Tips from Chandler family law attorney

Things to Know About Prenuptial Agreements

Deciding whether to sign a prenuptial agreement can be one of the most difficult decisions engaged people face. Prenuptial agreements aren’t useful for every couple. While wealthy individuals do often use prenups, prenuptial agreements have far more uses than simply protecting the assets of a wealthy individual. Prenups can be used to:

  • Protects assets
  • Protect one person from assuming the debts of the other
  • Determine how property will be passed after a death
  • Clarify financial responsibilities during a marriage
  • Avoid long, often costly disputes if a divorce happens
  • Put a limit on alimony, if the marriage fails

A premarital agreement tends to take a divorce in two directions: it can make it easier or make it more complicated. A prenup can be used to help resolve some of the issues that are typically discussed during a divorce and there are some obvious benefits. It could help to reduce tension, as well as decrease the need for court intervention in handling problems throughout the divorce process.

As a result, there isn’t much that the attorneys and the court have to do to resolve the case. This is clearly a good thing, especially since it should cut down on legal fees and allow the process to move along much faster. Hiring a Arizona attorney can help if you aren’t familiar with the laws, or if you’re having trouble interpreting the rules. It is common for each person to have their own attorneys review the prenup. Before you file for divorce, you need to get a copy of your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to use as evidence.

Your attorney will help you review the agreement and make sure that it is valid. If the prenup appears invalid, an attorney will help you get it fully or partially set aside. If it is valid, however, the items must be followed by the court.

If you have questions about drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or about how an existing nuptial agreement will affect your divorce case, the attorneys at Shaffer Family Law are here to help. We can answer any questions you may have and help you find affordable, efficient legal solutions that meet your needs.

We are here to help handle any divorce issues as peacefully as possible and with as much compassion as possible. Though, we won’t hesitate to fight aggressively if needed to protect your rights. To schedule an initial consultation, give our Arizona office a call at (480) 470-3030.

So, Who Gets the Furbaby in a Divorce?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 36.5% of Americans own dogs and 30.4% of Americans own cats. So, it is not uncommon when a married couple divorces for the question of who gets to keep the pets to arise. Most of the laws are designed to protect the best interests of human children in divorces, like shared custody, visitation rights, and alimony. The laws for pets are intended to focus on the best interest of the owner instead.

Under the law, pets are considered personal property, which means that they are capable of human ownership and control. The law sees granting shared custody or visitation of the pets would be exactly the same as them trading their television or video game system back and forth from one week to the next.

Before a court decides who gets what property in a divorce, it should usually be decided whether it’s in the territory of being a “community property” which will be split 50/50 or a reasonable distribution, aka split fairly. It must then be decided which property actually belongs to the couple (rather each individual) and how much the property is worth. Any agreements that the couple already decided on will also be considered, especially in the case where there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Even in deciding who gets the pets, the court will go through the same steps as if it’s any other piece of property.

Pets are becoming such a big part of our regular lives; some courts are beginning to change this analysis and are even agreeing to treat pets more like children. This has largely occurred with dogs. Courts can help consider what is best for the interest of the pets and help determine who gets custody of them. Courts have also granted shared custody, visitation, and alimony payments for the owners. The majority of the time, owners will have to work out a contract between themselves instead.

It seems trivial; figuring out who gets custody of a 3-year-old poodle or a 10-year-old calico cat. But pets are a part of the family and a part of the equation when it comes to a lot of divorces. Though many people might think it’s ridiculous, divorce does take a toll on pets.

A dog that was once energetic and full of life may become depressed. They may eat less, sleep more, and even lose interest in activities, like walking or playing with their neighborhood friends. These are typically signs that your pet is stressed out. Here are some things you should consider if you do have a pet involved in your divorce:

  • Put aside your own feelings to the right decision and think about what is best for your furbaby. The both of you should consider such aspects as who fed and cared for them the most before the divorce, who has the funds to be able to pay for their veterinary care, food, and other expenses, and when it comes down to it, who the pet is closest to. Trust me, you know.
  • You should consider letting the pet go where the children go. This allows them to say in the family where and be surrounded by familiar things and their routine is not changed so drastically.
  • So, you have two pets and each of you should get one, right? More than likely, these pets are bonded to each other and you should try to keep them together. Separating them would probably not be in their best interest and you’d more than likely have a very sad dog on your hands.
  • Once you do decide on who gets custody or how you’ll be sharing custody of the pet or pets, make sure to spend time with them. Play with them and take them to the veterinarian to make sure they are doing well physically.

If keeping your pets is important to you, discuss it with a Arizona family law attorney at Shaffer Family Law, sooner rather than later. Ultimately, even deciding who gets the pets after divorce is something that should be well-thought-out. While having pets can significant benefits for health, it is important to decide whether keeping your pets is truly in your children’s and your best interests for the moment. Give Shaffer Family Law a call at (480) 470-3030  today!

5 Reasons to Call Our Arizona Family Law Attorneys

Divorce is a process that, at the end of the day, dissolves a legal partnership between two people. The kind of legal representation you need when faced with a divorce depends on the complexity of that partnership. The more complex your divorce, the greater your need will be for legal representation to protect your rights and interests. In Arizona, there a good handful of lawyers you can choose from but choosing Shaffer Family Law could be the best choice you make. Considerations when evaluating how complex your divorce case will be:

  • Our family law attorneys are experienced in working in family law courts in your area. Local experience and knowledge of local legal strategies are best when it comes to presenting a case and we are defending cases in your area every day.
  • Our attorneys work hard to resolve your situation efficiently, which will save you more money in the long run.
  • Our family attorneys tailor our representation to seek great results that make sense for our clients under their particular circumstances.
  • All of our attorneys are deeply patient about family law and care about their clients. When you have an attorney, one who cares and works hard to fight for you, it makes all the difference.
  • A lawyer can make sure that every issue pertinent to your situation gets addressed, whether it is big or small. It is common for people to overlook areas like taxes, division of retirement assets, parenting plans, allocation of debts, and many other concerns when they go through the divorce paperwork alone.

A divorce lawyer at Shaffer Family Law in Arizona will be able to identify and ensure that your divorce settlement addresses every issue. Family law cases can be very complex and very different for everyone and the best way to obtain the information you need is to seek legal advice for your case.

At Shaffer Family Law, we pride ourselves on helping our clients navigate through the maze of divorce in ways that will ultimately save them time, stress, and money. Give us a call at (480) 470-3030 today to set up your initial consultation.

Selling Your Home in a Divorce

As a couple goes through the process of a divorce, deciding what to do with the home they brought together can be complicated. Oftentimes, one person wants to keep the house so they end up buying the other spouse out, or they may choose to keep the home and sell it after the divorce is settled. Others may choose to sell their home during the divorce, which may be beneficial during the divorce process, both financially and personally.

Any profit from the sale is a good way to provide each person with enough money for a fresh start. Selling the marital home and removing the shared investment can provide closure legally and emotionally. Choosing to sell before the divorce is finalized can also help provide each party with the means to deal with other financial responsibilities and debts. Many people decide to sell their home because neither one of them will be able to afford to keep it after the separation.

Before you sell your home, there are a lot of responsibilities because some homes may need maintenance or renovating before they are ready to sell. This takes money, time, and requires some decision-making from both of you. So, prepare yourself and discuss any of your priorities with your divorce attorney. Your attorney is there for you to be able to check in and discuss any final decisions that are made.

If you choose to work with a real estate agent, you and your ex can use the same agent since you are both have the same goal and having someone to help sell the house can help make the process easier. Go over any important factors with your ex-spouse to help avoid any future arguments, which will help take stress off yourself. The best thing to do is to sit with your ex-spouse and talk about any relevant issues connected with the sale of your home.

It’s important to remember when you are going through any sort of family-related lawsuit, the best thing you can do is consult with a qualified divorce lawyer before you take any other steps forward. Divorce cases require a detailed understanding of the facts, the processes, and the law.

If you are filing for divorce or have been served divorce papers, you should consult with an attorney, who can help you with the divorce process and give you advice when it comes to specific processes, like selling your home. At Shaffer Family Law in Chandler, you can have one of our attorneys do a free evaluation of your case! Give us a call at (480) 470-3030.

Grandparents reading to children

How Grandparents Can Help During a Divorce

Divorce is a tough process for everyone in the family, though grandparents are often overlooked during the process. A divorce can negatively affect their lives as well, especially if the divorce restricts access to your son or daughter’s children. Grandparents are generally seen as a source of comfort, fun, and plenty of love for many kids and the stress of a divorce in the family can leave grandparents feeling confused about what their role and relationship in the family is now that things are different. A grandparent will of course want to support their adult child, while also offering support to the grandkids. It is important, though, that caring and supportive role be navigated with care during this difficult time.

Here are a few tips for grandparents on how they can handle their children getting a divorce:

  • Maintain Relationships: When around your grandkids, it’s important that you keep things normal. If you regularly visit them, stick to this schedule as best as you can. This is especially important for those who have a close relationship with their grandparents. They will appreciate you and the support you’re giving them. It’s important to remember that if you didn’t have a very close relationship with them before the divorce, it may be because it’s hard to make that connection at this moment. Still be there for them, but don’t try to pressure them into doing something they’re not comfortable with doing right now.
  • Try not to choose sides: As a parent, you’re probably feeling a sense of strong alliance to your adult. Even if you don’t particularly like their ex-spouse, it is not an excuse to say mean things about this person – especially in front of your grandkids. It’s best to not interfere with the way your grandkids’ feel about their parents. Keep talk surrounding their parents positive, at the very least, neutral. Instead of trying to pry information out of them about the divorce, keep an eye on them to make sure that they are doing well, both emotionally and physically.
  • Communicate with your ex Son/Daughter-In-Law: Unfortunately, even after a divorce, your ex-son or daughter-in-law will be a part of your life on some level, especially because they will either be sharing custody or be the sole caretakers of your grandchildren. So, it is better to find a way to continue a relationship with them sooner than later. When you maintain this relationship, it will make it easier to be around the other parent for moments like school graduations or your grandchild’s future wedding. Of course, if you are close to the other parent, you should take a few steps back for the sake of your adult child and their feelings. Tread lightly, with caution, and with respect.
  • Make Holidays Stress-free: After divorce, you’ll realize that traditions with your grandkids, like birthdays and holidays, won’t be the same. The most important thing you can do is give your grandkids the best birthday or holiday you can give them. Accept the fact that they’ll likely spend time with their other family for certain events, maybe more often than with you, but your time with them will come. Try to focus on building new traditions with them, some that you can carry on as you all move forward. 
  •  Keep calm, carry on: Remember, the important thing to do is to keep the time you spend with your grandchildren fun and positive. Positive attitudes keep things positive for them, especially since they are probably being impacted the most by the divorce. Plan fun activities that you know they will enjoy, which will not only make their time with you enjoyable but will take their mind off any stress they might be going through. Demonstrating how to stay peaceful and calm, even in the face of challenges, will give your grandkids a positive example on how to handle the stresses life will throw at them.
Woman Finalizing Divorce by Taking Ring Off

What to do After Your Divorce is Finalized

What to do After Your Divorce is Finalized

It can be easy to think that once a settlement is reached or a judge has finalized a divorce order, the whole divorce process is done. Well… it is, but it isn’t. Divorce shakes up your life in every aspect and can even have an impact on some of your usual habits. So, don’t be surprised when things aren’t completely over when the divorce agreement is finalized. There are still things you need to do before you can move forward to the next chapter in your life.

Here is what you should handle now that your divorce is finished:

  • Transfer assets: Your settlement agreement might call for one person to receive or keep specific assets or debt? It is not automatically done just because the court ordered it so you will need to organize for any titles to be moved or names to be removed where required.
  • Beneficiaries: Other than your estate plan, you should look at where your ex-spouse has their name. Take a look at your insurance policies, retirement pension, retirement plans, and other programs where you were required to name beneficiaries. Most likely you will want to update them to remove you now ex-spouse and instead include a trusted family member. If you don’t want to have any recipients to your assets, the state may mediate and decide where the benefits are used.
  • Bank accounts: It is common for the newly married to open new bank accounts or credit card lines to share with their spouses. Well, that of course was a good idea at the moment, but now, you should make sure any joint accounts are either closed or the agreed upon spouse is removed after the divorce. Also, double check your automatic deposits and any other payments are sent to the correct accounts. These transfer errors are difficult to fix after the fact.
  • Change your name: Most people choose to go back to their original name after a divorce, especially women with their maiden names. If you do decide to change your name as part of your divorce, you will have to update many accounts and official registrations. These include your driver’s license, social security information, passport, voter registration, bank account archives, retirement funds, insurance policies, and more. While you’re at it, double-check all your mailing addresses for these groups and associations as well.

This list just to show readers what they need to think about post-divorce and is not 100% comprehensive. Divorces all have different things to handle and concerns to address, including those that have to do with children and child support. Even though your divorce is settled, it may take a while for you to get used to your new life. If you are not sure what next steps you should take, your best option is to speak with an experienced family law attorney at Shaffer Family Law in Chandler. We’ll be able to help you and make sure that you make the right decisions.

Child Waiting For Parents at Airport Baggage Claim

Traveling with Children After a Divorce

Child Waiting For Parents at Airport Baggage Claim

Traveling with Children After a Divorce

Taking trips with the family after a divorce should be no different from previous vacations. They should be memorable experiences and usually, it can be beneficial when parents work out a solid plan for how vacation time will be spent. It is helpful to create stability and certainty for children, especially when it comes to making vacation and travel plans.

Parenting during holidays and vacations is usually seen as part of a comprehensive parenting plan. This plan is the basis for how the co-parenting will work since it addresses decision-making on behalf of the children, as well as logistics. The plan should also address any limitations on travel, which generally depends on each parent’s concerns. Here are some examples of questions that arise:

  • Who is allowed to travel with the child?
  • Will a significant other be traveling as well?
  • Which parent provides the travel gear?
  • Will travel include missed school days?
  • How will the non-traveling parent stay in communication?

Developing a plan early on gives each parent the opportunity to talk about any concerns and preferences when it comes to how they believe co-parenting can work. Details can vary between agreements and even when parents have good communication, it is still a good idea to both look at the school calendar and creates a schedule to make sure that expectations are set. This includes:

  • Choosing vacation dates
  • Planning and logistics related to the vacation
  • Travel arrangements and plans communicated through email or text are memorialized.

Once a parent schedules a vacation with their children, co-parenting considerations continue. Exchange basic itinerary, including departure dates, transportation plans (including flight numbers or other tracking numbers), hotels or other lodging information, scheduled activities, and contact information (cell phones, hotel contact numbers, etc.).

You will find it very helpful to discuss how and when communication will take place between the children and the non-traveling parent. Communicating will give both parents the opportunity to address any safety concerns (or other concerns) about the trip.

Traveling internationally is a lot more complicated in comparison to traveling domestically. It is even more complicated because of time differences, technology concerns, and the general idea of the children being in a different country. In addition to providing detailed itineraries, there are other ways you can reduce the stress of international travel for the non-traveling parent as outlined below:

  • Passports: When it comes to passports, it generally involves which parent will hold the children’s passports and if they don’t have passports, which parent is responsible for getting them. You should also agree on a general schedule for when documents should be exchanged between the parents, specifically if the parent going on an international trip isn’t in charge of the passports.
  • Safety concerns:  Parents may want to weigh in on the possible destinations for their children, regardless of who the traveling parent is. Though it may seem extreme, it is smart to be up to date with the current political climate and United States Department alerts and warnings to decide if a vacation in a particular country is safe. It’s important to know if you’re going to have trouble getting in and out of that country.

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Travel-related activities

Different destinations can give you very different experiences. If you are going to a warm, tropical area, like the popular destination of Hawaii, you may have the opportunity to come close to wild animals or to experience adventures like zip-lining or snorkeling. Depending on how old your children are, the non-traveling parent may ask to go over what activities you plan on doing with the kids.

Children traveling alone

There are some cases, especially for parents who travel for work, where the traveling parent may need the kids to meet them at the vacation destination. There should be communication with the non-traveling parent to figure out the traveling arrangements or place certain limitations on how, where, and when the children are allowed to meet the traveling parent.

Cost of travel

Of course, when it comes to whether the expenses of travel for the children, there should be a definite line of communication. While a parenting agreement may not include all the details, there are situations that should be included ahead of time. Life continues after divorce and that includes traveling with children.

It is always best to be flexible when it comes to planning trips. Even if you and your former spouse have an agreed upon travel arrangements, there are situations that can pop up out of nowhere. There may be situations where something last minute pops up and it may require a change in plan. These are the moments where it is best to be flexible, so your children don’t end up having their trip ruined. If you have any questions or if you are looking for representation for your divorce, give Shaffer Family Law in Chandler a call. We can help make sure that the holiday plan that is arranged is fair for all those involved. Call us at (480) 470-3030 today!

Co-Parenting During Vacations and Holidays

As divorced parents plan the first holiday season under new family arrangements, there may be some tension from the divorce lingering around. Each parent will want to spend time with their children, and through formal arrangements may have been agreed upon, but may be hard to stick to. You should focus on creating a co-parenting plan that you both can agree to. The main focus should be your children and providing a happy holiday, which may also lay the basis for the New Year to come.

Co-parenting arrangements

Co-parenting arrangements come in all forms and are tailored for the unique needs of each family. A common arrangement is for parents to annually alternate each holiday. Sometimes parents may choose to split holiday time like Christmas morning is spent with mom and the evening is spent with dad. Another arrangement is to have children celebrate certain holidays the weekend before the actual holiday, and they can then spend the actual holiday with their other parent.

Regardless of the arrangement, there are certain actions parents can take, which could help ease some of the unwanted stress during this time of year:

  • Communicate:

    It is expected that during the holiday season that issues arise and make an impact to agree upon plans. Being able to communicate respectfully and directly with the other parent creates a positive atmosphere and alleviates frustration during an already stressful time of the year. We should all be mindful that nonverbal communication between parents creates just as much, if not more, of an impact than words that are spoken in the children’s presence. Parents that take a unified, respectful approach to parent arrangements and issues that may arise helps to foster a healthy environment for the children. Perhaps the weather has played a role in plans being canceled, or a family member’s visit has been moved to a different day/time. When parents are open to cooperation and flexibility, it helps to ensure that the children have the best holiday possible. While it may not always be possible (or expected) to adjust the schedule, being able to communicate possible problems allows alternate plans to be made.

  • Focus on the Children:

    Families celebrate various holidays and traditions that create lasting memories with the children. While being able to introduce the children to certain traditions is important, the main focus of any parenting arrangements should be to ensure that the children have the best holiday possible. Sometimes it seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything a parent would like to do, and when the time is shared between both parents during one holiday, it can be even more difficult to fit in all the activities a parent would like. Perhaps some activities can be enjoyed either before or after the holidays, allowing the children to fully enjoy the time with each parent.  Taking a child-centered approach to the holiday and showing respect for each parent’s role creates a thread of continuity in families that are now in two homes.

  • New Traditions:

    One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season for newly divorced parents is that many elements of the holidays change due to physical separation. Sharing parenting time can be stressful as the children will be enjoying different activities with the other parent. By starting new traditions with the children, each parent can allow the children to create new memories, rather than focusing on how things “used to be.” The holidays tend to be stressful, regardless of specific family circumstances. The first holiday season after a divorce may be especially hard, as the whole family is adjusting to a new life. With careful planning and cooperation from both parents, the holidays can provide great memories and wonderful moments for the parents and children alike.

It is always best to be flexible during the holiday season. Even if you and your former spouse have an agreed-upon holiday arrangement, there are things that can pop up out of nowhere. There may be situations where something last minute pops up and it may require a change in plan. These are the moments where it is best to be flexible, so your children don’t end up having their holiday ruined. Don’t forget, just a holiday like Thanksgiving and Christmas, only occur once a year, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it more than once. If your children won’t be with you on a specific holiday, you can celebrate the holiday during the weekend before or after. If you have any questions or if you are looking for representation for your divorce, give Shaffer Family Law in Chandler a call. We can help make sure that the holiday plan that is arranged is fair for all those involved. Call us at (480) 470-3030 today!

Social Media Habits During Your Divorce

Divorce is not easy and nowadays, there are a lot of people who readily use social media as an outlet to vent their emotions. Social media is great for staying in touch with family and friends, sharing experiences, and meeting people with similar interests. However, during a divorce, social media can be destructive and risky. This is why you should be careful of what you post on any social media outlet and tone down a few common bad habits.

  • Rantings: Although it may help release from stress to express your emotions to the internet. Though, many people seem to forget that anything they put on the internet is far more lasting than imagined. While may not having any bad intentions, sharing any information about your divorce, whether it is details about your spouse’s unfaithfulness or financial issues, should be avoided. Unfortunately, these types of posts could be used against you as evidence in the divorce – even if you’re no longer connected via social media. Remember, they may still find out what you’re posting through friends, relatives, or other common connections. The best thing to do is not to assume that your social accounts are private.
  • Sharing Your Location: Social media makes it easy for us to keep track of one another. It’s almost a natural instinct nowadays to share a picture of yourself on vacation or “check in” at a fancy restaurant or store on Facebook or Instagram. But, if you are going through any type of legal disagreement, you remember potential consequences. Sharing your location during your divorce could give your ex-spouse the information they need to use against you in court. If your post that you’re in Hawaii or that you’re shopping at Nordstrom, they could use that information as evidence that you don’t need as much alimony as you are asking for. In some cases, it could be used to argue that you don’t have enough time to share equal custody of your children. So, during this time, try to consider how sharing your location could negatively affect you down the road.
  • Images of Alcohol: Sure, posting a photo of you and your friends enjoying glasses of wine may be innocent, but again, it could somehow be used against you in court. Any image you post should be considered potential evidence that could be against you. It could negatively affected the outcome of a custody battle, property division argument, or any other part of your divorce. It is especially important because if you are caught drinking, even just one drink, on a night your children were with you, your ex could use it as evidence that you are an unfit parent. Of course, you can disprove this accusation, but it is better not to risk it. Don’t ever share images or posts about alcohol, drugs, or anything else that could be taken as dangerous or reckless behavior. Be sure to tell those friends or family members who like to tag you photos to avoid doing so.
  • Sharing Divorce Material: In any legal case, family law or otherwise, you should never share legal information with anyone excluding your lawyers. While it is tempting to vent about your frustrations online or with coworkers, or even in your journal, you should avoid sharing anything about your divorce plan, meetings with your lawyer, court appearances and more. If you really need support, be sure that the person you are talking to is a trusted friend or family member, someone you know will not leak information.

Remember, social media posts can and have been used in court as evidence against people. It is important to keep any sensitive information to yourself and especially away from online outlets. It not only affects your life but can also make things a lot more difficult on your children as well. If your kids see or hear you saying hurtful things about their other parent, it could leave them feeling guilt-ridden and unhappy. Instead of chancing this, it’s best just to keep any kind of sensitive information to yourself and check in with your children.

Child Support Calculations in Arizona

If you’re going to be trying to get someone to pay child support or will be paying it yourself, you’re probably wondering about child support calculations in Arizona. To find out how much child support is owed to the custodial parent, Arizona law goes by the amount of money that would have been used to support the child(ren) if the parents were still together. The state will take this projected amount of money then take into consideration the gross income of both parents and the amount of time they both take care of the child(ren) in a year to calculate child support. But there could be other factors that could impact the total amount, including medical expenses, educational expenses, extra costs for children with special needs, and more.

Arizona Child Support Calculations

It’s not always easy to figure out child support calculations in Arizona since each case is different. It’s best to go through an Arizona child custody lawyer if you’re unsure of the process, looking to get child support or need to pay it and can’t afford the current payment asked of you despite the calculations. Hiring an Arizona child custody attorney will give you the peace of mind that they’re fighting for your case so that you don’t have to worry about how you’ll support your child or how you’ll pay for them if you can barely support yourself.

Child support calculations in Arizona usually account for a maximum of 50% of an employee’s disposable earnings, when it comes to wage garnishment for such payments. Under Arizona law, the child support garnishments are a priority over other state withholdings. However, the court has the power to base child support on other factors and can deviate from the state’s usual model. This includes the needs of the child, their living situation before the separation or divorce, and the ability to pay by a parent.

spending your money wisely in an arizona family matter

The court will require each parent to fill out a financial statement in order to get an idea of the financial status of both parents. This helps them make an informed decision when it comes to child support for the child(ren). In this statement, parents must be very detailed on their monthly income and expenses in order for the judge to get a clear picture. Although, maintenance of the previous standard of living before the parents separated is the goal for the court. An Arizona child custody attorney can provide a better understanding of these calculations during a consultation.

If a parent is already paying child support for a child from another relationship, some states might allow them to deduct that amount from their net income figure, but that’s why it’s important to complete a financial statement that includes such an expense. Also, a judge in many states can look at a parent’s ability to earn in addition to their actual earning. A judge might order more child support if there is a discrepancy in earnings. Actual earnings are a huge factor in determining how much child support should be paid.

Can Existing Child Support Be Changed?

Despite agreeing on a modification to existing child support number, both parties must have that modification approved by a judged in order for it to be legally enforced. However, when one parent wants more money then they’ll need to hire an attorney that specializes in child custody to help them request the change in court.

An Arizona child custody attorney will help make a more successful modification by arguing the pros of the proposed modification, thus strengthening your case when you go to court. As a general rule, you can’t modify an existing child custody payment order unless the one proposing the modification can show a change of circumstances. This helps prevent frequent modification requests to the court. So in order to make sure that you get the extra money needed, a Chandler child custody attorney will plead your case for you in front of a judge.

Examples of changes that support modification orders in child support include:

  • The loss of a job
  • A job change that results in less money by the main parent
  • A medical emergency for the child
  • The payer’s inability to pay because of an illness or another financial burden.
  • Temporary economic hardship of the recipient parent
  • A medical hardship by the recipient parent
  • Cost of living increase in the state
  • If either parent becomes disabled
  • There’s a change in the needs of the child(ren)

How Custody Arrangements Affect Child Support

The parent awarded sole legal custody of the child is usually the one who receives payment from the other parent. If parents are granted joint physical custody, then their child support obligations will be based on the amount of money that each parent earns plus the percentage of time the child spends with them. If you’re still unsure about custody arrangements and child support, you can contact a child custody attorney in Arizona for more help.

To get an estimate of how much you might owe if you’re the parent paying child support, there are many child support calculators online to help. However, these calculator tools are only estimates and you won’t really know the exact amount the judge will make you pay until a ruling.

It’s best if you contact a Chandler child custody attorney to get more details and better estimates. Our attorneys will also be able to help you fulfill any legal formalities that the court requires in terms of custody support regardless if you’re the parent paying or receiving the money.

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