Child support is a court-ordered financial arrangement between parents to help cover the cost of raising their children. It helps ensure that the child has the necessary resources and financial stability to live a comfortable life.
Whether you’re married, divorced, separated, or unwed, the law is clear: Parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children. That’s why, even if you and your child’s other parent aren’t legally divorced or separated, you may still seek child support as long as you meet certain criteria.
By understanding the law surrounding child support in Arizona and your rights as a parent, you can do what’s best for your child.
Seeking temporary child support in Arizona
Divorce proceedings and legal separations are notoriously lengthy processes. As you wait for the court to finalize your split, you’re still legally married, but you and your spouse may have already begun to live separate lives. This can make it difficult to care for your children financially.
Fortunately, Arizona law provides a solution. If you’re currently married to your child’s other parent and have already filed for divorce or legal separation, you can seek a temporary child support order while you wait for your proceedings to be finalized.
Often, this is done by negotiating a settlement with your spouse and submitting it to the court for approval. However, if this isn’t possible, you may need to petition the court for a temporary order.
If the family court judge approves your request, they will issue a temporary order, which will remain in effect until your divorce or legal separation is final. Once that happens, a permanent child support order will replace the temporary order.
Requesting child support when informally separated
Sometimes, couples will separate without filing for a divorce or legal separation. One parent may move out of the house while the other remains with the children.
This is often a temporary arrangement while the couple decides if they want to pursue a divorce. In most cases, the parent who left the family home will continue to support the children financially, even without a formal child support order. The court likely won’t hear a case for child support until one of the parents files for divorce or legal separation.
However, if one parent leaves the family home and stops contributing financially, the other parent may seek a court order for the absent parent to provide child support. This is an unusual situation that can be tricky to navigate, so it’s best to consult with a lawyer before taking any action.
Child support for unmarried parents
Arizona law requires both parents to financially provide for their children, regardless of marital status. If you’ve never married your child’s other parent and don’t currently live together, you may still request a court order for child support.
This is true even if the other parent isn’t listed on the child’s birth certificate. Mothers can petition the court for a paternity test, which will provide proof that the other parent is indeed the biological father of the child.
Once you’ve established paternity as required by the court, you can apply for a child support order. The court will consider the financial circumstances of both parents and order a reasonable amount for the non-custodial parent to pay.
Get further guidance from a family law attorney
Your child deserves financial support from both parents and the Arizona family court system is designed to guarantee that. No matter your specific circumstances, there are legal remedies available to ensure that your child is taken care of. A family law attorney can provide the guidance you need to make it happen.
With the right Tempe child support lawyer on your side, you can make an informed decision and pursue the court order that best serves your child’s needs. Call (602) 881-1748 today to get started with Blanchette Law PLLC.