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Child support, taxes and modifications

Child support obligations in Arizona are based on such factors as parental income, how many kids are involved and other costs, such as health care and education. However, separated parents should remember that it's possible to modify a child support arrangement when necessary.

One parent may have a surge or a reduction in income that makes such a modification necessary. Disability or other factors could also affect what a parent is able to contribute. If parents have a legally binding child support agreement in place, they should return to court to request a modification. Child support is considered a higher priority than spousal maintenance. Therefore, if child support is reduced, spousal maintenance may be as well.

Paying or receiving child support has no effect on taxes, but the custodial parent can generally claim their kid as a dependent. This could lead to many tax benefits. When parents share custody, they may work the dependent arrangement out in various ways. Some agree to claim a child in alternate years. If parents have multiple children, they could split the claims between them.

Even if parents reach an agreement between themselves about child support and custody, they should still make the agreement legally binding. This offers protection if either parent does not adhere to the agreement. For example, one parent might have trouble collecting child support from the other parent. However, that does not give that parent the right to withhold visitation rights. When such issues arise, a family law attorney could provide valuable guidance.

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