Child Support Lawyer Glendale
Child support is often one of the most difficult and emotional issues in any family law case in Glendale, AZ. Whether you are a parent who relies on money to care for your children or a paying parent, you want to make sure that the amount is fair and reasonable. But not every situation is the same, and sometimes the child support guidelines don’t reflect the reality of your circumstances or your children’s needs.
That is why you need an experienced family law attorney in Glendale, AZ, who can help you with child support payments, whether you are seeking, modifying, or enforcing it. Since 1996, Cosmas Onyia, P.C., has been a strong advocate who has stood by parents on both sides of the conflict, and he understands the complexities involved in the child support process. He will work with you to understand your situation and your goals and will fight for your rights in and out of court. Call 602-265-5200 or message him to get in touch and discuss your case.
How is Child Support Calculated in Glendale, Arizona?
Child support is the money a court orders a parent or both parents to pay monthly to help support the child (or children) and all their living expenses. It is based on the principle that both parents are obligated to financially take care of their children, even when the children are not staying with both parents.
In Glendale, AZ, the child support process is determined using the Arizona Child Support Guidelines, which are updated every four years. The most recent changes to these guidelines occurred on January 1, 2022. These guidelines for calculating child support follow the Income Shares Model, which factors in the income of both parents and the amount that would have been spent on the child if the parents and child were living together.
Here is how the amount is calculated:
- Find each parent’s income from all sources before deductions. Adjust income for spousal maintenance, other child support, or other children.
- Find the basic child support from a table (Schedule of Basic Support Obligations) based on the combined income. Add 10% if the child is over 12.
- Add or subtract costs like health insurance, childcare, education, or other expenses to the basic child support.
- Divide the combined child support between the parents by their income share. For example, 70% income means 70% child support.
- Give credit to the non-custodial parent for their parenting time. Multiply the basic child support by a percentage from the table and subtract it from their share of the combined child support obligation.
- Find the presumptive child support by deducting any costs paid by the non-custodial parent from their share. This is the court-ordered amount unless there is a reason to change it.
- Cap the child support at lower income levels (i.e., apply the self-support reserve test) to ensure the paying parent can afford it. The cap is 80% of the full-time minimum wage ($13.85 per hour for 2023). Reduce the child support to this amount if it is higher.
How to Request a Modification of Child Support Orders in Glendale, AZ?
In Glendale, AZ, you can ask the court for a modification of your child support payments order if:
- The child support amount is at least 15% greater or lower than the existing order, even if there are no other changes to the parent’s income or other child support factors.
- There has been a significant and continuing change within the household, such as a change in income of either partner, loss of employment, change in health insurance, disability, change in the amount of time the child (or children) spend with each parent or change in custody, or incarceration of the paying parent.
- A substantial and continuing change of circumstances affects the child’s best interests and the financial circumstances of both parents.
According to our child support attorney in Glendale, AZ, there are two ways you can go about doing this:
Simplified procedure: If you agree with the other parent about the new child support amount, you can:
- Fill out a Petition to Modify Child Support and a Consent Decree form. You can get the forms from the court or online.
- Submit the forms to the court that issued the original child support order. You have to pay a filing fee or request a fee waiver or deferral.
- Wait for the court to approve your agreement and sign the consent decree. The new child support amount will be effective from the date of filing.
Standard procedure: However, if you cannot agree with the other parent about the new amount, here are your next steps:
- Fill out a Petition for Modification of Child Support form.
- File the petition with the court that issued the original order, and pay a filing fee or request a fee waiver or deferral.
- Serve the petition and a summons on the other parent and give them 20 days to respond.
- If the other parent does not respond or disagrees with your petition, request a hearing and present your evidence and arguments to the judge. The judge will decide whether to grant or deny the modification based on the child’s best interests and the financial circumstances of both parents.
Our experienced child support attorney at Cosmas Onyia, P.C., can help you get the modification by handling all the paperwork on your behalf – no matter how contentious your situation is.
Why the Law Office of Cosmas Onyia is the Best Choice for Your Child Support Case
At Cosmas Onyia, P.C., our family law attorney team has been helping clients in Glendale, AZ, Phoenix, and surrounding areas in Arizona resolve their legal matters since 1996. If you are looking for a lawyer who will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child, look no further.
We have the expertise to deliver results
Attorney Cosmas Onyia has been practicing family law in Arizona for nearly 30 years, which means he has engaged with all the local courts and judges you may contact. He has insider knowledge of how the system works, what obstacles may arise in your case, and how to handle them effectively. This means you will be working with a powerhouse lawyer who has seen it all and knows how to leverage his expertise to obtain favorable results for you.
We can get you a reasonable child support modification
Whether you need to increase or decrease your child support amount, we will help you prove that a considerable and permanent change in your circumstances warrants a modification. We will gather and organize the necessary evidence like tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, child care receipts, or other financial documents to establish this. If necessary, we can also help you obtain and analyze the financial information of the other parent to compare your income and expenses.
We can help you enforce or terminate your existing child support order
It’s not uncommon for some parents to hide their income, avoid child support payments, or intentionally interfere with the other parent’s parenting time, especially when the divorce (or separation) has been contentious. In a case like this, we will file a motion for contempt or enforcement with the court on your behalf and seek wage garnishment, property liens, or driver’s license suspension as remedies, if necessary. Suppose the other parent is overpaying or receiving too much child support. In that case, we can file a motion for termination or modification with the court and ask for a refund, credit, or adjustment.
Calculating Child Support in Glendale, AZ: Frequently Asked Questions
How long does child support continue?
It generally continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, it may end earlier if the child becomes emancipated, marries, joins the military, or dies. Child support may also continue past 18 if the child has a severe mental or physical disability that prevents them from being self-supporting.
What is the most child support you can get in Glendale, AZ?
If you are paying child support through wage garnishment, there is a limit to how much can be deducted. As per the Arizona Child Support Guidelines 2022, if you have another kid or dependent to support, they can only take 50% of your pay. If you don’t, they can take up to 60%.
And if you are behind on your child support payments by more than 12 weeks, they can add another 5%. When your child turns 12, their support goes up by 10%. If you have more than one kid from the same relationship, they split the 10% increase among them according to their age.
How to handle uncovered medical expenses in child support cases?
Uncovered medical expenses are medical expenses that are not covered by insurance; these include deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, dental care, vision care, orthodontia, counseling, or other special needs. In Arizona, both parents are responsible for paying their proportionate share of uncovered medical expenses for their child according to their income and ability to pay.
The parent who pays for it must provide proof of payment and request reimbursement from the other parent within 180 days of payment. The other parent must reimburse their share within 45 days of receiving the request. If the other parent fails to reimburse their share, the paying parent can petition the court to enforce payment.
Put Your Child First: Let Cosmas Onyia, P.C. Fight for Their Financial Security
If you are facing a child support issue, wondering how you can afford to pay or receive the right amount of support for your kids, or worrying about how the order will affect your relationship with your child and the other parent – don’t go through it alone. Get in touch with our family law attorney, Cosmas Onyia today. We have almost three decades of experience helping parents on both sides deal with Arizona’s legal system, no matter how bleak the situation may seem.
Whether you believe that your child support order is unfair or want to modify your existing order and lower the amount because your situation has changed, call us at 602-265-5200 or contact us online. We will review your case and guide you toward the best possible option.