I meet with many people who have questions about how to properly calculate their child support (or people who have done it incorrectly). Here are a few guidelines to make sure you calculate your child support correctly:
- When imputing income figures remember that it is based on your gross monthly income. This is your income prior to taxes, Ins. etc.. being taken out of your check. Also, courts rarely ever input zero for your income. Even if you are out of work the court will input a minimum wage income for you (generally $7.90 per hour based on a 40 hour work week). Typically you must prove that you are disabled or otherwise completely unable to work for the court to input a zero income.
- Whichever parent is paying for medical insurance for the minor children will receive a credit on the worksheet for that amount. It is important to remember that you only receive a credit for the amount you pay for the children. You can get this information for your Human Resources department. If it’s impossible to determine exactly how much you pay for your children then often a court will divide the total amount you pay by the total number of people covered under the plan and then multiply that number by the number of children.
- There is also a credit for child care available. Most parents pay different amounts during particular months, especially the summer. The best way to figure the amount that should be in the calculation is the total the amount that you spend for an entire year and then divide by 12 to get you a monthly amount. If you are paying cash to a provider then you should get receipts so that you have evidence of amounts paid.
- Finally make sure that you calculate parenting time days correctly to give the proper credit. Also remember that the adjustments for parenting time days are in ranges. For example, adjustments occur at the following ranges:
The point is that for the most part one day more or less in visitation per year doesn’t make much, if any, difference in the calculation.
Below is a link to the Arizona Child Support Calculator.
Please contact Stuart & Blackwell if you have any questions about Child Support.