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Scottsdale Child Support Lawyer

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The experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas, have been handling matters of Arizona child support orders for many years. Our child support attorneys focus on helping our clients achieve the best possible results in a wide range of situations, from determining child custody in a divorce and paternity action to assisting in the enforcement and modification of existing court orders.

Why Choose Us

  • Our Scottsdale family law attorney, Karen Schoenau has 20 years of experience representing families in complex child support and custody cases. We leverage our knowledge, skills, and resources to strengthen your case.
  • Our child support attorneys prioritize your child’s best interest during each and every stage of your claim. We will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for our family.
  • We understand how complex the legal process can be. Our family law firm strives to provide honest and direct communication, compassionate representation, and consistent support during the entirety of your case.

Why a Child Support Lawyer in Scottsdale is Crucial

Many people often wonder why they need a lawyer to help with their child support claim in Scottsdale. The reality is that child support is often part of the overall divorce process, so many people rely on their divorce attorney to handle the child support issues on their behalf. That is okay and perfectly acceptable in many situations. However, there are times when an individual may need a lawyer just to handle child support issues. In many cases, child support issues arise in the absence of a divorce case.

When a child support lawyer in Scottsdale gets involved with a claim, they will handle every aspect of communication with the other parties on your behalf. They will be the ones to communicate with the judge and represent you in court. A child support lawyer will be familiar with the Income Shares Model, and they will help make sure that you are either receiving the correct amount of child support or paying the correct amount of child support.

The child support process can be an emotional trigger for many individuals, which is why we always encourage that was going through this to work with a skilled lawyer who can take the emotion out of it and respond logically on behalf of their client.

The Purpose of Scottsdale Child Support Payments

If you file for divorce while you have children, you will need to make certain decisions. Working with a Scottsdale divorce lawyer, you will need to make child custody arrangements, identify visitation schedules under a parenting plan, and calculate child support payments. The purpose of child support orders in Scottsdale is to provide children with the financial resources that he or she would have received if his or her parents were still living together.

Child support can be used to pay for many expenses, including the following.

  • Groceries
  • Rent and mortgage payments
  • School supplies
  • School fees
  • Clothing
  • Medical care
  • Childcare
  • Transportation
  • College expenses
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Entertainment

Understanding the Arizona Child Support Guidelines

Arizona law uses a series of guidelines to help determine the amount of child support to be paid. By law, courts and lawyers are required to use the child support guidelines in their calculations.

These guidelines take into account the monthly gross income of both parents, other children whom the parents are currently caring for or have physical custody over, each parent’s relative time spent with the child, and any extra expenses. These may include the cost of child care or medical and dental insurance for the children.

In some cases, the courts can depart from the guidelines and award another amount either above or below the guideline requirement. These are usually situations involving a parent having a very large income, extraordinary expenses for the children, or the special needs of a child.

Many parents are confused about the amount of Scottsdale child support that may be owed. This is especially true if a departure from the guidelines occurs. At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, we can help you understand how the child support guidelines may apply to you and how your child support amount is determined.

How to Modify a Scottsdale Child Support Order

Financial circumstances often change. If you or your spouse experience a continuous, sustained change in income, you can petition the court to modify your child support order. You will need to prove that your new change in income is at least 15 percent higher or lower than your existing amount in order for the court to modify your payments.

Additionally, if your child experiences a change in custody, you can petition the court to modify payments to match the child’s new living arrangements. Speak to a child support attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau to initiate the modification process.

Which Parent Handles Extracurricular Activities Costs?

One contentious part of the child support process is extracurricular activities that a child may be involved in. As any parent knows, extracurricular activities are not cheap. This includes sports, joining the band, various clubs, JROTC, and more.

You will usually not find that a court will order extra child support to pay for a child’s extracurricular activities unless the receiving parent can show that their child’s basic needs are not being met by the current child support payments. One parent may simply not agree with the type of extracurricular activities their child is involved in. Even though a parent will not be allowed to withhold basic child support, they will typically not be obligated to pay extra for these activities.

However, it is not uncommon for one parent to offer to send more money to pay for these additional activities or any other unexpected expense that may arise, such as a trip the child wants to take with friends. The paying parent is certainly allowed to send more, but this does not allow them to pay less child support at a later date. They must still continue their regular payments as scheduled.

Does a Child With Disabilities Receive Payments for Longer?

Arizona law will allow for child support payments to go beyond the age of 18 for a child with disabilities, but only under certain circumstances. These payments are allowed to continue only if the court implements the usual guidelines in place for child support payments, the adult child’s mental or physical disability prevents them from independent living, and if the disability began before the child turned 18.

However, even this does not mean that payments will be automatically considered. The court will need to look at whether or not the receiving parent already gets assistance for the child apostrophe as disability, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or other federal or state assistance. These payments may eliminate the ability to collect additional child support from a paying parent.

What Happens if a Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support?

The Arizona Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) oversees child support enforcement in Scottsdale. The noncustodial parent must make all required payments on time and in the amount ordered by the court.

If a parent does not pay child support orders and does not fulfill their child support obligation in Scottsdale, he or she is in violation of the court order. In these situations, the other parent can enforce the order by contacting the court or DCSS. There are several methods that these entities can use to recover missing payments or failed child support obligations:

  • Your former spouse’s paychecks, retirement benefits, unemployment payments, and other forms of income can be garnished through an income withholding order.
  • DCSS can seize bank accounts, property, and other assets if your former spouse fails to pay 12 months or more in child support.
  • If your former spouse is receiving a state tax refund and owes more than $50 in, the DCSS can intercept the refund and direct it to you.
  • The DCSS may suspect your former spouse’s professional license or request the court to suspend his or her driver’s license or recreational license.
  • The DCSS can report your former spouse to a credit bureau if he or she has not paid for more than 180 days.

If your former spouse is failing to make payments and not meeting their child support obligation, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help. Our child support attorney can help you recover the financial support your child needs.

contact our Scottsdale child support lawyer today

Don’t Just Search the Internet — Contact Our Experienced Scottsdale Child Support Lawyers

While there is a nearly unlimited amount of legal information about child support on the Internet, the best way to find out how the law applies in your situation is to contact a child support attorney. Our Scottsdale child support lawyers can provide expert legal advice on child custody and child support obligations specific to your case. Speak with Scottsdale family law attorney Karen A. Schoenau by calling (480) 209-1918 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.


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