Divorce is an emotionally difficult time for everyone involved in the family dynamic, including the children of the divorcing spouses. While child custody battles are often fraught with disagreements and arguments, it is difficult to ignore the financial impact of a divorce, including ongoing child support payments. Child support is often contingent on the outcome of child custody arrangements. If you are going through a divorce which involves child support arrangements, do not hesitate in contacting an experienced family law attorney who can assist you in reaching an equitable settlement.
Child support is the obligation of one parent to another for the support of the child. A court often determines what the appropriate amount is for each child, as well as the timing for ongoing payments. A court will take into account the following factors in determining the child support amount:
- Each parent’s income
- The needs of the child
- Health insurance and medical expenses
- Cost of daycare
- Number of children both parents have (together and separately)
Child support payments will often be limited by the income of the spouse obligated to make the ongoing payments and will end when the child either graduates from high school or reaches a set age. While this age is often 18, some agreements may allow child support payments to continue until the child graduates from college.
Parents may reach their own arrangement outside of a court order which allows for various amounts to be paid on a recurring basis. However, parents that find it difficult to reach an agreement will often require a fully detailed child support agreement.
Child support payments are largely determined off the income of the non-custodial parent. A standard formula is often put into place which will determine a percentage of this parent’s monthly income. This set amount may be raised or lowered depending on the needs of the child and outside factors, such as the cost of day care or medical expenses. A court will not consider items such as extraneous shopping expenses, but will look at the lifestyle that the child was accustomed prior to the divorce. While child support payments may be capped at a certain limit, this does not prevent a paying parent from contributing extra funds toward health insurance, car insurance, or school field trips, as these expenses may come up during the course of a child’s life.
Child Support Modifications
The total child support amounts may be modified upon any extenuating circumstances, such as a change in income by either parent, a change in the cost of daycare, or a change in the cost of medical expenses. While courts are typically the best avenue to modify a child support agreement, both parents can also come to a mutually agreed upon modification. A court will require proof that situations have changed which necessitate a modification in the child support agreement.
Viles Law Firm | Phoenix, Arizona Divorce Lawyer
If you are involved in a child support dispute, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Viles Law Firm. Our firm has been in existence for 18 years and has handled over 1,000 family law cases, including child support cases. Contact our Phoenix, Arizona office today for your initial free consultation.