Childcare Expenses and Divorced Parents in Arizona

divorced parentsChildcare can be an expenditure that adds up quickly for working parents. It can be even harder for parents who are going through a divorce. These expenses may be included in the divorce decree, or it is possible it could be added to child support expenses. The determination is often left up to the court if the parents cannot decide who will pay for these expenses. Having an Arizona family law attorney on your side during a divorce or child support hearing could make it easier for you to get what you are entitled to.

Childcare Costs and Child Support

The Arizona family law code clearly states that both of the parties, custodial and non-custodial, have to provide reasonable financial support to their children. Child support is supposed to help secure the best interest of the child. This obligation is also a priority over any other financial obligation the non-custodial party may have.

When the child support is figured, the childcare expenses are factored into the amount that the non-custodial party pays. The amount will be figured using a thing called annualization. Annualization takes the amount that the parent pays per year and divides it by 12. The adjustment is then made for the monthly amount.

It may also be taken into consideration by the court for the party predominately paying the childcare expenses that they are entitled to the tax exemption from the childcare costs. This credit is considered for the parent that pays 67% of the child’s support.

Once the child is old enough to need child care no longer, it will become necessary for the court to modify the amount the non-custodial party pays to remove the child support amounts.

Reversal of Roles

Should the roles of the parents change, a new hearing will need to be called. The custodial party would then become the non-custodial, therefore responsible for the same types of support. These types of situations typically only happen when an extreme change in circumstances occurs.  If there needs to be deviation from the current guidelines, it can be done by the judge and court-involved in the case.

Child support would have to be refigured in this instance. The amount may need to be altered due to the income differences between the parties. Childcare expenditures may no longer need to be factored in.

Why a Family Law Attorney is Important

In any situation where custodial and non-custodial parties find themselves in court, they should make sure that they have legal representation. Legal representation doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be needed; however, having a legal representative may make understanding the proceedings better.

When you find out that you are being called before the judge for child support or custody hearings, it is imperative to hire an Arizona family law attorney to make sure your case is handled in the best manner possible. Do not try to handle cases regarding custody or child support on your own, even if you are the custodial parent.

Click here to find out about what is a domestic partnership in Arizona?