When you are getting divorce or separated from your partner and children are involved, if you’re the custodial parent you are due child support from the other parent.
Getting the child support you deserve is important because this money ensures your children have the means to live a stable, safe and healthy life. Even though one parent may not live with the children the majority of the time anymore due to divorce or separation, the non-custodial parent is still financially responsible.
When a legal case results in court orders being issued, like a dissolution of marriage decree or a legal separation agreement, child support will be specified. A separate child support case can also be opened for parents who never married. Particulars about who will be the custodial parent, parenting time for the non-custodial parent, and child support orders will be considered by the judge.
The most common method of calculating child support is the income shares model, which the state of Arizona uses. Under the income shares model, your percentage of the combined income is the percentage that you’ll have to pay in child support.
Factors Affecting Child Support
There are other factors to be taken into account when calculating child support such as child care and health insurance expenses, the children’s ages, and education costs. Since each person’s situation will vary, and additional factors exist such as special needs, it’s recommended you speak to a lawyer regarding your specific considerations.
Hiring a Child Support Lawyer
Consult with an attorney and come prepared for your appointment. Bring any documents you need and a list of questions.
Here is a list of questions to ask to help determine if the attorney is a good fit for getting the child support you deserve:
. What’s the attorney’s experience in child support cases and awards?
. Can the lawyer provide references from past clients?
. What are the possible outcomes of your case? What are the positive and negatives for each outcome? What would be the next step if you don’t get your desired outcome?
. If the legal firm is large, who will handle your case? Would it be the lawyer you’re meeting or the firm’s associates? If it’s associates, what will their roles be?
. What does your lawyer charge? If the attorney requests a retainer, will any money be returned if it’s not spent?
The better prepared and informed you are increases the odds you’ll get the child support you need and deserve.