You and your spouse have decided to break up, and you are both worried about how to handle child support. Who will end up paying child support, and will he or she be able to afford it? Also, who will receive support, and will the amount received be enough?
As a general rule of thumb, parents who do not receive custody of their children must make support payments to the other party -- the custodial parent. Here is a look at what you can expect to occur during a child support case in Arizona.
Who are custodial parents in child support cases?
Divorcing parents generally have to be their children's custodial parents before they can receive child support. Custodial parents are essentially the parents who have primary custody of their children from a physical standpoint.
In other words, the children live primarily with these parents, who assume responsibility for their daily care. For instance, custodial parents transport them to their extracurricular activities and make sure that they are properly fed. The court typically determines which parent during a divorce proceeding will end up with custody of the children.
What happens if the parents share custody of the children?
In a joint custody situation, both parents might be custodial parents. Still, even in this situation, one parent might still have to make support payments to his or her ex-spouse. This is particularly common when the two parties' incomes are vastly different.
As an example, a father and mother may decide to divorce, with the mother granted the right to have their daughter live with her. Because the mother stayed at home during their marriage, whereas the father earned $100,000 a year, the father will likely have to make payments to the mother. Otherwise, she would be unable to afford her daughter's various expenses.
Your rights when dealing with child support
Child support payments can be helpful for making sure that your children receive the essential services and care they need. However, figuring out who is eligible for child support and how much the recipient will receive can be complex. Fortunately, an attorney can guide you through this process. During a child support case in Arizona, it is within your rights to pursue an outcome that is most beneficial for you and your children given the circumstances.