When the Arizona state legislature creates new laws and regulations, they try to cover just about every kind of situation that may arise. This is true in child support cases as well, where there are a number of factors and mitigating circumstances that can make a typically simple process much more complicated. One such situation is when one of the parents is looking to get child support when they are still married.
Typically child support is only necessary when the parents are no longer together. However, just because a couple is still married does not mean that they are physically “together” or occupying the same residence. In such a situation one of the parents may be relying on the finances of the other to take care of their child and may be at a point where the other parent is no longer supporting them by their own free will. This is when they realize that they will need child support.
Child Support is a Requirement After a Divorce or Legal Separation
If you and your partner have filed for a divorce in Arizona or legal separation in Arizona, and you have children, then by law you are required to set up child support. The state of Arizona takes child support very seriously, they believe (as do we) that children should be given the best opportunity to be succeed. A child’s success growing up is greatly affected by financial stability, thus making child support a necessity above all others.
Child Support While Still Married
While child support is designed to help divorced or separated parents care for their child financially, there are sometimes situations where the parents are still married and child support is necessary. It is possible to receive child support while still married, but only temporarily. You can do this by filing a petition for temporary child support with the Maricopa County Superior Court, however you must have lived in Arizona for at least 6 months. You must also be legally married or have been declared married via common law in one of the states that Arizona legally recognizes a common law marriage.
If one parent is looking to get child support from the other parent while they are still married, a petition for temporary child support is the only way to legally get the other parent to start making payments. The only reason that someone would be doing this is if the parent that has had a majority of the financial responsibility no longer is supporting the parent or child. They may have physically left or they are just choosing to stop paying for things. In either scenario it is enough of a reason to file for temporary child support.
If both parents are still happily married, but they simply cannot afford to take care of their child, then this is another situation entirely. There are agencies, such as benefits.gov, that help low income families get financial support to help raise their children.
Determining Child Support Amounts
The entire reason that you are in this situation is because you do not have the financial support that you need to take care of your child. It can be difficult to figure out just how much child support you should be receiving, the Arizona state legislature has recognized this and made the Arizona child support guidelines. These guidelines are not exactly what you will receive, but can give you a good estimate of what you should be seeking. While referencing the Arizona child support guidelines is a good place to start, the best thing for you to do is get in contact with a family law attorney with experience in child support cases.
You Should Contact a Child Support Attorney
Child support is not something that should be taken lightly, which is exactly why the state of Arizona recognizes these cases as such a serious matter. Determining the correct amount of child support is crucial in guaranteeing stability in your home until your child reaches the appropriate age and no longer requires your financial support. If you set up an amount that is too low, you will be stressed in making ends meet while caring for your child. If you set an amount that is too high you could create a hostile relationship with the other parent, which can lead to a whole new set of issues.
Working with an attorney will make sure that you are not only guaranteed the best possible amount to keep financial stability after a divorce, but gives your child the best possible chance to succeed. Don’t get cheated out of money that you would need just because you didn’t want to pay the attorney fees. While yes, attorney cost a fair amount of money to work with, there is a reason they do. A good family law attorney can end up saving you 10’s of thousands of dollars that you would have otherwise missed out on.