Family Law FAQ
We have all seen courtroom shows on television; You know, the ones where someone is lying about their testimony on the witness stand, but the attorney is able to badger them to the point where they break down crying, openly confessing to their sins. It’s the Perry Mason effect that so many of us have gotten used to over the decades.
The truth is that courtrooms don’t often work this way. In fact, it’s less than 1% of the time that someone really breaks down this way approving that they were lying about their testimony. The more likely scenario is that they will stand firmly on their statements unless they are proven to be lying. That’s where the true challenge arises.
When someone is served papers and required to appear in civil court, the minimum amount of time before the hearing is 30 days. So, if someone has one month to prepare and still fails to show up to the hearing, they can expect some negative consequences. While things do happen and mistakes are made, missing a child support hearing will do them no favors, especially if this is the initial child support hearing.
It’s common knowledge that about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Once two spouses decide upon divorce, the process of divorcing legally takes place. Everything from separating properties to child custody and child support must be decided upon. This is where the divorce decree comes into play. But once divorce papers are signed, can they be changed?
The simple answer to that is yes, they can be. But of course, there is a much more complex answer.
Under Arizona state law, common law marriages contracted in the state are not recognized. However, Arizona does acknowledge opposite-sex marriages that were created in other states that do recognize common law marriages. If a couple is entered into a common law marriage in a state that recognizes such marriages, then relocates to Arizona, the couple is still considered legally married in Arizona, even though common law marriages aren’t recognized under state law.
The state of Arizona takes the safety and security of its children very seriously. ARS 8-201(1) defines Arizona’s law on abandonment, it also has mandatory child abandonment reporting requirements. The state has created a department solely for the purpose of investigating abandonment complaints. The state of Arizona works very hard to protect every child while also fighting to provide ways for families and children to stay together.
As part of the child custody matter between you and the other parent of your child or children, you may be required to pay a child maintenance amount each month, also known as child support. This money is allocated for the health and benefit of the children, and is ordered by the court as a mandatory payment set up by the judge or magistrate handling your case.
While it is a required amount that is paid, a lot of men and women have created an idea in their mind that this is not an obligation. If they don’t want to pay it, they feel like they should not have to.
There are also those who are struggling to pay their child support because of hardships or emergencies that may have arisen. They may have every intention of paying their monthly support, but a loss of a job, an unexpected medical bill, or a reduction in hours at work can lead to a hardship that makes it difficult to stay current with the amount that is owed.
They say that nothing lasts forever, and that is true in child support cases as well. When there is some form of separation or there is a need to ensure that one parent is helping to provide assistance for the care and welfare of the children, courts often become involved, mandating that the noncustodial parent take financial responsibility for that care.
This usually happens for a short period of time after parental lineage has been established or as part of a divorce decree. To ensure that the children are having their educational, health, medical, extracurricular and daily needs met, the court can mandate that one parent supply child support payments to the other parent to ensure that the child maintains his or her standard of living through the separation.
The technical answer is no, as a child increases in age child support does not increase with it. However, there are circumstances in which the amount of child support being paid monthly can increase.
In Arizona, the amount of child support does change to reflect the associated costs of raising the child. The law also recognizes the circumstances of the parent and the child, which in many cases, does result in increased costs. But everything depends on the details of the situation. There is no automatic increase or decrease in payments. All of the changes in payments are regulated by the court.
No matter how conscientious you may be about paying your bills, a time may come where you find yourself falling behind through no fault of your own. Emergencies arise, you may lose your job or have some other kind of expense that arises that you simply could not plan for. This can not only lead to you getting behind on your credit card or mortgage payments, but on your child support payments as well. You may find yourself unable to make your obligations, which can put you in trouble with the court system.
No matter what the circumstance may be, there can be a time where one parent is unable to make their monthly obligations or the other parent is simply no longer in need of it. This can lead to a time where the two parents may come to an agreement that child support no longer needs to be paid, maybe even just for a short period of time.
Marriage is considered one of the most sacred and special ceremonies that can be performed. For many, it is the best day of their lives, along with the birth of children and other momentous events.
However, often times the thought of what a marriage will be like doesn’t quite add up to what the actual marriage ends up being like, leading to divorce. Quite regularly, people will have two or more marriages throughout their lives (According to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, 28% of married men and women in Arizona had been divorced and remarried). This raises the question and main focus of the article, how soon can you get married after a divorce?
The length of time that a divorce takes in Arizona varies from couple to couple. The shortest amount of time that it can take to divorce in Arizona is 60 days, but some divorces can end up taking several years to be finalized.
Despite being obligated by the court to do so, there are those who will find themselves in contempt of court for failing to pay their child support obligations. This may occur because the person simply doesn’t have the money, but there are also those instances where the person simply doesn’t want to pay it.
No matter what the circumstance may be, one who is failing to pay child support is in violation of an order of the court. What must be understood is that this is an obligation the court has dictated, and a failure to pay the amount of child support mandated by the court is a violation of the law, punishable under Arizona statute § 25-511.
When two parties get a divorce, they have to settle their debts. These can include mortgages, credit card bills, and even medical bills. Medical insurance often does not cover 100% of your medical costs. There are deductibles, co-pays, and even procedures that the insurance does not cover and therefore they need to be paid off.
Under Arizona law, parents have a legal duty to provide “all reasonable support” to their biological and adopted children (ARS 25-501). When parents separate or get divorced, the courts enforce this responsibility with a child support agreement.
Whether the agreement takes the form of a divorce decree or a court order, the agreement is legally binding for both parents. The custodial parent is expected to provide direct support to the child, and the non-custodial parent is required to make predetermined child support payments based on the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
Child support in Arizona, like in any other state, is often filled with hostility and entitlement . This hostility usually is because the parent responsible for payments thinks that it is too much money or the custodial parent thinks that it isn’t enough. Whether you like it or not, once the child support amount is set by the court or signed and agreed upon in a legal binding document, this will be the amount required to be paid each month. This is why it is so important that you work with a family law attorney during this process.
A family law attorney is going to be able to help you define why the amount of money you are requesting for child support is fair or why the amount of child support the custodial parent is asking for is not fair. Either way, it is in your best interest to get the assistance of these child support experts, this legal binding contract will last until your child is 18 years old.