A Child Support Lawyer Can Help

When a relationship breaks down and the parents separate, one of the most important issues that needs to be resolved is child support. Parents who want to ensure that their children are financially supported should work with a Phoenix AZ family law attorney.

A court will decide the amount of child support that is to be paid in a particular case. It takes into account the income of both parents and other relevant circumstances in each case. In most cases, the judge will follow a specific formula to calculate the amount of support that is owed. This allows for consistency, but the judge can also deviate from the standard amount if he or she believes it is fair to do so.

In order for the court to determine the appropriate amount of child support, both parties must bring proof of their current earnings and expenses to the court. This usually includes tax returns, pay stubs and a financial disclosure statement where both parties list their income and all expenses. The court will then hear evidence about each party’s situation and listen to testimony from witnesses. The judge will then make an order for the amount of child support that must be paid each month.

The court may also include in the child support order provisions for payment of medical, dental and prescription costs. These payments are called “Medical Support.” These may be paid in the form of health insurance or cash. Typically, the custodial parent will be responsible for paying these expenses unless the parents agree otherwise.

Generally, back child support is only ordered when the non-custodial parent acted improperly and delayed a hearing so that the custodial parent received no support during the delay. Alternatively, the court may find that the non-custodial parent concealed assets in order to avoid paying child support.

Once the court makes a child support order, it is binding on both parties. Unlike most other court orders, however, child support is not self-enforcing. A parent who fails to pay child support or pays less than the amount ordered by the court can be sanctioned and can even be incarcerated. The parent who is owed back child support can also file an action to collect the outstanding sum.

A family law attorney can help you understand the process of establishing child support in your state and how the court will determine your exact obligation. The lawyers at Singer Pistiner can also assist with modifying existing child support obligations when necessary. This can be a complicated issue as the change in circumstances must be significant and it must be documented properly by both parties.

It is best to establish child support as soon as possible. If your divorce is pending, our attorneys can help you reach an agreement with the other parent and then submit it to the court for approval. We can also mediate the matter to try to resolve the issue without a trial.