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Arizona court rules in child support case

Raising a child in Arizona is expensive and the costs seem to just keep increasing. From the cost of food and housing, to child care and education, children cost a significant amount of money between their birth and the time they turn 18-years-old. In Arizona, both of a child's parents are responsible for paying these expenses. This holds true even if the child's parents divorce or are otherwise not a couple.

When a child's parents are not together, the court will award child support to the custodial parent. This order will ensure that the other parent continues to financially support the child even if the child is not primarily in that person's care. The court will look at a variety of factors to determine how much child support should be ordered in a particular situation. One factor is how much income each parent has.

Recently, Arizona courts have expanded the definition of income for child support purposes. In this case, Tony Womack, a former professional baseball player, argued that a withdrawal made from an investment account should not be included as income for child support purposes. He instead argued to an Arizona court that this type of withdrawal should not be treated any differently than taking money from a savings account. Additionally, Womack argued that his child support payments should actually be reduced since his income had gone down since his retirement from professional baseball.

The court, however, did not agree with Womack. Instead, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that money taken from an investment account that was used to pay for living expenses should be considered as income for the purposes of child support. The court argued that since the money was used for living expenses it was alright to include when calculating child support.

When child support issues arise -- like those seen in this case -- people need to understand their legal options. People may have the ability to modify a child support order if circumstances have changed.

Source: KVOA, "Court rules on income question in child support by ex-player," Feb. 27, 2015

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