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Is Child Support Necessary When Awarded Joint Legal Decision Making?

Is Child Support Necessary When Awarded Joint Legal Decision Making?

Child support, legal decision-making and parenting time are separate terms with separate definitions. But they all go hand in hand with one another. In fact, you could say that they form a chain of command.

Legal Decision Making: the legal right/responsibility to make legal decision for a child regarding education, personal care, religion, and health care (non-emergency). In accordance with Section 25-403.01, the court can award sole legal decision-making or joint legal decision-making.

Parenting Time: the scheduled time during which each of the child’s parents has access to the child. Parents are responsible for providing food, clothing and shelter during their scheduled parenting time. Parents are also responsible for “routine decisions” during their parenting time in regards to the care of the child. In accordance with Section 25-403, the court can determine legal decision-making and parenting time (on petition or modification), according to the best interests of the child and after considering all the factors that are relevant to the physical and emotional well being of the child at hand.

Child Support: court ordered, ongoing, periodic payment typically made by a non-custodial, divorced parent to cover the financial support of their minor child or children. In accordance with Section 25-320 and federal law, monthly figures are used to calculate the amount of the child support obligation.

In cases where joint legal decision-making is awarded to divorcing parents, there may still be a need for child support depending upon other information in the case. It is important that parents considering divorce not dismiss the potential ordering of child support payments even if they are in agreement that they will share legal decision-making. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining an order of child support.

Factors Considered When Determining Child Support:

  1. Type of legal decision making and parenting time agreement.
  2. Gross annual income for both co-parents.
  3. Number of children living in the home.
  4. Age of the children living in the home.
  5. Basic living expenses.
  6. Education expenses.
  7. Whether or not there are special needs to consider.
If you have additional questions regarding how child support is calculated in cases of joint legal decision-making, please get in touch with one of the experienced divorce lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys today. We can help you with your concerns regarding divorce in Arizona.
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