Child Support Attorney Phoenix AZ
Divorce and separation can take a severe toll on children. Not only do they have to deal with the emotional and mental impact of the split, but they may also suffer an economic blow. It is crucial to secure fair child support orders to provide for the children financially.
Arizona Child Support Basics
Child support order is court-ordered mandate to provide financial support for minor children. In the State of Arizona, a minor is any child under the age of 18. A child support order will be awarded in all separation or divorce actions involving minor children. In other instances, an unwed parent may need to establish a child support order. The obligor, or noncustodial parent, usually makes payment to the custodial parent. The payment of child support is specifically intended to be used for the needs of the child.
Child Support Guidelines in Arizona
Arizona child support guidelines are governed by the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. § 25-320), which state, “In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support it may be ordered that either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child and pay an amount reasonable and necessary for support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct.”
If you’re going through a separation or divorce and want to ensure that your child is taken care of financially, contact the Phoenix child support lawyers at The Law Office of Cosmas Onyia. We have been one of the most experienced and trusted Phoenix child support law firms for over 20 years.
Calculating Appropriate Amounts
Child support orders in Arizona are determined by many complex factors. Arizona A.R.S.§ 25-501(A) states, “…every person has the duty to provide all reasonable support for that person’s natural and adopted minor, unemancipated children, regardless of the presence or residence of the child in this state.” As it is the duty of both parents to financially provide for their children, the state of Arizona uses an “income shares model” for calculating child support. This approach considers the monthly gross income of both parents and determines what each parent should proportionally contribute to the child.
The court will also look at expenses such as healthcare, education, or child care costs in determining the child support order. Additionally, the family law judge will consider the parenting time, or custody, each parent has and will determine the proportion of the child support award to reflect parenting time spent with the child.
Family Law Judge’s Role in Child Support Calculation
An Arizona child support judge has considerable discretion in awarding a child support order if they feel it will be in the best interests of the child. Some factors the judge considers are the child’s requirements in terms of education, health, and overall expenses required to maintain their quality of life. A judge could also factor in other considerations and deviate from the guidelines if they are dealing with a unique situation, such as a disabled child.
How much will I Receive from Child Support?
Arizona child support calculation is complicated. While the judge is ultimately responsible for setting the child support award amount, one can get an approximate figure by going to the Arizona child support calculator tool.
The “Arizona Child Support Guidelines” document adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court is also a helpful resource for Arizona law and child support enforcement.
Who processes Child Support Payments?
Arizona child support payments are processed and distributed by Support Payment Clearinghouse. A person can directly pay to the Clearinghouse, or they may have their wages garnished. The receiving parent may get the payment on an Electronic Payment Card (EPC) or directly deposited into their bank account.
The DCSS can also offer support if a parent has any questions about paying or receiving child support payments. You can find their website here.
Child Support Modifications
Child support orders in Arizona can always be modified or changed. To modify a child support order, a party must show that there has been a sudden and significant change in circumstances. Examples of such changes could be that one of the parent’s incomes has greatly increased and is expected to remain at the higher amount for the foreseeable future. Generally, a 15% change in the prior amount of child support is needed to be formally modified by the family law judges.
Reach out to a family lawyer today if you believe there has been a significant change of circumstances since your child support order. They can help you submit a Petition to Modify Child Support to court.
Child Support Lawyer In Phoenix
The legal proceedings of divorce and the child support settlement are extensive and can prove intimidating for parents. In this case, having an attorney specializing in family law and child support in Phoenix can help immensely. A child support attorney can help in the following ways:
- Explaining the rules and guidelines of child support in Arizona
- Explaining every step involved in getting your child financial support after separation or divorce
- Ascertaining the amount of child support payment
- Representing you in the court of law to defend your rights and get you justice
- Negotiate a settlement with the other party on your behalf
The Law Office of Cosmas Onyia specializes in Arizona family law and can help you better understand the guidelines and expectations of you as a parent, be it custodial or non-custodial.
How Can A Child Support Lawyer In Phoenix Help?
While in any child support case, we suggest seeking the help of an experienced family lawyer. In some instances, an attorney becomes crucial. One such case is if your former partner refuses to accept the terms and amount of child support. Your need for an attorney will become even stronger if the other side becomes difficult and uncooperative.
Divorce, especially with minor children, is already stressful and emotional, and the Arizona court system can be daunting. You don’t have to do it alone. A trusted and knowledgeable child support attorney can help put your mind at ease by knowing you will have the best case presented in court.
Law Office Of Cosmas Onyia
The Law Office of Cosmas Onyia is a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ that has extensive experience dealing with family law issues, including divorce, child custody, child support, child visitation, paternity, grandparents’ rights, spousal maintenance, and orders of protection.
Established in 1996, we have helped numerous satisfied clients get the settlement they deserve. We conduct our affairs with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality. If you’re going through a divorce or separation and want to ensure that your child is looked after financially, schedule a free consultation today by calling 602-265-5200 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a child support lawyer cost?
The charges of an advocate experienced in child support cases can vary, depending on different situations. However, on average, you can expect a child support attorney to charge anything between $100 and $500 per hour. The total case cost could lie between $2,500 to $5,000 if the case is uncontested. In contested cases, where a former partner is being difficult, this figure could be higher. At the end of the day, your child’s happiness and well-being are worth it.
Can I negotiate child support?
Yes, you can negotiate child support through different methods. Before you enter negotiations, consult a child support legal practitioner. Any negotiated settlement will also have to be made in writing and approved by the court.
Should I get a lawyer for child support?
Although hiring a family lawyer is not mandatory, it is certainly advisable to impart knowledge about Arizona laws and guidelines regarding child support. You can represent yourself. However, it may place you at a disadvantage, especially if the other party is represented by counsel.
Phoenix, AZ Family Law and Child Support Attorney
Understanding the Arizona laws and court procedures can be tricky, especially for a person without experience in family law. The situation is further complicated by details unique to each case. You need a lawyer. You can set up an initial consultation at The Law Office of Cosmas Onyia. Our team can provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the legal proceedings surrounding child support and family law in Phoenix.