Child Support Lawyers in Surprise Providing Support for You and Your Little Ones
Parenting is a challenging job, and it can be even harder if you’re facing difficulties such as a broken marriage or trying to receive the necessary financial assistance from an ex-spouse. That’s why having access to experienced child support lawyers in Surprise can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your rights and those of your children.
Child support laws are designed to ensure that children receive the financial resources they need for their well-being and development, regardless of family circumstances. With experienced legal help, parents can get much-needed guidance on how best to resolve disputes over child support payments so that both parties involved are satisfied with the outcome.
At The Dobbs Law Firm, PLC, our Surprise, AZ-based lawyers specializing in family matters understand how difficult this process may be for everyone involved. We have extensive experience helping families throughout Surprise navigate through complicated family law cases involving child custody, visitation schedules, alimony payments, property division settlements, and more. Our team will work hard to reach an agreement that meets everyone’s needs while also protecting your parental rights at all times. Call (623) 267-0026 to speak with us.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment made by a parent or guardian to help cover the costs of raising their child. After a divorce, one parent may have primary custody over the other ex-spouse. The amount of child support that needs to be paid depends on various factors such as each parent’s income, how much time the child spends with each parent, and other unique considerations.
If you need legal assistance regarding child support issues, our team can be there for you. A lawyer can help you determine your rights and obligations concerning your situation and represent you in court if necessary.
Arizona Child Support Laws
In Arizona, the parents can agree to an amount of child support upon the approval of a judge. If the custodial and noncustodial parent cannot settle on child support payment, then the judge uses a formula to determine how much a parent should pay child support.
Typically, one parent is obligated to make monthly payments to the other party until the child reaches the age of 18 and graduates high school. Gender is not a factor when determining which parent pays for child support. Usually, it would be the parent with less parenting time. The child support payment ends if they turn 19 before graduation. It is possible for the judge to extend payments, typically if the kid has special needs or extraordinary medical assistance.
Note that child support is for the best interest of the children. Parents cannot deny parental rights, paternity, or maternity of the child to avoid paying, nor can they just choose to forfeit child support. Even if the parent does not have physical custody or legal custody of the child or even if they remarry, they cannot neglect child support.
If you need help with your child support case, talk to an experienced Surprise, AZ child support attorney. Avoid trouble with the child support office by consulting with us for any clarifications and concerns.
Child Support Calculation
The formula for child support in AZ accounts for various factors, including:
- Each parent’s earned income;
- Each parent’s contribution to education, child care, and health insurance;
- Age of each child
- Number of children
- Parenting time
- Travel between each parent’s place, if they reside more than 100 miles apart.
If you’re unsure of how to calculate child support, talk to our Arizona family law attorneys to ensure you’re paying the amount owed correctly! If you don’t know how much your child support payments are, it may get you in trouble with the child support agency. Call our family law office now!
Division of Child Support Services
Child support orders are enforced and established by the court with the help of The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
When an unmarried parent with no child support order files for public assistance, or when a financially needy parent who receives public assistance files for divorce, then DCSS automatically opens a case.
Additionally, unmarried parents can choose to go to DCSS to obtain a child support order, no matter if they’re not getting public assistance. However, DCSS can’t do parenting time, visitation rights, legal-decision making, nor establishing paternity. Unmarried parents who need these services must go through family court.
Child Support Enforcement
Withholding child support is a serious matter. If a parent fails to provide child support payments, then the receiving party can ask the court or DCSS to help in enforcing the order. Both these entities can garnish or withhold wages, place liens on the property, confiscate passports, suspend licenses, or intercept tax refunds. Only the court can order jail time and fines for failure to pay child support.
Usually, parents go through DCSS to enforce the court order for child support. The DCSS can refer the case to court if needed for enforcing child support.
Modification of Child Support
It’s possible to change the terms of child support if there have been substantial changes or permanent changes to the family’s circumstances, such as a change in residence or a loss of income. Parents can ask either the court or DCSS to modify the terms in these cases.
If neither parent objects and the payment changes by at least 15% according to the formula in the state law, then the modifications are automatically approved.
However, if there’s not a 15% change in the payments made or if one parent objects, then the judge steps in to decide in these child support cases.
Parents can request a modification if the children turn 12 or are no longer covered by child support.
What Factors Determine the Child Support Amount?
Child support is an important part of some divorces. When deciding the proper amount, the courts consider many things. The main factor is the income of both parents. Other factors can include:
- Each parent’s financial needs
- The standard of living the child was used to before the separation or divorce
- Any special medical or educational needs the child may have
- The costs associated with providing health care for the children
- Which parent has custody and if it is shared custody between both parents
Some states also consider other factors, such as the age of the child or if either parent is unemployed. A child support lawyer can discuss these topics with you and help you understand what might be taken into consideration when determining your child support amount.
Is it Possible to Modify Child Support Payments Over Time?
Circumstances can change over time making it difficult to fulfill a court-ordered child support payment amount. With the help of an experienced child support lawyer, you can modify your existing agreement if needed.
When considering whether or not to modify a child support order, several elements can be taken into consideration. These include changes in income, health insurance costs, changes in living arrangements, and any impactful changes that have come since the initial order was issued.
Child Support lawyers can come to arrangements with the custodial parent so that both parties are satisfied with their outcome. In addition to helping parents set up payments they think will work best for them, they also provide advice on how to ensure prompt payment from all parties involved.
How Can a Child Support Lawyer in Suprise Help?
In addition to helping determine the amount of child support, a child support lawyer can also help draft an agreement that both parents sign off on, which will include all details about payment amounts and schedules. They can also provide legal advice if there are any issues with non-payment or questions about modifications or enforcement of a current order.
A good child support lawyer will have experience in dealing with these types of matters and should be able to offer sound legal advice about your specific case. It’s important to choose a child support lawyer who can help you understand all the rights and obligations you have concerning your situation. Call The Dodds Law Firm, PLC to speak with one. We are available at (623) 267-0026.