Understanding How Parenting Time Affects Child Support is Important

When a marriage ends, the spouses go their separate ways. When they have children together, the situation is not as easy. Both parents should spend time with their children. In Arizona, this is called parenting time. In most cases, children live primarily with one parent, while the other provides child support. It is important to understand how parenting time affects child support.

Calculation of Child Support Payments

There are a number of factors that are used when calculating child support payments. Although both parents spend time with the child, the child receives support from the non-custodial parent (or, if the parents have equal time, from the higher-earning parent). Two of the most important factors that may influence child support include the income of each parent, and the amount of time the parents each spend with the child.

Standard Parenting Time Used for Calculations

Most often, parenting time is calculated by simply counting the days or blocks of parenting time. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines dictate how each block of time is calculated (for example, a period of between 6 and 11 hours will not be considered a “day,” but, rather, a “half day”). If the parents share parenting time equally or substantially equally, then equal time will be assigned to each parent in a Child Support worksheet.

Effect of Parenting Time on Child Support

The greater the paying parent’s parenting time, the lower their child support payments will be.  This truth is a reminder that parenting time should be accurately calculated to ensure an accurate child support number is determined.

Resolving Parenting Time and Support Issues

Only the court can make a determination regarding how much child support should be paid in the absence of an agreement between the parties adopted by the Court. In some cases, a parent may find that they are paying more than they should. If this happens, the parent may want to request a hearing, and have the court make a modification. If you are going through a divorce with children, call the compassionate legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How Parenting Time Affects Child Support, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Jonathan D. Brooks at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.