Calculating Child Support

Skilled Phoenix family law attorney discusses calculating child support in Arizona. 

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One of the main questions that we’re often asked by clients regarding divorces involving minor children is how much child support they’re going to have to pay. We are fortunate here in Arizona. The court virtually uses a child support calculator when calculating child support. It’s accessible on the court’s website. It’s the same one that we use as lawyers. It involves inputting some information that is requested regarding the financial status of both parties: how much they paid, who is the child staying with, what’s the division of the parenting time, who’s paying for medical insurance, health insurance, school, extracurricular activities, who’s paying spousal maintenance or not. There are a few things put into this formula and it spits out a number of who’s responsible as it relates to paying child support.

If the numbers are greatly skewed or they don’t come out as reasonable as one party thinks they should be because of income disparity, sometimes a party can request a deviation from the child support calculator if they figure the amount should be more or should be less. There are some things that have to be worked through with that. Again, one of the big factors is parenting time. If you don’t have any parenting time with the child, there’s a high proclivity that you’re going to have a higher child support amount. The more parenting time you have, there’s a great proclivity that the child support amount is going to be less. There are a number of moving pieces that must be analyzed to determine how child support is calculated.

The incomes of the parties and the like all have to be analyzed and determined. There is no blanket number that can be given. It’s not that simple. The factors have to be put into the formula and the formula gives an answer. Then arguments are made based on whether that number should be increased or decreased based on external existential circumstances early in the process. Either party can motion the court for temporary orders as it relates to a child support. Those are temporary. This is something that the court puts in place for now until the final numbers come out later on with the Divorce Decree. In any case, there would be a number of factors that could be considered. You want to sit with your lawyer. They will ask you the appropriate questions to determine what information needs to be gathered and input into this formula and give you an idea of what the court would order as it relates to child support.