Arizona Child and Spousal Support
Mesa divorce lawyer provides candid and protective spousal support and child support advocacy
It is important to focus on the economics of divorce; we help you create a sound financial future for yourself and your family, protecting what is yours and fighting for your security. Child support is mandated by the state of Arizona and is a benefit for children of divorce. At the Law Office of Donna M. Hougen also known as Hougen Family Law, we can help ensure that you as well as your children are treated fairly. Spousal support is determined by a two-part test and is founded in both parties reasonable needs and various forms of reliance during the marriage. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can determine some but not all support rights.
What factors determine child support?
Child support is calculated using guidelines or allowed deviations from guidelines. We will review our options, and then guide you through the process. Arizona family courts require analysis using guidelines, but many factors can ultimately determine the amount of child support ordered. Factors used to determine the appropriate level of child support include:
- Income of both spouses
- Expenses of both spouses
- Number and age of children
- Costs of child care
- Costs for child’s healthcare
- Special needs costs
- Parenting time and visitation
- Travel related costs
- Tax dependency credits
- Child’s income, if any and the source of it
- Reasons for underemployment or unemployment
- Any other relevant matters
Litigation, enforcement and modification
When necessary, we can litigate your child support issues no matter how complex your case. We also guide you through the proper legal procedures to modify your child support payments to accommodate any changing financial circumstances. If your former spouse fails to abide by existing legal obligations for your children’s financial support, we can induce the enforcement of your child support order. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office offers free child support collection and enforcement.
Spousal maintenance or alimony
Arizona uses the term spousal maintenance for spousal support or alimony. At Hougen Family Law, we help you understand Arizona law and how it applies in determining spousal maintenance. Attorney fee awards can be a form of spousal support. When we take on your spousal support case, we take you through the process under a team approach.
There are many factors used to determine who is eligible and for how long and how much. We guide you through your fact gathering process and navigate the court system for you. Our goal is for our client to wind up with a fair spousal support agreement or ruling even in the most complex cases — whether you are the spouse who requires support or the spouse who faces the possibility of providing it. Some facts the court will look at are:
- The income and assets of the parties
- The property owned including that acquired in the divorce
- Needs of the parties
- Educational opportunity assistance
- Age and ability to work outside the home
- The lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage
- The ability to pay support
- The ability to meet one’s own needs
- The waste committed during marriage, if any
- Judgments and liens
- Sacrifices made for one another
- Any other relevant matter
When there is no agreement otherwise, the amount and frequency of spousal maintenance will be determined by the Arizona family court with the authority to award spousal maintenance in an amount and for periods that the court determines is fair. When there is no agreement otherwise, either spouse can seek to modify spousal support.