Supporting and caring for a child is complicated even when parents are together. What happens when the parents aren’t together? Even if they agree to co-parent and share expenses, child support can be a complicated issue. When filing for child support in Arizona, consider that child is determined by the Income Shares Model and that only basic needs are covered by these payments.

Extras such as sports, music, art, and other non-medical expenses are not included. These must be discussed between parents in a separate (non-court enforced) agreement. Unfortunately if parents cannot agree on extras or they cannot afford them, the children may not be able to participate in these activities.

What is the Income Shares Model for child support?

The Arizona Child Support calculator is modeled after the Child Support Guidelines Project for the National Center for State Courts and accounts for health and child care. The total amount of child support is based on what the parents would have spent on the child if the parents and child had been living together. Each parent pays their percentage of the total child support amount.

How is child support determined?

Child support in Arizona is based on a variety of factors that include and are not limited to the following:

• Income of each parent

• Time spent with each parent

• Childcare costs of children up to 13 years old

• Basic expenses such as healthcare paid by non-custodial parent

These (and all related) guidelines apply to parents of natural children born in or out of wedlock, and adopted children. The purpose is to provide care and establish a standard of support for children that meets the reasonable needs of children and the ability of parents to pay.

For questions about child support and other family law issues, contact us today.