Child support is an obligation of parents based on their incomes and the amount of time that a child spends with each parent. "Income" includes earnings a non-working or under-employed parent would make if fully employed. For help determining what your child support obligations are if you are self-employed, contact our law offices in Phoenix. Self-employed parent? Attorney counsel can clarify your obligations and guide you in the best ways to comply with those requirements.
Self-employed parents are as responsible for child support as are parents with salaries. Principles contained in Arizona's Child Support Guidelines include the following:
- Child support obligations apply to all natural children, whether born from a marriage or in an unmarried parent situation, as well as adopted children.
- Child support for stepchildren, parents or other family members is considered voluntary, and is not a reason to for adjustment in the amount of child support.
- Child support obligations have priority over all other financial obligations.
- Custodial or non-custodial parents may be required to pay child support, depending on income and needs of both parents.
- "For income from self-employment ... gross income means gross
receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income." (Source: Arizona Supreme Court)
Rules for determining child support are formulaic as well as complex. An experienced family law attorney can save you time and confusion, and can help you prevent violation of child support guidelines. Services of a professional accountant may be necessary to determine the amount of income that a self-employed parent is considered to have — and the amount that he or she is obligated to contribute.
In today's volatile economic climate, a self-employed parent who has experienced a significant drop in income due to declining business may request a child support modification. A parent who does not pay child support as ordered by a court may be subjected to enforcement and collections. In some cases, failure to pay child support can send a parent to jail. To protect yourself from such penalties, talk to one of our attorneys well before reaching a point of crisis.
Contact an Arizona Child Custody Attorney
At Lasiter & Jackson, PLLC, we provide understanding and compassion for the delicate issues associated with divorce and family law. We are committed to obtaining positive results for each of our clients, and we strive to provide qualified case assessment at a reasonable cost.
Contact our law office in Phoenix to discuss your divorce or family law issues. We serve clients throughout Pinal County and Maricopa County. Child support, child custody, self-employment of parents and child support modifications are complex legal matters that are best handled with the guidance of an experienced child support lawyer.