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Tucson Family Law Blog

How child support benefits children

Parents in Arizona and throughout the country are generally responsible for providing financial support to their children. Child support payments may be used to cover a variety of expenses from food and shelter to the cost of attending college. Support payments may also be used to cover miscellaneous expenses such as keeping the lights on in an apartment or heating a home that the child lives in.

Children who attend public schools may still incur educational expenses. These costs may include the need for clothes and shoes to the price of hiring a tutor. Parents may also be responsible for paying for school lunches or other fees that a school may levy. A child is generally entitled to entertainment in the form of television, access to a computer or the ability to go to camp. A child support order may require each parent to contribute to an entertainment budget for a son or daughter.

Child support and qualifying for a mortgage

Buying a home is a goal for many families in Arizona. It is also common for parents ordered to pay child support to get behind during times of financial stress. Many people wonder if they will be able to buy a home if they are behind in child support payments.

Delinquent child support counts as a debt in a mortgage application. Not all mortgage lenders automatically disqualify applicants who owe back child support, but government loans may be more difficult to obtain for applicants with child support debt.

Tips for parents to get child custody

After a divorce, some parents in Arizona have a custody battle that results in one having sole custody. However, it may be possible for the other parent to win back custody.

First, the parent needs to be honest about why the judge decided this would be in the best interests of the child. The parent may have been wrongly accused of neglect or abuse or may have violated a court order. In some cases, a parent may be required to fulfill certain obligations in order to get custody restored. This might include a parenting class or a treatment program for alcohol or drug abuse. The parent may also want to seek an attorney at this stage.

Possible health concerns for older adults who divorce

People 50 and older who get a divorce can have a enjoyable new life afterward, but it is important for Arizona couples to understand the possible consequences of ending their marriage at this age. While divorce may be less stressful in the long run than remaining in a toxic relationship, it can cause health problems and lead to social isolation and poverty for older people in some cases.

Depression and anxiety can worsen other chronic conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress may cause insomnia and substance abuse. People who are depressed may also isolate themselves, and during a divorce, they are already at risk for losing social ties. Older men tend to suffer more socially after a divorce while women suffer more financially, often because they may have made less money and therefore have saved less for retirement.

Why a prenuptial agreement may be a good idea

When people in Arizona think about getting married, they may be very excited to take that next step forward in their lives. Amid all of the decisions that come with wedding planning and thinking about the future, it can also be important to consider practical steps to protect both parties' financial present and future. Many experts advise that a prenuptial agreement can be important to avoid future problems.

In general, no one wants to think about the possibility of getting a divorce when they are just deciding to tie the knot. However, a prenuptial agreement doesn't only need to be about pessimism. As more couples marry later in life, they often have substantial independent assets or children from prior relationships that can be a priority. A prenuptial agreement can exclude certain premarital property from property division under state law. The discussions that come with the creation of a prenuptial agreement can allow both parties to share information about their financial values and views of marriage and divorce.

How divorced parents can help their kids plan for the school year

The new school year is a time of transition. Parents in Arizona who have gone through a divorce, another type of transition, can help their children adjust to new classes and the separation by preparing for the year ahead.

Parents should sit down with their kids and talk to them about future goals. While academics are important, so are extracurricular activities, jobs for older children and relationships. Parents can help children identify three goals that they both agree on. They may also want to talk about potential challenges and how support can be provided. If both parents can be present for these conversations, it is ideal. If that isn't possible, a parent can encourage their children to talk about these goals and challenges with the other parent as well.

The potential pitfalls of choosing "cute" wedding dates

It's not unusual for future spouses in Arizona to be choosy when it comes to their wedding date. Some couples prefer nuptials during certain seasons while thrifty brides and grooms may schedule their ceremonies on a weekday. Couples opting for specific "cute" dates with special significance may want to think twice if their goal is to enjoy a long, successful marriage. Results from a University of Melbourne study involving a million married couples suggest that certain wedding dates may not be so lucky after all.

It's couples tying the knot on Valentine's Day, long heralded as the most romantic day of the year, who are more likely to end up getting a divorce. Roughly 11 percent of couples studied who legally united on Feb. 14 ended up untying the knot within five years. Just under 25 percent of the Valentine's Day couples in the study had called it quits before they reached their decade mark.

How tax law changes can affect divorce settlements

People in Arizona who are considering divorce may wonder about the potential impact of tax reform on marital separation. The financial effects of divorce can be longer lasting and wider ranging than the emotional and practical changes, and this is especially true when it comes to taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed in 2017, contained a number of significant changes to the U.S. tax code. However, one area will be particularly important for people divorcing. The treatment of alimony and spousal support payments will diverge from 80 years of policy.

While the law will go into effect for all divorces finalized on or after the new year in 2019, the existing law will remain in place for all divorces finalized before the end of 2018. Under current tax policy, the person who pays spousal support can deduct those payments from their taxes at the end of the year. In addition, the recipient will pay taxes on the support as part of their income.

Obtaining child support

Before Arizona parents are able to obtain a child support order, the relationship between the parents and the child must be established first. Maternity is established when the woman gives birth to the child. Paternity can be acknowledged in multiple ways.

If the parents of a child are married when the child is born, the husband is automatically assumed to be father of the children. However, if the parents are not married when the child is born, it will be necessary for them to complete a document that acknowledges the child's paternity. The parents can complete this form in the hospital at the time of the child's birth, or they can visit their local Vital Statistics Registrar or Child Support Enforcement Agency to complete the form.

Understanding different types of child support

Child support payments can be confusing for both non-custodial and custodial parents. Parents in Arizona may be affected by federal laws governing child support. To understand how child support works, it is important for parents to understand the different types.

A child support case established through the Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, is known as an IV-D case. OCSE provides services to parents, such as locating a non-custodial parent, establishing paternity and enforcing existing court orders awarding child support.

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Suite 311
Tucson, AZ 85701

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