The best child Support lawyer will be able to help you navigate the complicated process of setting up or changing a custody and child support agreement. The lawyer you choose will need to be accustomed to handling family law matters and can help you through mediation or arbitration, as well as take your case through the court system.
When parents divorce, the noncustodial parent typically pays a sum to the custodial parent for a period of time that is meant to cover the child’s living expenses. These include the cost of food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs. They may also include educational expenses (tuition, books, uniforms), extracurricular activities (such as after-school sports and music lessons) and health care costs (including deductibles and co-pays).
Each state has its own laws that dictate how much child support should be paid. These laws use a variety of methodologies to calculate how much a non-custodial parent should pay. Some of these factors include the parties’ incomes, how often they work and how much time each one spends with the child. They also include travel expenses for visitation time and health insurance costs for the children.
In most cases, the courts set child support based on state guidelines. These are complex formulas that consider the amount of each party’s earnings, how much they spend on child care and health insurance, where the parents live, and other factors. It’s important to have a top-notch Phoenix family law attorney to help you understand these guidelines and to make sure that your case is based on all relevant facts and circumstances.
Once a judge sets a child support amount, that judgment is typically binding on both parties. However, the courts can change a child support order if there is a significant change in circumstance. This could be a significant increase or decrease in either party’s income, the birth of a new child, a change in custody, or a serious illness or injury that affects a person’s ability to work.
Some states also allow the courts to impute income, meaning that the judge will decide what a person could earn given their job, education, training, and experience. This can be very difficult to prove, but if your lawyer can convince the court that this is appropriate in your case, it may result in a higher or lower child support amount.
Generally, a child support obligation ends when a child reaches the age of 21, becomes married, or joins the military. However, in some instances, a disability can extend this obligation into adulthood.
If the other party fails to pay child support, you can pursue collection through aggressive enforcement actions including a wage garnishment, a license suspension, and the withholding of federal tax refunds. A knowledgeable child custody attorney in Phoenix can assist you in enforcing existing child support orders and past judgments that require the payment of back child support. The attorney you choose should have experience with all of these methods and can work with other agencies in your area to ensure that the obligor is held accountable.