Child Support in the Arizona Family Court: How Do Social Security Benefits Affect Calculations?

Written by Trent R. Wilcox, Esq.

Social Security benefits can affect child support in two ways. First, if eitherrepparttar parent paying child support (the "obligor") orrepparttar 119177 parent receiving child support (the "obligee") receives Social Security benefits,repparttar 119178 Arizona Child Support Guidelines require thatrepparttar 119179 Social Security benefits be included in determining either parents income. Thus,repparttar 119180 Social Security benefits help to determinerepparttar 119181 initial child support obligation.

Second,repparttar 119182 Social Security benefits can affectrepparttar 119183 amount of child support that must be paid out of pocket byrepparttar 119184 parent paying child support. Section 26 ofrepparttar 119185 Arizona Child Support Guidelines addresses this issue and states verbatim as follows:

A. Income earned or money received by a child from any source other than court-ordered child support shall not be counted toward either parentís child support obligation except as stated herein. However, income earned or money received by or on behalf of a person for whom child support is ordered to continue pastrepparttar 119186 age of majority pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Sections 25-320.B and 25-809.F may be credited against any child support obligation.

B. Benefits, such as Social Security Disability or Insurance, received by a custodial parent on behalf of a child, as a result of contributions made byrepparttar 119187 parent paying child support shall be credited as follows: 1. Ifrepparttar 119188 amount ofrepparttar 119189 child's benefit for a given month is equal to or greater thanrepparttar 119190 paying parent's child support obligation, then that parent's obligation is satisfied. 2. Any benefit received byrepparttar 119191 child for a given month in excess ofrepparttar 119192 child support obligation shall not be treated as an arrearage payment nor as a credit toward future child support payments. 3. Ifrepparttar 119193 amount ofrepparttar 119194 child's benefit for a given month is less thanrepparttar 119195 parent's child support obligation,repparttar 119196 parent shall payrepparttar 119197 difference unlessrepparttar 119198 court, in its discretion, modifiesrepparttar 119199 child support order to equalrepparttar 119200 benefits being received at that time.

C. Except as otherwise provided in section 5.B, any benefits received directly, and not on behalf of a child, by eitherrepparttar 119201 custodial parent orrepparttar 119202 parent paying child support as a result of his or her own contributions, shall be included as part of that parentís gross income.

The interpretation of Section 26, above, minus some ofrepparttar 119203 legalese, is really pretty simple:

A. If a child receives benefits from a source outside ofrepparttar 119204 parent paying child support, it will not normally diminishrepparttar 119205 paying parent's child support obligation unlessrepparttar 119206 Arizona Child Support Guidelines provide a specific exception. However, if a mentally or physically disabled child receives child support pastrepparttar 119207 age of majority, those amounts may be credited towardrepparttar 119208 paying parent's child support obligation. Notice this is a "may" and not a "shall," meaning thatrepparttar 119209 court has discretion in this child support matter.

Questions and Answers on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

Written by Trent R. Wilcox, Esq.

Q:What isrepparttar Hague Convention?

A.The Hague Convention is a term used to cover a number of international treaties on different areas ofrepparttar 119176 law, ranging from commercial issues, legal procedures and money judgments to international child abduction and adoption. There are many Conventions, each covering a different topic and having its own title. This Q&A publication is concerned withrepparttar 119177 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119178 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, first created October 25, 1980 and since ratified byrepparttar 119179 U.S. and many, but not all, countries.

Q:What isrepparttar 119180 purpose ofrepparttar 119181 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119182 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction?

A:The Hague Convention onrepparttar 119183 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an attempt to deal with situations where a person has wrongfully taken a child(ren) from one country to another or keeps them in a country withoutrepparttar 119184 other parentís permission or legal authority to do so. In other words, this Convention concerns wrongful removal/retention fromrepparttar 119185 childís state of habitual residence (country of residence).

Q:What isrepparttar 119186 responsibility of each country that signedrepparttar 119187 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119188 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction?

A:Each signatory torepparttar 119189 treaty agreed to set up a Central Authority to organize each case and act as a clearinghouse for international child abduction issues. For example,repparttar 119190 United States Department of Justice was designatedrepparttar 119191 U.S. Central Authority and, in turn, delegated much of that authority torepparttar 119192 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Some countries signed on torepparttar 119193 treaty but have not put much funding nor effort into implementation. Each government has a great deal of power over cases underrepparttar 119194 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119195 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction once transferred within their borders. The referring country, of course, has no real authority at all and therefore one must rely onrepparttar 119196 individual government whererepparttar 119197 child has been taken to use that power. Often, a diligent attorney working on a child abduction case isrepparttar 119198 key to having a child returned.

Q:What resources are available torepparttar 119199 Central Authority?

A:Each country is very different inrepparttar 119200 resources they apply to Hague cases, ranging from almost nothing to highly sophisticated and coordinated systems. Inrepparttar 119201 U.S., for example,repparttar 119202 United States relies onrepparttar 119203 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to coordinate efforts among volunteer attorneys throughoutrepparttar 119204 United States, Interpol,repparttar 119205 FBI and also local police where abducted children are found. In addition,repparttar 119206 National Center maintains contact withrepparttar 119207 requesting parent and their representatives.

Q:How does a case underrepparttar 119208 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119209 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction proceed?

A.A party can go in one of at least two procedural directions to start a case. One,repparttar 119210 party may independently find and retain an attorney inrepparttar 119211 jurisdiction whererepparttar 119212 child is found. The other method is forrepparttar 119213 party from whomrepparttar 119214 child was wrongfully removed may make a direct application torepparttar 119215 Central Authority in eitherrepparttar 119216 childís habitual country of residence orrepparttar 119217 countryís Central Authority in whichrepparttar 119218 child is found to seek assistance. The Central Authority then coordinates with an attorney or other proper entities inrepparttar 119219 proper jurisdiction. Following this,repparttar 119220 normal procedure is to haverepparttar 119221 attorney file paperwork withrepparttar 119222 local court requesting thatrepparttar 119223 court (1) order local law enforcement or another entity to pick uprepparttar 119224 child, (2) set a hearing, and (3) orderrepparttar 119225 child returned torepparttar 119226 proper custodian and country. Oncerepparttar 119227 child is secured,repparttar 119228 court holdsrepparttar 119229 hearing quickly thereafter to reviewrepparttar 119230 facts ofrepparttar 119231 case and decide whether returningrepparttar 119232 child is proper. It is not necessary forrepparttar 119233 parent from whomrepparttar 119234 child is abducted to attendrepparttar 119235 hearing but it is often more convincing for them to testify in person there. Additionally, it is nice for that parent to be present because courts, when warranted, will normally order an immediate return followingrepparttar 119236 hearing and it is often best forrepparttar 119237 parent to be there to comfortrepparttar 119238 child and accompanyrepparttar 119239 child home.

Q:How doesrepparttar 119240 Hague Convention onrepparttar 119241 Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction relate to custody?

A:The short answer is that it really does not relate to custody. One purpose ofrepparttar 119242 Convention is to simply return children to their state of habitual residence so that a court there with proper jurisdiction can makerepparttar 119243 appropriate orders regardingrepparttar 119244 child. The court inrepparttar 119245 jurisdiction that a party is asking to orderrepparttar 119246 return of a child is not making a custody decision at all; rather, it is just sendingrepparttar 119247 child back torepparttar 119248 childís residence whererepparttar 119249 proper court can make further rulings. Following a childís return, there is nothing inrepparttar 119250 Convention that preventsrepparttar 119251 proper court inrepparttar 119252 childís state of habitual residence from thereafter giving one party orrepparttar 119253 other custody, visitation or even from allowing one party orrepparttar 119254 other to takerepparttar 119255 child out ofrepparttar 119256 jurisdiction again (albeit this time withrepparttar 119257 proper court permission). Note that if custody proceedings are occurring inrepparttar 119258 country to whichrepparttar 119259 child has been wrongfully removed/retained, those proceedings are to be put on hold until a decision underrepparttar 119260 Convention is made.

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