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Gilbert Child Support Lawyer

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As children grow, they need food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and enrichment to live happy and healthy lives. Parents have a legal duty to provide for their children—and in many cases, Arizona courts issue child support orders so that a child can receive the care he or she needs.

If you are seeking or subject to a child support order in Gilbert, the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can help. Our family law attorney can help guide you through your family law case process and ensure that the court’s assessment of your child’s needs is fair.

Why Choose Us

  • We have over 20 years of family law experience. Our firm will leverage our skills, resources, and knowledge to provide you with the representation you deserve.
  • Our law firm prioritizes children’s best interests when devising our case strategy. We will fight aggressively to protect you and your child throughout the child support process.
  • Our family law attorney, Karen Schoenau, has won multiple awards recognizing her dedication to clients, including the 2019 Maricopa County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers’ Program Attorney of the Year.

How Arizona Courts Calculate Child Support

Every state has a set of guidelines to determine child support payments. In Arizona, courts base child support in Gilbert on the amount of money that the parents would have used to care for the child if they continued to live together as one family. Generally, the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not hold primary child custody, pays child support to the custodial parent. Our Gilbert child custody lawyers have the experience to help assist with your specific case regarding child custody matters.

Using this estimated amount, the courts will then consider the following factors when creating a child support order in Gilbert.

  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child within a year
  • The gross income of each parent, which may include wages, investment interest, bank and retirement accounts, veterans’ benefits, pensions, annuities, and any other source of income
  • Any other factors relevant to the child’s care, such as the cost of specialized medical care, educational costs, insurance, and daycare services

Keep in mind that each parent is required to pay a proportionate share of his or her income to support the child. The court’s order may deviate from these guidelines if it believes that it would be inappropriate or unjust. A Gilbert child support lawyer can help you navigate this process and ensure that the court’s assessment is fair.

What to Do If Your Former Spouse Fails to Pay Child Support in Gilbert

If a court orders a parent to pay child support, he or she must fulfill their child support obligation by making payments on time and in the correct amount. If your former spouse or partner fails to pay child support in Gilbert, he or she can face severe consequences. You can contact the court or the Arizona Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to help recover the compensation your child deserves.

The DCSS can take any of the following actions to encourage a delinquent parent to pay child support.

  • Income withholding orders, which garnish money directly from the parent’s paychecks or benefits payments
  • Seizing the parent’s assets, such as bank accounts or property, if he or she has not paid child support in 12 months or more
  • Placing liens on the parent’s property, such as his or her house or car, so that he or she cannot sell the property unless the child support is paid

When Child Support Modifications in Gilbert May be Necessary

In the aftermath of a divorce or separation, and in life in general, it is very unlikely that an individual’s situation will stay the same. Both parents will likely experience life changes that could necessitate the need to modify child support orders in Arizona. Modifications to child support payments in this state cannot proceed forward without formally going through the family court system.

If either parent believes that modifications need to be made to child support, whether they think they need to receive more or if they think they are paying too much, they must petition the court to re-examine calculations. There are various reasons when a modification to child support in Arizona may be necessary, including:

  • The child is involved in more extracurricular activities than expected
  • The income of one or both parents has altered
  • One parent loses their job
  • There has been a significant change to health care expenses for the child
  • A parent has become disabled or experienced a health problem
  • There has been a change to child custody or parenting time

If a parent thinks that child support payments need to change, we strongly encourage them to work with a skilled child support attorney who has experience handling Arizona child support order modifications. Going through the modification process can be challenging, even if both parents agree. Again, it is important to understand that modifying child support payments must be approved by the court. Our Scottsdale child support modification lawyers can provide legal support through the process of filing for a court order modification in Arizona.

If one parent needs more money for a “one-time” type of situation, such as the child going on a trip with their school or a sports event that requires extensive funding, it is certainly possible for both parents to work out a one-time payment. However, if there needs to be an extended change to child support, the court system must approve.

Continued Support for a Disabled Child

There are situations where Arizona law will allow for continued child support payments for a disabled adult child beyond the age of 18. However, this can only happen in a few circumstances, including if:

  • The court implements the usual child support guidelines when considering payments beyond the age of 18.
  • The adult child’s mental or physical disabilities prevent them from living on their own.
  • The adult child’s disability began before their 18th birthday.

It is important to note that child support payments beyond the child’s 18th birthday will not be automatic, even under those three circumstances mentioned above. The court will need to consider various aspects of the parent-child relationship, including whether or not the child receives current assistance for disability. This can include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as well as various other federal and state assistance. These other types of assistance could reduce the need or even eliminate the need for the continuation of child support payments.

If you think that you need to continue to receive payments for your disabled adult child, we encourage you to speak to a skilled attorney who can work to help you adjust child support payments appropriately through the court system.

contact our Gilbert child support lawyer today

Schedule a Consultation With a Child Support Attorney in Gilbert

Navigating a child support case can be a challenge without an attorney on your side. In these situations, the Gilbert child support lawyers at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau can fight for your child’s best interests. Message us or call 480-467-3435 to speak with our Scottsdale family law attorney and schedule your free consultation.

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