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Every year, thousands of people across the state of Arizona opt to get divorced. While no one enters into a marriage believing that it is going to end one day, the reality is that there will be times when a couple simply does not get along or where one spouse is in danger from the other and it is time to dissolve this union.

Sadly, the ones who often suffer from divorce the most are the children. Divorces can often be messy, and when there are children involved, they usually get much more so. The parents use the children against one another in many cases, which can lead to a very messy divorce. If you or someone you know is thinking about getting a divorce where children are involved, please consider consulting one our skilled family law attorneys here at JacksonWhite.

It is crucial to make the divorce as clean as possible and that if it is possible, to work out a situation where both parents will be able to spend time with the child. Having both parents around is important to the developmental process of a child and it is our goal to ensure that we do what is best for your kid(s). Give us a call at (480) 467-4348 or fill out a form online to get in contact with our family law team.

The Court Often Has to Step In

To resolve these problems, it often falls upon the court to help resolve the final decree of the divorce. The couple could literally save themselves tens of thousands of dollars if they simply work things out themselves; but this is rarely, if ever the case.

When a judge or an arbiter decides the dissolution of the divorce, they are the one who has the final say over how things will be divided, who will care of the child, if there will be joint custody, and how much the custodial parent will receive as part of the caring for of the children.

How the Court Determines Child Support

In many instances, the parent who is responsible for the care of the child and referred to as the custodial parent, will receive some form of support from the other parent as part of that care. For this to occur, the custodial parent must have the child for a greater percentage of the time, and child support is usually based on the amount of time that the custodial parent would have in relation to the noncustodial one.

For example, if the custodial parent had the child or children for the vast majority of the month, minus two weekends each month, they would receive an amount that was equitable in relation to the amount of time that they had the child.

This factor helps determine the amount of child support. Others include such things as the number of children, the number of children the parents have from other relationships, how many hours each parent works, their pay, etc. Many things can go in the determination for the judge and what they will grant to the custodial parent.

The important part of this is that this decision will be completely up to the judge or the arbiter to determine. It’s one reason why many courts will try to encourage the parents to work things out as much as possible before they get to court. You can save yourself a huge amount of time and money, as well as find some kind of common ground that works for the both of you as long as both of you will work together. This can make your divorce go a whole lot smoother.

Does the Custodial Parent Have to Pay Child Support?

One question that many parents ask is “does the custodial parent have to pay child support?”. This is an interesting question that requires a little more explanation. It’s not a simple yes or no answer.

In the majority of cases, the answer is no. The custodial parent is the one who cares for and physically has the child or children with them most often. Therefore, they are the parent or guardian who receives the child support. Thus, they do not pay any money to the other parent or guardian at all.

However, there are a few obscure circumstances where a parent may be responsible for paying child support. One such example is if the custodial parent is in need of granting permission for the other parent to keep the child or children for an extended period of time.

This can occur for many reasons. Often, the custodial parent may have a medical condition that requires them to have an extended stay in a hospital or rehabilitation center, and they are unable to care for the child. The rational decision is to hand the child over to the noncustodial parent during this period of time.

Situations Where a Custodial Parent May Have to Pay Child Support

After the divorce, some parents may find somebody else to marry, and this can happen in the case of the custodial parent as well. They may go on a honeymoon, or some other kind of vacation where they do not intend to take the child with them. This can mean that the noncustodial parent will have the child for a couple of weeks, maybe even for a month.

In these cases, the court may require that either the custodial parent pay some money to the noncustodial parent during this period to care for the child, or the noncustodial parent pay less in child support the next month to make up for the additional cost they would have to pay for caring for the child during this time.

During such rare instances, a noncustodial parent may wind up having to pay some money and the custodial parent has to pass the child on to the noncustodial parent for an extended period of time.

It should be noted that simply allowing the child to stay with the noncustodial parent for an additional weekend or a few extra days during the month would rarely lead to the custodial parent paying additional money back to the noncustodial parent. These are seen as bonus times for the noncustodial parent, and the court virtually never finds that the custodial parent is required to pay money to the noncustodial parent.

The custodial parent may be required to pay money to the noncustodial parent if that parent is required to pay an expense it was not obligated to otherwise. For example, if part of the child support payment is to give money to pay for medical expenses, and while the child is with the noncustodial parent the child gets injured and the noncustodial parent has to pay for those expenses, the court may conclude that the custodial parent needs to reimburse the money.


Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

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