Yuma, AZ – When a family is disrupted through a divorce or separation, there are crucial issues involving the couple’s children that need to be addressed through the court system. These issues are usually related to child custody and support payments. Any parent who does not have primary custody of their child in Arizona will be required to make support payments to the parent who does. These payments are generally set by income, so that the parent subject to the support order can pay for their child’s expenses and still keep a portion of their income for other needs.
Arizona has some specific rules and procedures that dictate how child support works in the state, so it is important for anyone who is facing these issues to review basic information about state law and then get formal legal help. A family law attorney is necessary to get specific legal advice.
Income shares and calculating support amounts
Arizona uses a special law called the income shares model. This means that the income of both biological parents is used to determine how much a support payment should be each month. Even though both incomes are a factor, the payments only go from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The income of other relatives are not considered under this law, and any contributions that grandparents, step parents, and others make to the child are considered voluntary and have no legal effect.
According to the Arizona courts website, these rules are designed to make payments consistent for individuals in similar circumstances and factor the ability of parents to pay for their child’s reasonable needs consistent with the ability of the parents to pay for them. The guidelines also apply to children born out of wedlock and those that were legally adopted. There are also situations where a payment of spousal maintenance or alimony from a related family court case may be used to adjust one parent’s income and adjust their child support payment amount.
When a child support order ends
Once a child support order is in place, the payments must be made until the end of the month of the child’s 18th birthday in most cases. There are some exceptions if the child is still in high school, but after finishing school or reaching their 19th birthday at the latest the order will terminate.
Getting more information from a family attorney
There are firms in Arizona that dedicate their time and efforts to assisting local clients in the Yuma area with various issues related to family law. Schneider and Onofry can help people going through divorces, custody issues, and managing support payments.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364