As the best child support lawyers in Gilbert AZ we often get asked, “how is child support determined in Arizona?” Today I want to talk to you about probably the single most fought about issue in Arizona divorces, and that is: child support. Now, it probably goes without saying that you probably don’t have to wonder too hard why people fight over child support… Imagine yourself being a soon to be divorced mother, and in most cases it’s the mother who is going to get child support although that’s not always the case. Perhaps your husband has been sole bread winner for the entire term of your marriage, you don’t have education, you don’t have the earning ability that your husband has, and you’re worried to death about “how am I going to take care of these kids, what am I going to do?”.
Well, child support is one way that the law has provided for one parent to receive sort of an equalization payment to make up for the time that the other parent doesn’t have the children. There are a number of factors that go into child support in Arizona. In Arizona we have a set of guidelines that have been essentially enacted by the legislature, by judges to help us determine how much a parent has to pay to help support their children. And it’s typically going to be the parent that has the children the least amount of time. The main factor in any child support analysis is going to be which parent has the children for the most amount of time, some people call that “who’s the primary custodial parent?”. The second major factor is going to be the income that each parent has. Now, in Arizona, about a year ago the legislature came out with some new guidelines that indicate that even if you’re not working the judge can assign you minimum wage for a 40 hour work week with the theory being that most people can go out and get a job at minimum wage 40 hours a week. So even if you’re not making money, you’re going to be assigned an income for purposes of child support.
Once we gather all of the financial information regarding both parents (how much they make each month, what their monthly bills are, are they paying anything in health insurance, are you paying anything for daycare etc.) Then we’re able to put that into a calculator. Now, we use the same calculator here at the law offices of Kevin Jensen that the judges, family law judges, throughout the state use to determine child support. And we can use that information to come up with an amount of child support that you should be payed. Child support is not finalized until the judge signs off on it. It has to be signed off and approved by the judge. And they will follow the guidelines almost to the T. In some circumstances, we can deviate from the guidelines but there has to be an explanation as to why we’re not following what the Arizona guidelines for child support say.
At the law offices of Kevin Jensen, our primary concern for any parent is to make sure they’re getting and paying the appropriate amount of child support. We know that taking care of your children is the most important thing you can do. We always keep their best interests in mind in anything that we do and especially when it comes to child support. So if you have any questions, please give us a call at the law offices of Kevin Jensen. Thank you.
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