The first step in obtaining child support, prior to filing for or responding to a petition for child support is for a parent to meet with their attorney to plan. During that meeting, be prepared to discuss where the child lives, expenses related to the child, income of the parents and insurance costs, and childcare costs and anything additional you think your attorney should know.
To obtain child support in Mesa or anywhere in the State of Arizona, a parent’s legal status must be established. That can occur either during a divorce or by filing to establish paternity for unmarried parents. Once paternity is established, child support becomes fairly straight forward. The Arizona child support calculator will take a number of factors into consideration and display the presumptive child support amount. You can get a good idea of what a judge might order for child support based on that calculator.
If you are unable to settle your child support case by agreeing with the other parent as to the amount of child support owed to a parent, then a judge will ultimately determine the amount of child support and issue an order.
If you are presenting your case to a judge for a decision on child support, you will attend what’s known as an “evidentiary hearing.” The key word is evidentiary, and you will need to have evidence to support your positions. Your positions correspond with all of the inputs in the Arizona child support calculator. When the parties have an evidentiary hearing on child support, they should have documented evidence for each of the items they have discussed with their attorneys or whatever is in the child support calculator. For instance, receipts, invoices, or paperwork demonstrating their income, childcare costs, and health insurance costs can be useful during the process of obtaining child support in Mesa.
Notifying the Proper Entities
If a parent is purchasing a house, they should consider notifying their lender or mortgage broker that they are in the process of obtaining child support in Mesa and that they may have new financial obligations in the near future. However, parents are not obligated to disclose such information to their employer, as court will issue an income withholding order and deliver it to the payor’s employer, advising them to take money out of the payor’s paycheck and send it to Arizona Child Support Clearinghouse.
One of the most common misconceptions about the process of obtaining child support payments in Mesa is that the courts factor in how much a parent pays for their house or how much disposable income they have. In reality, the court does not account for how much money a parent has left after their other bills are paid.
From the court’s perspective, child support comes out of one party’s income before anything else. If a parent cannot afford to pay other bills because their child support obligation is too high, a lawyer from our firm could help them advocate for an adjusted amount.
Child support cases can become highly contested or problematic if there is a disagreement about how much money either parent makes. The issue of child support can be contentious and complicated if there are discrepancies in a parent’s expense reporting or if either parent asks for a deviation in support up or down.
Parents should be truthful, open, and non-argumentative about their income and lifestyle during legal proceedings about child support payments and when speaking with a judge about child support. It is advisable to bring documents (e.g., receipts, invoices, W2s, or tax returns) that prove income as well as the costs associated with childcare, the child’s health insurance, and their extracurricular activities or special needs.
Let an Attorney Prepare You for the Process of Obtaining Child Support in Mesa
An attorney can help a family going through the difficult process of obtaining child support in Mesa by advocating for the maximum amount or by minimizing the obligation, depending on the circumstances. There could be tens of thousands of dollars in these payments when you add up child support over the lifetime of your children. For help with navigating this complex legal process, get in touch with an attorney from our firm today.