Child support provides financial protection for children. Both parents have a responsibility for supporting the livelihood of their children. How much each person pays depends on multiple calculations. Knowing the amount of child support is crucial for planning finances for both parties. Understanding the methods the state uses in calculating child support obligations can make it easier to know what to expect.
Basic Support Obligations
Arizona calculates child support obligations using a base level and makes adjustments from there. The base amount for child support comes from a table of basic support obligations based on the combined monthly gross income of the parents and the number of children. Gross income refers to money earned before taxes or other expenses. This basic support reflects the amount that parents would typically spend on their children to provide them with food, clothing, and other necessary expenses.
Per the table, the base obligation for three children of parents with a combined income of $4,500 a month would equal $1,495. This is the amount that the state starts from when calculating the adjusted child support obligation for each parent.
Adjustments to Basic Obligations
Adjustments to basic child support obligations tend to increase the amount owed because the adjustments account for expenses that do not fall under those considered basic. Adjusting the base amount yields the combined child support obligation for both parents.
For example, childcare is a common adjustment that is not part of the basic obligation calculation. Other obligations include a 10% increase in the total owed for each child over 12, due to greater expenses of caring for older children. Other common adjustments include medical insurance costs, education, and extraordinary expenses needed by the child.
To determine the monthly combined obligation, any expenses only paid for part of the year or in different amounts throughout the year will be divided into 12 months. For example, if the parent with custody must pay $600 per month during the three months of summer for childcare and $200 per month during the other nine months, this amount would total $3600 for the year. Divided by 12, the childcare expenses per month would equal $300 per month.
How Much Is Child Support in Arizona?
After the state calculates the combined child support, it will then divide the amount based on parental income and the time spent with the children. For example, if one partner earns 40% of the combined gross income, their share will be 40% of the child support obligation. Additionally, time spent with children for up to half the year will factor into the percentage owed for child support.
The state uses a table to calculate the percentage adjustments based on the time the parent has with the children during the year.
Get Legal Help from San Tan Family Law for Child Support or Other Family Law Issues
You are not alone in getting child support. If you need help with receiving child support or other family law legal issues, contact the experienced attorneys with San Tan Family Law for assistance.