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Answering Your Common Child Support Questions In this article, you can discover…

  • What a child support agreement usually provides for in the way of childcare, extracurricular activities, and medical expenses.
  • What to do if a parent is not making child support payments.
  • How to set up child support payments before the end of the divorce.
  • And more…

Can Our Child Support Agreement Detail Who Is Responsible For Things Like Childcare, Extracurricular Activities, & Medical Expenses?

Childcare costs are part of the child support worksheet and will be looked at by the court to determine whether the expenses are valid. This is done by looking to see if you have proper documentation of who is paying what for the alleged costs of those services.

If the court finds a childcare claim valid, then those expenses would then show up in your child support order.

Whether you have a personal agreement about who’s going to be responsible for childcare costs or not, the arrangement will need to be documented and the court will need receipts to prove that the expenses are valid. It is not helpful to have a strictly word-of-mouth agreement with a family member to pay them for childcare (especially if there is no financial paper trail to back it up).

At this moment, extracurriculars are not part of typical child support. Thus, extracurriculars must be raised in the petition, and parents must either come to an agreement about them or leave the matter up to the court’s discretion.

Most parents can come to a conclusion about these matters on their own. However, for some, this issue results in a disagreement that starts a battle in court.

Medical expenses are not listed on the worksheet unless they are extraordinary in some way (for example, expenses related to the care of a permanently disabled child). That said, figuring out how unreimbursed medical care expenses will be divided between the parties is part of the child support process. Medical insurance, on the other hand, definitely shows up on the child support worksheet.

What Can I Do If My Child’s Other Parent Is Not Paying Court Ordered Child Support?

If a parent is not paying court-ordered child support, the action you should take depends on how long that parent has not been paying and what the reasons are for the non-payment.

For example, if your child’s parent stops paying child support, it’s recommended that you first contact them to see why this is happening. They may have a valid reason such as losing their job, or maybe something went wrong with getting the income withholding orders set up, and it’s taking longer than usual to get support started.

If there’s no good reason for the non-payment, you will have to go to court and file an enforcement case. Then, you will need to go to court and inform the judge that the court-ordered child support is not being paid.

The court will take into consideration issues such as losing a job and/or housing. Thus, it is recommended to communicate with the other parent about the reason child support is not being paid before spending time on the court enforcement process.

At What Point Does A Child Support Order Come In? Is This During The Divorce Process Or The Child Custody Process?

If you don’t take any extra steps, child support will be established in your divorce decree or in a final judgment. Only after you have received the final judgment will child support begin to be paid.

However, if you are starting the process of divorce or otherwise setting up child support (if you and the other party aren’t married and therefore can’t divorce) and know that you will need child support sooner than that, you have options. Either you can work with your attorney to establish temporary orders through a court hearing, or you can come to an agreement with the other parent and submit it for court approval (avoiding the need for a hearing).

It is often a good idea to try to address the issue of support sooner rather than later. If you wait until the end of your case to do it, and you are the party obligated to pay support, you might find yourself with a substantial judgment against you for back child support.

Can Parents Agree To Develop A Custody & Support Arrangement And Revisit It Before The Children Turn 18?

When parents make a parenting plan, the court order is meant to remain in effect until each child turns 18. However, parents can always go back and modify the parenting plan if there’s a substantial and continuing change in circumstances and if enough time has passed (at least one year since the current order was issued).

The benefit of agreeing on a permanent plan is the parents do not have to return to court to make changes and pay court costs. Thus, it is worth thinking about how the parenting plan will work both in the present and the future. While it isn’t always possible to plan too far ahead when dealing with children, it is at least worth a shot.

Of course, parents can partially revise the parenting plan later. However, it is recommended to take the time to create a parenting plan that lasts until all the children turn 18 to avoid returning to court and having to pay additional costs along the way.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.

For more information on Family Law in Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (623) 696-3429 today.

Cactus Blossom Legal LLC

Call Now To Schedule Your Free Consultation
(623) 696-3429

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