Generally speaking, a Phoenix or Gilbert parent who does not have his or her child the majority of the time or who has equal time but earns more than the other parent is going to be ordered to pay child support in some amount. Usually, the Arizona Guidelines determine how much child support a parent will pay, and the law strongly encourages courts to follow these Guidelines. To review, courts will apply these Guidelines by plugging in the appropriate figures and using the prescribed formula to come to a figure for child support.
Unlike other states, Arizona actually has a detailed formula that determines which parent should get the benefit of federal tax exemptions, as well as state tax exemptions, should the parents be unmarried and living in separate households. Exemptions involving dependent children can mean thousands of dollars in tax savings, so parents who are living separate should be familiar with our state's detailed rules and ask their attorneys if they have questions.
Like in other states, child support orders in Arizona are not set in stone to the same degree as other court orders and agreements. Perhaps because the law recognizes that the needs of children, and the ability of each parent to meet those needs, can change over time, courts can re-visit child support orders under certain conditions, even if the order was originally agreed to by the child's parents.
Many parents in Phoenix, Arizona, work hard to make sure that they and their families have what they need to survive and, from time to time, enjoy life a little bit. This sometimes entails one or both parents putting in extra hours at work or taking on a second job.
Most residents of Phoenix, Arizona, who work for an area company full-time probably get benefits like paid vacation, health insurance and the option of contributing a portion of their check to a retirement plan. However, some executives and other professionals are fortunate enough to get a lot of other benefits as well, which can include, for instance, a company car and sometimes even some free long-term lodging. Stock options, guaranteed bonuses and the like are also real possibilities for highly compensated employees.
With children returning to school and parents oftentimes seeing some extra costs for their children, the subject of child support may be on their mind. This is fitting in a sense, because August is National Child Support Awareness Month.
Parents do a lot for their children, and one of the most important expenses they pay for is medical care. Even among happily married couples, it is imperative that parents provide for their children's basic medical needs. In some cases, not doing so can land parents in legal trouble.
A previous post on this blog discussed how Arizona courts handle child support when a parent has been blessed with a great job and thus earns a high income, which the law defines as in excess of $240,000 gross a year. The fact that a family has a good income does not make going through a divorce, or a paternity case, any easier emotionally. Moreover, a divorce or separation in particular will still financially shock both parents simply because they will walk away with approximately half of their resources, only a portion of their income and, quite possibly, additional financial obligations.
This blog has previously discussed what a parent can do if he or she feels that the other parent is earning a low amount of income but could be earning more if he or she tried. Phoenix, Arizona parents in this situation do have options to make sure that they get adequate child support, despite the other parent not making any income or only a small amount.
As previous posts here have discussed, it can be frustrating when a parent in Phoenix who is taking care of children full-time is not getting adequate help in the form of financial support from the other parent. While it's bad enough to need to enforce a child support order, it is especially frustrating when the other parent is claiming to not have any source of income and thus cannot pay a high amount of child support. This can leave a parent unable to provide for the financial needs of the children, yet also unable to pursue legal remedies.