Hi, my name is Mervyn Braude. I am a lawyer at Jaburg & Wilk. I have practiced in the area of family law for many years and have been certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Specialist for the past seven or so years.
What is Legal Decision Making?
In the past, custody was the term we used to determine who it is that makes legal decisions for the children, whether it’s what school they go to, whether it is what religion they are subjected to, recently the law has changed and we now refer to that as legal decision making. Not much else has changed other than the term but the term custody is no longer used in our law and we now refer to that as legal decision making.
How is Child Support Calculated?
There are a number of factors that make a difference to the calculation of child support. First, you look at the parties’ incomes and that can often be complicated. Way one, you say W-2 employee, that’s relatively simple, however, when one has one’s own business, and one deals in cash, that can change significantly. Once we’ve established income or possibly imputed income, we then need to consider the number of children that result from the relationship. In addition to that, we need to consider any other children that the parties, for whom the parties may have a legal obligation. Once we’ve made those calculations, there are a number of other factors that are considered. What is the cost of health insurance for these children, are there any daycare expenses for these children? Once those calculations have been made, we then adjust a factor for consideration of how much time each parent spends with the children. All of that data is inputted into the formula, which by the way changes from time to time, but once that data is inputted, child support will be determined.