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Information About ARS 25-322: Payment of Maintenance or Support

Posted By Legal Team | April 30 2023 | Child Support

As mandated by ARS 25-322, the law in Arizona mandates that parents must financially support their children until they reach legal adulthood or until they are considered self-sufficient. This law governs married and unmarried parental actions. A family law attorney with Karen A. Schoenau can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.

What ARS 25-322 Demands

The court is given authority by ARS 24-322 to order both or just one of the parents to pay child support. This support is intended to cover the following needs:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Healthcare
  • Clothing

Various factors are considered when determining how much child support is ordered. This includes the following considerations:

  • Parental income
  • Expenses incurred by both parents
  • The number of minor children
  • The needs of the children

Legally, the court can make one parent pay spousal support after the divorce if one spouse earns substantially more than the other. Divorce should not leave one spouse struggling financially, so spousal maintenance is set so that the spouse who earns less is not denied an adequate standard of living.

Modifications Can Be Made

The court’s findings on child support and alimony are not the final say. If necessary, either spouse can approach the court to adjust the order if circumstances have been significantly altered. Some common causes for modifications are as follows:

  • Change in income
  • Employment status changes
  • Health issues
  • Living arrangement changes

This means that if a parent’s employment situation changes and they made significantly less than they did when the order was put into place, they can petition the court to reduce the amount of the child support order.

Another circumstance that may warrant a modification is if a child sustained a serious injury and required extensive medical care. The parent with custody might seek a modification that would mandate the other parent to provide money to manage the medical costs.

Contempt of Court

Until a modification is agreed upon and mandated by the court, the parent who is responsible for paying child or spousal support much pay what they were originally ordered to pay. If that parent or former spouse does not pay what they were ordered, they can be held in contempt of court. Being in contempt of court can mean that party is fined or imprisoned.

The court will ensure the payment is made if the party does not. They can do this by seizure of their property or by garnishing their wages. Being in contempt of court can be a costly and challenging process that is best avoided by contacting a family law attorney to sort through the process of requesting a modification.

Voluntary Support Agreements

Parents may agree on a voluntary child support contract. The parents will outline the monetary amount and the schedule of payments to benefit the child by taking care of expenses, sports, medical care, and other extracurricular activities.

After outlining a child support agreement voluntarily, if the parent does not comply with its terms, the other parent may ask the court to make them hold up their end of the contract. To ensure the child is safe and cared for, both parents must do their part to support them. The consequences of not properly caring for your child can be dire for the child and the parents.

Seek Legal Counsel Today

When a child or spousal support is in question, it is critical to seek legal counsel. The Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau is ready to answer your questions. Our compassionate team wants to see your rights and best interests protected.

ARS 25-322 ensures that children are supported until they are old enough to support themselves. Speak to a family law attorney with Karen A. Schoenau for help navigating the legal process.

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