Child Support

Diligent Family Law Attorney Assisting Residents of the Phoenix Area


A divorce is a difficult and emotionally draining time, even if both spouses agree that it is necessary. It is even more difficult when children are involved, and especially when the couple does not agree on certain child-rearing issues, such as custody (in Arizona referred to as legal decision making authority) or child support. Phoenix child support lawyer Paula J. Burnstein has assisted Arizona parents with protecting their rights and the rights of their children for over 28 years. We have the experience and knowledge that it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly. Whether you are the parent seeking child support or the parent who may be legally obligated to pay child support, we can present your position with tenacity and skill.

Understanding Child Support Laws in Arizona

Each state has its own approach to creating laws that govern when a parent is entitled to receive child support payments from another parent. In general, Arizona law requires parents who have custody (in Arizona, primary residence of the minor children) and parents who do not have custody (parenting time) to provide reasonable support for minor children. To aid courts in ensuring that children receive the support that they need, the Arizona Supreme Court has created a set of guidelines that help determine when child support should be awarded and, if so, in which amount. These guidelines are often confusing for parents, however, especially when they are also coping with the stress and emotional impact of the end of the marriage. Having an experienced child support attorney in the Phoenix area on your side can make a big difference when it comes to securing an appropriate outcome.

While the guidelines provide a formula or approach for calculating child support payments, it can be more difficult to apply the guidelines or to predict how the court might apply them when certain distinctive factors are present. For example, there are differences when a parent is self-employed as opposed to when a parent is receiving a salary. When determining the income of a self-employed spouse, the court must consider the gross assets of the business and subtract ordinary and necessary expenses. Also, the guidelines include presumptive minimums for the amount of financial support that a parent may require, as well as a $20,000 limit on the amount of child support that a parent may be required to pay each month.

A Phoenix child support attorney can explain other factors that the court may consider, such as whether a parent has another child with another person for whom they must provide financial support, whether both parties or one party is a low-income earner, the costs of basic health care and child care, and the costs associated with parenting time. There are provisions that allow the courts to deviate from these guidelines, but any deviation is subject to close scrutiny. In general, a court can deviate from the guidelines when it determines that a strict application of the guidelines would be unjust, or when it would be in the best interests of the child to deviate from the guidelines. There are also provisions that allow for the modification of a child support order upon showing changed circumstances.

Retain a Diligent Child Support Lawyer in Phoenix to Protect Your Interests

Family law matters are often more complicated than they seem at first glance. Attorney Paula J. Burnstein has witnessed the turmoil that people may experience during the divorce process. As a result, she takes care to offer personal attention to each person who seeks her help. Whether you have initial questions or are already involved in a contested family law matter, we are prepared to help you take the appropriate next steps. We have assisted people throughout Maricopa and Yavapai Counties, including in Peoria, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe, Laveen, Litchfield Park, New River, Sun City, Sun City West, Prescott, and Prescott Valley. Call us now at 623-486-9797 or contact us online for a free consultation. We also can assist you with property division and other complex matters related to a divorce.

Paula J. Burnstein

About Arizona Family Law Attorney Paula J. Burnstein

Paula J. Burnstein is experienced in family law matters including divorce, custody, child support, and property division. She has practiced solely in the area of family law for the past two decades and has the knowledge to serve your needs, both outside of and in the courtroom. She will help you work through your family law situation while protecting your interests and those of your family.

Contact us to schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation.

Client Reviews

"Paula Burnstein is an amazing Attorney for Family Law! My case is part of my messy story. I had a daughter with a mentally ill man, that believed he was Jesus. I lived on a compound and was able to escape with her. After 8 years he came back after me to get her. Paula fought the whole brutal way...


"It is very difficult to maintain compassion and empathy while delivering tangible results for your client in a process that is, by its very design, oppositional, yet Paula Burnstein is the consummate professional who manages to strike just the right balance in such a trying time. She delivered an...


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