Glendale AZ Child Support Attorney

Glendale AZ Child Support Attorney

Glendale, AZ Child Support Lawyer

When it comes to family law, child support cases can be some of the most challenging and emotionally taxing. A dedicated Glendale, AZ, child support attorney can provide legal relief and advocacy at every stage of the process. Whether filing a petition for child support or modifying or enforcing an existing order, the Lazenby Law Firm has the experience and resources to help parents across Maricopa County.

Child support payments represent financial stability and well-being for young children, and Arizona law requires non-custodial parents to make monthly payments to cover expenses like food, clothing, housing, and healthcare. However, because child support often involves many moving parts, the process can be challenging to navigate.

Child Support Explained

Like other states, Arizona has strict guidelines that dictate how children receive financial support whenever their parents become divorced or separated. These financial obligations ensure that children’s basic needs are met and are calculated by the courts through a series of legal frameworks. Across the state, the Income Shares Model is a fundamental tool used to determine the monthly amount of financial support a parent must pay.

Every child support case is different, and the courts will consider many factors to help determine a final amount, such as:

  • The gross income of each parent
  • Number of children
  • Medical expenses
  • Parenting time
  • Alimony and child support from different courts
  • Employment status
  • Education expenses
  • Transportation
  • Unique circumstances and additional expenses

Overall, child support in Glendale and across Arizona is designed to reflect the amount of money parents would provide their children if they still lived together as a family unit. As such, the court’s main objective is to provide fair and consistent standards for determining a financial plan that works for all parties involved.

Why Do I Need a Child Support Attorney?

While many parents may be tempted to resolve family law matters, including child support, on their own, these processes can be particularly complicated. Whenever your child’s future is on the line, it’s always better to have an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf.

Hiring a specialized child support attorney ensures you are comprehensive throughout the process. Family law in Arizona requires careful consideration and technical knowledge. When you want the greatest outcomes for you and your child, a child support attorney will support you at every stage of the process and help you navigate and resolve any potential complications.

Accurately Calculate Child Support

Although the guidelines for determining child support follow specific calculations set by the state, child support attorneys have the specialized skills and knowledge to navigate these figures efficiently. As such, they can help identify strategic factors to ensure the courts award a fair amount of child support you deserve.

Litigation in Court

As with divorce and other family law matters, child support cases can often lead to disputes between both parties. An attorney can protect your interests through effective representation to seek a favorable outcome whenever any litigation is required. Depending on your situation, a child support attorney can:

  • Gather evidence to support your case
  • Advocate on your behalf
  • File pleadings and other documentation
  • Present strong arguments

Settlements and Negotiation

In some cases, child support matters may be resolved outside the court system through mediation or negotiation. Child support attorneys can work with the other party to reach a settlement and ensure that your child’s interests are prioritized.

Calculating Child Support

Whether you have full or partial custody of your child, understanding the process for calculating child support is critical. Many factors can determine the outcome of child support, and even small changes in a party’s finances or personal life can have long-lasting effects on child support obligations.

Gross Income

When the child support process begins, the courts will first look at the gross income of both parents. Gross income can include money from a variety of sources, including:

  • Wages
  • Bonuses
  • Investments
  • Royalties
  • Inheritances
  • Trust funds
  • Securities
  • Miscellaneous revenue

Parenting Time

Like other states, Arizona considers the percentage of parenting time as a critical factor in setting child support. The more time a parent spends with their child, the more expenses they will incur. As such, child custody amounts are often adjusted to ensure that non-custodial parents contribute a reasonable amount of child support based on the percentage of time they spend with their child.

Number of Children

The number of children involved in a child support case can significantly impact child support calculations. Arizona law provides several guidelines for parents with multiple children. The more children a parent has, the less they’ll have to pay per child.

Basic Support Obligation and Adjustments

After reviewing each party’s financial records and other documentation, the courts will use these figures to determine the base child support amount due each month.

However, in some child support cases, adjustments for expenses can affect the final amount. Some standard adjustments that the courts often consider include:

  • Medical and dental expenses
  • School and extracurricular activities
  • Childcare expenses

Depending on the case’s unique circumstances, the courts may also consider special needs and unusual circumstances for reducing or increasing child support amounts. Arizona law allows the courts to deviate from the state’s guidelines on an as-needed basis whenever there’s a reasonable finding.

At What Age Does Child Support Stop in Arizona?

In Arizona, all child support orders stay in place until a child turns 18; however, there are some instances where child support may extend beyond a child’s 18th birthday.

The most common scenario involves a child’s high school graduation status. If a child turns 18 while in high school, child support payments must continue until they graduate or turn 19.

Is Child Support Always Required by Law?

While the courts have a legal obligation to ensure that children’s basic needs are met, parents in Arizona may choose to set their own terms rather than rely on a judge. However, it is wise for parents to submit these arrangements for approval to ensure that all parties involved are protected under the law.

A child support attorney can help parents navigate this process by formalizing the terms in a written agreement known as a stipulation. Stipulations ensure that these agreements are enforceable by the courts and can help prevent complications down the line.

Is Child Support a Requirement for Equal Custody Parents?

Many parents in Arizona enjoy equal custody of their children. This means they share the same amount of parenting time, and children go back and forth between two parental homes.

Because of the state’s Income Shares Model, calculating child support for joint custody parents can be complicated and vary from case to case. Generally, whenever parents have similar incomes, the courts may find that no child support is necessary from either party because each fulfills their duty of care; however, when parents have disproportionate incomes, the higher-earning party will likely be required to make child support payments despite sharing equal custody.

Changing Child Support Orders

Child support orders can change over the years due to numerous factors and circumstances. Some common situations that call for a change to child support include:

  • Changes in Parental Income: The courts can make adjustments as needed whenever a parent’s income changes substantially. Child support payments increase whenever a parent earns more money; however, the courts can reduce the monthly amount whenever a parent becomes unemployed, loses hours, or changes jobs.
  • Child Needs: Significant changes in a child’s daily needs and expenses can lead to changes in child support. This often applies to children who develop severe medical conditions that require additional expenses.
  • Changes in Parenting Time: Whenever time allocation for parenting changes, the courts can modify a child support order to reflect the added or reduced expenses of caring for a child.
  • Parental Disability: If a parent suffers an accident or develops an illness or disability, the courts may need to make significant changes to child support, custody, and other family law provisions

Steps for Changing Child Support Orders in Arizona

Like other family law processes, modifying child support orders can only be done formally through the court system. Under Arizona law, in most cases, parents must show that a child support order would change by at least 15% to be approved.

Filing a Petition

The first step is to file an official petition with the court that outlines the request to modify child support obligations. An attorney can help prepare the necessary documents, including a financial affidavit, a detailed case summary, and other relevant information.

Gathering Evidence

Depending on the circumstances, you’ll need to gather sufficient evidence to support changes to a child support order. Evidence can include financial statements, employment contracts, medical documents, school registration forms, or any other documentation demonstrating the need to reduce or increase child support obligations.

Court Review

After all parties have been notified and all documents submitted, the courts will review the request to determine if changes to child support are warranted.

Contesting a Child Support Modification

Whenever a parent disagrees with modifications to child support, they may file a response to contest the changes. This process is similar to other Arizona family law disputes and requires a formal complaint and evidence to support the response. A judge will schedule a hearing to review the evidence and make a determination.

Enforcing Child Support

Arizona has various legal avenues to ensure that parents pay their child support as required by the courts. These mechanisms can vary from case to case, but generally include:

  • Income Withholding: Whenever a parent fails to make child support payments, the state may garnish and withhold wages from paychecks and other income sources like tax refunds.
  • License Suspensions: The state may suspend or revoke various licenses for non-paying parents, such as driver’s and professional licenses.
  • Criminal Enforcement: Because child support is a legal obligation, failure to pay can also result in serious criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

How an Attorney Can Help Enforce Child Support

When a parent fails to pay for child support, the consequences can be devastating. As such, an attorney can provide legal support to streamline the enforcement process and determine viable avenues for relief.

In addition to filing the necessary documents and litigating in court, child support attorneys often negotiate settlement agreements with the non-paying party. Negotiation can be an effective way to settle back-pay arrangements and can help both parties avoid a lengthy legal battle. If you’re struggling to receive child support payments, a Glendale, AZ, child support attorney can help.

Interstate Child Support

Whenever one parent moves to another state, child support obligations still apply. Child support orders are legally binding, and relocation does not affect or modify their active status.

Arizona’s out-of-state child support is backed by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This federal law ensures states maintain enforcement and jurisdiction rights of child support obligations, even if a parent relocates. As such, this law also establishes cooperation between different state courts and agencies to enforce child support payments and hold non-paying parents accountable.

However, if both parents move to a different state, the new state will take over jurisdiction. Depending on the circumstances, the custodial parent may need to file a petition to modify the order before relocating.

Glendale, AZ Child Support Attorneys

Family law cases can be some of the most delicate to navigate, especially when children are involved. When you’re dealing with child support-related matters, a trusted child support attorney is vital. Child support cases often involve complex financial issues, litigation, negotiations, petitions, hearings, and other moving parts.

Because child support orders remain active until a child turns 18, these cases can have a profound and lasting impact on all the parties. Although many parents choose to navigate the process without legal representation, a child support attorney has the experience and knowledge to pursue the most optimal outcomes.

If you’re looking for a Glendale, AZ, child support attorney, contact the Lazenby Law Firm. Our team has spent over a decade providing compassionate representation for parents looking to resolve child support cases. Contact our firm today for a consultation.

Practice areas

Family Law
Family Law


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