree on an amount, a judge will utilize the formula to determine child support, deviating from the outcome only if it does not fulfil the children’s requirements or if the paying parent cannot afford it.
The child support order mandates that one parent pays the other monthly child support until each kid reaches the age of 18 and graduates from high school. If a kid reaches 19 before graduating, however, funding disappears. A court may prolong the payments if the kid has exceptional or unique requirements.
The parent who has less parenting time usually pays the price since the other parent spends more time caregiving for the kids. Gender isn’t a consideration.
It’s important to remember that child support is a right that children have. Parents cannot refuse to pay child support or relinquish parental rights in order to avoid paying. Even if a parent does not have legal decision-making power or parenting time, he or she must pay child support, and child support does not terminate when a parent marries.
How is Child Support Calculated in Arizona
Arizona law analyses the amount of money that may have been used to maintain the child, if the parents had continued to live together when determining the amount of child support payable to a custodial parent. Child support orders are calculated using this amount, each parent’s gross income, the duration each parent provides care for their child in a given year, and other considerations (such as the cost of childcare, extra education credits, medical insurance, and additional costs of caring for a special needs child).
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Arizona Child Support Guidelines
- Each parent’s earnings, or prospective earnings if they don’t work.
- The number of children.
- Medical, educational, and special needs expenditures for each kid.
- The amount each parent contributes to the insurance coverage of their children.
- Whether one parent pays alimony in Arizona or child support for the children of the other parent.
- The agreement for child custody.
The “Income Shares Model” is used by Arizona courts to assess child support. Judges calculate the total amount that should be spent on the child each month based on the parent’s combined income. In accordance with their individual salaries, the parents are then accountable for a share of that monthly sum. The non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent his or her portion.
Modifying Child Support
Each parent might request a reduction or increase in child support from the court. If you can establish that your situation has improved to the point that a new child support computation will differ by at least 15% from the present payment, you may have a strong case for changing child support. To provide to the court, you should compile all proof you can concerning your and your spouse’s current financial conditions. Then, in your local court clerk’s office, submit a request to alter child support.
You and the other parent of your child will have to go in front of a court and show proof of your current earnings to the other parent. The court can issue a new support order retroactive to the day you submitted your request if you can substantiate your case for a child support adjustment.
Conversely, the other parent of your child may agree that the situation has changed and that child support should be adjusted. If you and your partner can agree on a new child support amount, write it down, sign it, and apply it to the court for approval.
Enforcing child support
The receiving parent can seek enforcement from DCSS or the court if a parent fails to pay required support. Wages can be garnished, tax refunds and stimulus payments intercepted, property liens placed, licenses suspended, and passports confiscated by both entities. Only the court has the authority to impose penalties and sentence people to prison for not paying child support.
Most parents start with DCSS, which, if required, submits the matter to the court. Parents can, however, skip DCSS and go straight to court.
Division of Child Support Services
The Division of Child Support Services is in charge of establishing and enforcing child support orders (DCSS). DCSS opens a case when a parent who receives public assistance files for separation or when an unmarried parent who does not have a child support order applies for government benefits.
Unmarried parents can also use DCSS to get a child support obligation even if they do not obtain or seek public assistance.
Because DCSS does not handle paternity testing, legal decision-making, or parenting time, unmarried parents who require these orders should seek them via the family court system.
New Children and Child Support Orders
Divorced parents are allowed to remarry and have more children, but they cannot use the new family as an excuse to reduce support for their first children. Courts will not penalize prior relationships by reducing child support payments owing to later-born children. Judges do take past child support awards into account when determining child support for children born later by re-calculating through the Arizona Child Support Calculator.
Are Legal Custody and Physical Custody the same thing?
They aren’t the same thing. The following is the distinction between the two: The parent who has been granted legal custody of the kid has the authority to make critical decisions concerning the child’s upbringing, such as religious affiliation, schooling, and healthcare provider. When it comes to the child’s living circumstances, the parent who has been granted physical custody has the right and responsibility to oversee all aspects of the child’s daily care. Arizona cities include Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, and Gilbert.
What is a parenting plan?
When it comes to child custody, Arizona uses a co-parenting strategy. As a result, when the parents apply for shared custody, they must present a documented parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan establishes a clear and consistent custody arrangement. It establishes the access control policies that both parents must follow and on which the kid will grow to rely. The plan is then included in the court’s child custody orders, making it fully applicable by as well as against both parents.
Also read: Grandparents’ rights in Arizona.
Will Either Parent’s Remarriage Affect a Child Support Order?
If either parent’s remarriage results in a significant change in his or her financial circumstances, the court will take it into account while considering whether or not to alter child support. A judge may decide to reduce child support payments if a mother pays child support to a father and the father marries a woman who makes a considerable salary and covers the majority of the household costs. The father may handle more of the financial load for his child since his new wife contributes to the home costs.
Child support calculators will only provide you with an indication of what a child support order would look like. Child support payments may be estimated using our child support calculators in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Flagstaff, Tucson, and other cities around Arizona.
Using our automated child support calculator may help you figure out how much child support you’ll have to pay in Arizona, and having an estimate will help you prepare ahead. This calculator’s results are only estimates and should be reviewed and verified with one of our qualified child support attorneys in Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, or Gilbert, Arizona.
Yes. Parents who are able to reach an agreement on their custody arrangements without relying on a court are highly urged to do so. You and the other parent can handle custody and access concerns privately as long as your arrangement is in the children’s best interests.