How is Child Support Calculated in Arizona?

Arizona requires parents to provide their child with a reasonable level of support while they are legally minors. Per ARS Section 25-501(A), the obligation is not something that either parent can avoid, and it is non-negotiable. Instead, the courts dictate how much is “reasonable” regarding financial support (i.e. child support). They also use the best interests of the child standard when determining parenting time, which will directly adjust the amount of child support obligations for the non-custodial parent. Here are the factors that will help answer the question, “How is child support calculated?”

Child Support is Determined by the Arizona Child Support Guidelines

Arizona has a strict set of directives, which have a schedule that determines the appropriate amount of child support. However, because of the several adjustments to the basic support schedule that are required to be considered, this guidance may be difficult to understand, and many parents leave with more questions than they had answered.

The guidelines approximate the respective amounts that each parent would spend on the child if they were still together. This is what ensures the child receives consistent levels of support from each parent and then helps dictate the financial plan for the divorcing couple.

It will also assess the payor’s income and their ability to pay that child support obligation.

Factors Used in Addition to the Guidelines

There are factors considered in addition to the Arizona Guidelines, which help attorneys handling the child support calculation better determine the adequate amount of child support due by the payor.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The amount of parenting time each parent will have with the child;
  • If one parent will supply health insurance and at what cost;
  • How recreational and school-related activities will be compensated;
  • How each parent will share responsibility in paying for medical expenses of the child;
  • Adjustments for children not common to either party;
  • Costs associated with child care/daycare;
  • Costs associated with the scheduled parenting time (including transportation).

The courts can deviate from the guidelines, but a deviation will occur only in a relatively small number of cases. However, the courts do recognize that there are situations where a deviation from the standard amount is applicable.

When determining child support, it is best that you speak with a family law attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC. Our attorneys can help you go through the guidelines, but also understand the obligations of child support, how much you might pay or receive, and your options.

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 Is Child Support Calculated, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez 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.