Child support and alimony laws in Arizona
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Arizona Child Support
The Arizona legislature is in the process of reviewing the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. This review process occurs approximately every 4 years in order to insure that the Arizona Child Support Guidelines are in sync with the current economic situation. The review process is required by federal law, which requires states to have child support lawsthat are: (a) applicable state wide; (b) take into consideration the non-custodial parents earnings and income; (c) are based on specific numeric and descriptive criteria; (d) results in a computation of the child support obligation; and (e) are reviewed and if necessary, revised, at least once every four years.
It is appears that there will be changes to the maximum combined gross income for child support and there will be changes to definitions to gross income when calculating Arizona child support awards. For example, one proposal is to indicate that cash value may be assigned to in-kind or other non-cash benefits for recurring contributions from any sources that reduce living expenses as opposed to making that a “shall” provision. A revised chart is being proposed for use in terms of defining adjustments for support of other children. These would be children for which the parent is legally obligated to support including children being supported by court order. There will also be provisions as proposed in the new guidelines to discuss situations when a parent’s income as the obligor is over $12,000 monthly. Recognition of possible changes to Arizona Child Support Guidelines is important.
Bonus Item – Arizona Alimony Calculator -
Arizona Alimony Infomation
1. Does Arizona have Alimony?
Yes. Alimony or spousal support may be awarded to either spouse for their support after the divorce. Alimony payments are designed to help with financial obligations of the receiving spouse and to maintain a similar lifestyle. The lifestyle can not remain the same due to the paying spouse typically having to maintain two households for a period of time. Since a majority of spouses both work rewarding alimony is not extremely common although it does exist. Most of the time alimony is rewarded for a short period of time just to help the receiving spouse get on his or her feet again.
2. How is Alimony awarded?
Alimony is awarded based on one of the following situations:
- A spouse lacks sufficient property to meet his/her reasonable needs;
- A spouse must stay home with a young child and cannot support him/herself with reasonable employment;
- A spouse supported his or her education; or
- The marriage was lengthy and a spouse has little chance of finding employment.
The court considers the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, health, employment, as well as the standard of living established during the marriage and other factors when establishing alimony.
3. How is spousal support or alimony paid or distributed?
There are several factors to be considered based upon the current laws:
* The advantages and disadvantages of lump-sum settlement.
* The amount of such payment and the method it will be paid (cash, property).
* Will it be paid in installments?
* Conditions attached to paying and receiving (disability, death, remarriage, cohabitation).
* Terms arranged to provide enforcement measures.
* Tax effects of proposed arrangements.
* The effects of will and inheritances.
4. What if I or my former spouse remarries?
Unless each spouse agrees, in writing, that the alimony will continue after the party remarries, the support will end. Remarriage of the paying spouse will not terminate his or her obligations of support.
5. What if my spouse quits working to stop his or her support?
A former spouse cannot terminate his or her support by simply “quitting” their job. The court has the discretion to attribute an income to a spouse who voluntarily quits working or reduces his or her income.
6. What are the risks involved?
There is always some risk involved with actually getting all of the court ordered payments. The factors that often lead to these risks are:
- Additional expenses from new marriage or new family.
- Incapacitation through illness.
- Payment withheld as punishment, due to another order violation.
- Refusal to pay.
In the past the wife was almost always the recipient, but the courts no longer view gender as a consideration. In most states, including Arizona, marital conduct is also not a consideration. It is purely a decision made due to the economic consequences of each spouse. If an agreement between spouses is reached, the court will give it significant consideration.
Here are some of the general factors considered (ARS 25-319):
- The ability and time for each spouse to gain employment;
- The employability of each spouse;
- The future earning capabilities of each spouse;
- Who will have custody of the child (will the custodial parent be required to work);
- The length of marriage;
- The ability for one spouse to pay the other;
- The tax consequences of each spouse;
- The age of each spouse; and,
- The length of time support will be needed.
There are basic requirements for support to qualify as alimony under the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Support that is considered alimony is recognized as income therefore must taken into account when filing federal income tax. Typically, the spouse who pays support may deduct the payments as an expense. There are basic requirements for support to qualify as alimony under the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
|Statehood||February 14, 1912|
|Number of Counties||15|
|State Population (2005)||5,939,292|
|State Quarter Issue Date||June 02, 2008|
|State Flower||Saguaro cactus blossom|
|Nickname||The Grand Canyon State|
|Area Codes||480, 520, 602, 623, 928|
|Top 5 Cities (2000 population)||
|Major Sports Teams||MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks
NFL: Arizona Cardinals
NBA: Phoenix Suns
NHL: Phoenix Coyotes