Child support refers to the monetary obligation owed by one parent to the other. Typically, the parent who exercises the lesser (or in some cases equal) amount of parenting time will have some financial obligation to the parent exercising the majority of parenting time (primary physical custodian).
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-320, the Arizona Supreme Court has adopted Child Support Guidelines to help determine how much child support, if any, is owed. Several factors need to be considered in calculating the appropriate amount of child support awarded from one party to another, including but not limited to:
- the gross monthly income of the two parties;
- parenting time spent with the child;
- spousal maintenance paid or received by either party;
- deductions for medical, dental or vision premiums paid;
- monthly childcare expenses, extra-education or extraordinary educational expenses paid by either party for the minor child or children;
- as well as the actual number of parenting days the parent exercising the lesser or equal number of parenting days exercises.
If the Department of Economic Security, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is handling the enforcement of your child support obligation, you will be required to make your payments to a clearinghouse. Otherwise, your payments will not be credited to your account. Section 46-441 states “[p]ayment of any money directly to an obligee or to any person other than the Support Payment Clearinghouse will not be credited against the support obligation, unless the direct payments were ordered by the court or made pursuant to a written support agreement by the parties.”
Under certain circumstances, the monetary amount of a child support order can be changed. This process is called a child support modification. The general rule is that only the court can make modifications to child support, and such modification are made on the basis of changed circumstances that are substantial and lasting. Sometimes, however, the parties can reach an agreement on the issue, submit the agreement to the judge, and the judge will approve it.
The experienced attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC, can help you with all of your Arizona child support issues. CALL TODAY for a consultation: (520) 495-0869. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.