Each state in the U.S. has a different method of determining how much child support must be paid and which parent must pay it. While both parents are responsible for the care and provision of their children, the percentage of financial contribution is disbursed between parents. The Arizona Child Support Guideline uses factors such as the number of children, the ages of the children, legal decision-making rights and parenting time (custody privileges) of both parents, the income of both parents, and any spousal maintenance due to determine the child support obligation of each parent.
Child support is one of the most important and complex aspects of a divorce settlement. Calculating the amount of child support each parent is responsible for is therefore prioritized before spousal maintenance or other future financial obligations. The total child support obligation is determined by calculating the joint income of both parents and factoring in the number of children that must be provided for. Higher incomes and more children will contribute to a larger overall child support obligation. If parents each have equal parenting time and equivalent incomes, their financial responsibilities would be equal and it is likely neither parent would have to pay child support to the other parent. However, this scenario is often unlikely.
Historically, men have held higher incomes and as a result, there is the long-standing belief that men will be required to pay women child support in the event of a divorce or parental separation. This is not always the case. Women are increasingly becoming the primary provider of household income, or a substantial contributor, as women’s rights in the workplace are improved. Even when women do make less money than their ex-husbands, they may still be ordered to pay child support if they are the noncustodial parent or a judge rules that their contribution must be greater than the father’s. Court orders on child support obligations often vary widely, depending on the judge and what he/she believes justifies a deviancy from the written general guideline. This is why it is especially important to have a knowledgeable family lawyer on your side in a child support and custody case. Brad Crider of Crider Law will defend your right to child support in a court of law and help you contest unfair court rulings.
To find out if you will owe child support to your ex-spouse or to set up an initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney in the Mesa, Arizona area, contact Crider Law today.