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Paying Off Child Support Early in Arizona

Do you have just a couple years left to pay child support before your dependent turns eighteen? If so, paying off child support in one lump sum may sound appealing. By paying off your child support early, you won’t have to worry about the monthly payments anymore or having money withheld from your paycheck. Sound convinced?

Hold on a minute. The fact is that most attorneys advise against paying off child support early. This is because when the state of Arizona is involved, it typically does not go along with the deal, even if both parents are ready to sign the papers. States are reluctant to have child support paid off before the dependent turns eighteen because child support can be modified at any time, meaning the payment could be increased or reduced. Also, you need to consider that your financial situation may change in the future and that money you used to pay off child support is something you could really use.

Child Support Law Arizona

Child support is paid until the child reaches the age of eighteen. However, if he or she is still in high school at this time, the child support continues until he or she graduates or turns nineteen, whichever happens first. Also, if the child has a disability, the state may require child support be paid past the age of eighteen. Payments are determined by the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. These consist of factors that are considered when determining obligation. The most important obligation the state takes into account is the current financial needs of both the child and custodial parent. Once an amount is decided upon, this is formalized in court with a child support agreement.

Unless otherwise arranged in a divorce decree, child support payments are typically gained through income withholding. The state will collect child support payments through your employer and in turn pay the parent who is caring for the child. While this can sometimes create tension with an employer, he or she is obligated to comply and can not fire you due to the withholding.

Written Agreement for Paying off Child Support

If the state is not involved in your child support payments, you have the right to pay off the support in one lump sum that reflects the child’s current support obligation. You will need to reach an agreement with the custodial parent while keeping the best interests of the child in the forefront. It’s best to work with an attorney when writing up a draft agreement, which should include the following provisions:

  • The payment is for child support and is not a gift
  • The payment is a lump sum that intends to pay off your child support obligations in full
  • The agreement will contain the current payments, months remaining, total owed, and total paid

These provisions must be clear and concise so there is no confusion on the part of everyone involved. All parties must sign the agreement and issue the payoff check to the clearinghouse. Never give the check to the custodial parent as this could be misconstrued as a gift rather than child support payment. It’s also important to keep a record of the payment on file.

If, however, the state of Arizona is part of the child support case, it will need to sign off on the agreement. That probably won’t happen. The state would rather continue collecting monthly payments through income withholding since your original child support agreement could change at anytime in the future.

When a Child Support Agreement is Modified

If a parent has experienced a change in circumstances, the state of Arizona has the right to modify the child support order. These circumstance may include:

  • A major change in a parent’s health insurance coverage
  • Loss of employment
  • Substantial pay decrease

This does not include a parent quitting or getting fired from their job, however.

The biggest con of paying off child support early is the possibility of the order being modified in the future. When you pay child support in full, you are no longer able to modify or terminate the agreement. However, by keeping that lump sum in the bank, you know you have access to monthly payments and have a lump sum tucked away in case you need it. To learn more about your child support case, contact the team at The Sampair Group today. We can be reached at 623-777-3926.

When Is It Possible To Change A Child Support Order?

Our lives are always in a constant state of change. A divorce definitely shakes things up and can bring many more changes that create havoc in your life. Many times, due to a change in your livelihood, fulfilling your obligations to child support orders can become difficult. While laws will vary by state, most courts will need a compelling reason to make a modification to your child support order.

While not always, but at times, it is possible to request a modification to the original child support order. This is no easy task, but situations in your life may meet the criteria for such a request. With support and proper direction, you may be successful.

It is important to remember that you need more than just a verbal agreement with the other parent if you decide to pay what is contrary in the written order. A future dispute with the other parent may prove to be an unfavorable outcome for you if there is no legal change to your support orders. Even if there is a new written agreement, be sure that you have the judge sign the agreement so the current order reflects the newly agreed upon amount.

Let’s take a brief look at the beginning process of modifying a child support order and what information you will need to tackle the challenge ahead.

  1. You may be able to request modifications to your child support order if your job has been lost or your financial situation has changed negatively. If you simply feel your child support order is unfair or unreasonable, you may seek a modification, as well.
  2. It will be necessary to file the appropriate paperwork with the desired modifications. In the event that changes are not agreed upon between the parents, you will have the opportunity to present your case to the judge.
  3. A modification to child support orders can be permanent or just temporary; this will depend on the circumstances surrounding the reason for the request.

Child support obligations can be financially taxing, and you have the right to request a modification if your finances change. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice and guidance to ensure you take the appropriate course of action. There are many lawyers who specialize in custody cases, and most of them have an extensive amount of knowledge relating to child support orders. You can speak with one of these lawyers to see if you have a favorable case to present to a judge.

Questions from AVVO: Medical Coverage for the Children

Glendale, Arizona divorce attorneyQuestion

My ex is court ordered to provide medical coverage for the children yet their spouse is providing the coverage. I am to pay 34%, my ex is to pay 66% of both unreimbursed medical and travel cost. They provided me copies of medical bills without any proof of payment made, they have a payment plan with the companies, for a certain amount each month (I checked). I have asked my ex three times to provide me copies of any and all payments they have made towards the bills with no results. Would it be considered a gift if I was to pay the 34% medical expenses to my ex if it was through their spouses insurance, and is it also considered a gift since it is the spouse who is technically providing the actual medical insurance?

Patrick’s Answer

Your ex’s spouse providing health insurance coverage for your children meets your ex’s requirement to provide the health insurance. Any cost incurred is coming from her spouse’s income, which is community income, so technically, it is the same as your ex providing the coverage.

Once your ex provides you with copies of the medical bills, it is your obligation to make payment to your ex in a timely manner, generally within 30 days. The healthcare providers are not looking to you for payment; your ex is the debtor to them. The fact that she may have a payment plan worked out with the providers has no bearing on your Court Ordered obligation to pay your portion to your ex on receipt of the bills.

Failure on your part to pay your ex the required portion of the medical bills in a timely manner could cause a contempt issue on your part.

When it comes to medical costs of your children, it can get confusing who is to pay and how much they should pay. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in family law. Visit www.sampair.com to schedule a free consultation.

In Arizona Superior Family Court how is child support calculated for two different orders?

Question:

In Arizona Superior Family Court how is child support calculated for two different orders?

My first ex-wife lives in Pima county we have one child together and my second ex-wife lives in Maricopa County we have four children. My second wife makes a little more money then first wife, but she pays more for daycare expenses. I pay medical coverage for all children. I have two different support orders, but I do not make enough to pay both in full so my job spiltss my disposable income and gives wife number one 35% and wife two 65%. How can I make sure this is fair? I want to make sure each wife is receiving correct support? I am in the process of modifing both, but how will the court determine how much each wife gets?

Answer:

First and foremost, you are required to pay ALL of your court ordered child support each month. In the event that your employer is only sending in a portion of what is court ordered, you are still required to pay the balance directly to the Clearinghouse by the due date. Failure to do so has serious consequences that include jail.

If you believe that you are paying too much, then yes, you should attempt to modify the child support order(s).

When the new calculations are done, each one deducts the court ordered child support amount(s) from your gross income when calculating the new amount. In other words, if you are required to pay $300 month on the Pima County case, and your gross monthly income is $3200, when they re-calculate the Maricopa County support, they will base it on you having a gross income of $2900, after allowing a reduction for the other child support ordered.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

How to I gain custody of my child that is living with a grandparent?

Question:

How to I gain custody of my child that is living with a grandparent?

Mother & I never married. Paternity established. Mother now incarcerated for 9 yrs. (just happened). I never had custody. Paid child support thru courts. DES stopped it (child support) because grandmother wants child support. I want custody (always wanted it).Child now livng with Grandmother. Grandmother won’t let me talk to or see my child (15 ys old). DES asking for child support from me & mother (on behalf of Grandmother). What do I file first? Petition to establish child custody & support? If yes, do I serve it on Mother in jail or DES? How do I petition court to release address of child? Do I do this in Petition? Who is the guardian of child right now if something happens to child (medical, etc)? Started a relationship on facebook with child, Grandmother stopped it.

Answer:

What you do first depends upon how Grandmother ended up with the child. If Mother simply placed the child with Grandmother then you file a Petition for Custody and Parenting Time. You should also Petition for Temporary Orders. However if the child was placed with Grandmother by the State of Arizona in a Dependenct Action you will likely have to go to Juvenile Court to get things started. You have a very complex situation that will be difficult for you to resolve without an attorney at this point. You should immediately consult with an attorney.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

Do I need a Lawyer in Arizona and Nevada to keep my child?

Question:

Do I need a Lawyer in Arizona and Nevada to keep my child?

My husband and I have been separated for almost three years. He lives in las vegas and I had to move to Arizona to get away from him. He has been caring for my son most of the time, only because he wouldn’t let me take him, until March of this year. I brought my son to Arizona with me and didn’t take him back. My child has lived in four different homes and attended four different schools, which has caused him to be failing all of his classes. I got served and his father wants primary custody. He also has a joint preliminary injunction that states I can’t take my child out of Las Vegas from June 11, 2013, forward, but my child has been living with me since March. What can I do to keep my child with me in Arizona?

Answer:

Since your son has not yet resided in Arizona for 180 days, Nevada has jurisdiction over your child and therefore the divorce action will be a Nevada action. Accordingly, you need to find an attorney in Clark County, Nevada to help you file a Response in Nevada. Your case will be heard in Nevada.

Likely, the Preliminary Injunction does not apply at this point, since the child was not in NV at the time the case was filed, however, if your son returns to NV during the pendency of the action, it may be a violation for you to remove him from the state at that point.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

Can an alleged father deny taking a court ordered paternity test?

Question:

Can an alleged father deny taking a court ordered paternity test?

I want to know if I am able to deny taking a court ordered paternity test and avoid being the father of this child. Can I fight that it’s my right under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which stops unreasonable searches and seizures? Can you answer my question with a “yes” or “no”? Thank you.

Answer:

Yes, he can refuse to take the Paternity test. No, it won’t do him any good.

If he refuses to take the Paternity test then the judge will have to issue a ruling based on the evidence in front of him, which basically is the sworn statement of the mother that he is the father. His refusal to cooperate will likely cause the judge to rule that he is the father and potentially “throw the book at him” regarding back and forward child support.

His claim that a Paternity Test is an unreasonable “search and seizure” will not fly because (a) there is a reason to Order it, (b) a Paternity test is non-invasive and most importantly (c) many people have tried this before, and they all lost.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-Wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

Should I pay attorney fees for the mother of my child filing child support papers?

Question: 

Should I pay attorney fees for the mother of my child filing child support papers?

I have paid half of the hospital bill for the birth of our child, as requested from mother. I have paid for all of the child needs when with me . We split transportation to and from when trading off baby . I live alone and pay all my bills myself , she lives with her parents . I pay for daycare when I have the baby . We split the care for the child, the baby is with me half of the time. In my response to the child support do I share all this information. I feel like we have already created a good system and I am wondering why she is filing for child support. Should I have to pay for the attorney fees of her filing child support papers?

Answer: 

If mom has filed court paperwork regarding Legal Decision Making/Support/Parenting Time issues and is asking that you be required to pay her attorneys fees, you should file a Response, stating among other things, that each party pay their own attorneys fees.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-Wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

 

 

Will someone go to prison for fathering the child of a minor?

Question: 

Will someone go to prison for fathering the child of a minor?

My friend just told me he was dating a 16 year old and got her pregnant. He provided information for child support. He’s 20 years old and we want to know if the state of Arizona will send him to prison for trying to take care of his child.

Answer:

Your friend will not go to prison for trying to be responsible for his child.

He could however be prosecuted for having sex with a minor.

The thing that he did that was wrong was not the act of accepting responsibility after the fact.

He should consult with a criminal attorney to discuss the criminal side of this.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-Wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

 

Chances of Troubled Father Getting Unsupervised Visitation or Modified Custody Rights?

Question:

Father has filed for modification of child support, joint custody and visitation: What are the chances of him getting unsupervised visitation?

I have two children. The father and I have established custody and child support but he lost custody due to drug abuse 6 years. He has never payed me a dollar through the system only a little here and there. He currently has supervised visitation which i would like to keep in place. He and his current wife have been arrested several times over the past several years for drunk and disorderly conduct. The wife just got out of tent city (4 month sentence) for violating probation by getting drunk, taking her clothes off and exposing herself in front of minors. They lost their apartment again. They now sleep on the floor of her moms home. What are the chances of him getting unsupervised visitation?

Answer:

Based on the information you provided, it is very unlikely that the court will change the supervised visitation. It doers not sound like visitation in the environment that you described is in the children’s best interest. Perhaps it would be better for the children to see him at Parenting Skills, or another professional supervisor’s location. I would still suggest that you take a more aggressive stance regarding enforcement of the child support, and for several reasons.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC
623.218.1000
480.636.1333

Read more of Patrick Sampair’s answers on AVVO regarding Phoenix child custody, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly through The Sampair Group’s Family Law Facebook page.