Whether your family is just beginning the process of divorce or you are looking to make changes to your parenting time or child support plan, it’s important to know what to expect. The Arizona child support calculator is a valuable tool that can help you better understand what you might receive (or what your responsibility might be). Further in 2018, changes to the child support calculator included allowing for an increase to the self-support reserve test for the paying parent and rounding payment amounts up or down to the nearest dollar. These and other changes could affect child support payment amounts for some families.
How do courts determine Arizona child support?
Child support calculations can get tricky, taking into account more than just each parent’s income. The goals of these guidelines, however, are simple. The Arizona child support guidelines:
– Provide guidance in terms of reasonable child support amounts that are in line with both the needs of the child (including those with special needs) and a parent’s ability to pay
– Standardize and make consistent support orders for parents in similar situations
– Guide parents and courts in establishing support orders that promote settlements and decrease lawsuits
– Stay in compliance with state law (A.R.S. §25-320)
The court considers many elements of your situation when making decisions about child support payments. Per A.R.S. §25-320, some of these include the:
– Financial resources and needs of the child
– Financial resources and needs of the custodial parent (the parent the child lives with most of the time)
– The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent
– Standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the child lived in a home with both parents
– Physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child’s educational needs
– Medical support plan for the child (including insurance and any other extraordinary medical expenses)
– Duration of parenting time and related expenses
Children who are 18 or older but remain dependent on the custodial parent due to significant physical or mental disability may still remain eligible for child support. Additional factors may also impact your situation.
These elements are generally reviewed at least every two years to make sure that they still apply to the family’s situation.
How do I get started with Arizona child support?
The first step in establishing appropriate child support if you are unmarried, and paternity has not already been established, is to establish paternity.
At the Judicial Branch of Arizona for Maricopa County website you can download the Petition to Establish Paternity, Legal Decision-Making, and Child Support and other family law legal forms. If you live outside of Maricopa County, find your court website at https://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.
After you establish paternity, you will need to file a Petition to Establish Child Support. Generally, you will file this at the same time that you file a Petition for Parenting Time and Legal Decision-Making.
How do I calculate Arizona child support payments?
The Arizona child support calculator can help you estimate what costs might be assessed for each parent using the following criteria:
– The gross income of both parents
– Court-ordered child support for other children
– Medical, dental, and vision insurance costs
– Extra education expenses
– Parenting time in days per year
– Any additional factors, such as court-ordered back payments or other expenses
You can plug these numbers into Arizona’s quick child support calculator to get an idea of the financial obligation you might face (or what you might expect to receive). The Arizona child support calculator is not a final ruling from the court.
The court will make (and enforce) the final ruling on child support in a hearing dedicated to that purpose unless the parties agree that the child support amount from the child support calculator (or reasonable deviations from that amount) shall be applied.
Where to find Arizona child support calculators online
Arizona child support calculators are easily located online at the Arizona Judicial Branch website. Check this site for important updates, even if you already have a child support order in place.
In addition to the calculator itself, Arizona and its courts publish various helpful guides online to assist families in calculating child support:
– The Arizona Judicial Branch site has a portal that explains the child support calculator and helps to answer questions about child support.
– At the Arizona Department of Economic Security, follow the links to learn how to modify or receive child support.
Where can I get help calculating child support in Arizona?
Issues surrounding child support and child custody can be complex, confusing, and emotionally charged. While the courts in Arizona provide DIY forms with instructions for all aspects of child support during divorce, the personal assistance of an experienced and compassionate legal team can be invaluable.
ARTEMiS Law Firm is a team of Scottsdale child support lawyers that is on your side. We can help you:
– Seek enforcement of an existing child support order
– Modify an existing parenting time, legal decision-making, or child support order
– Design support and parenting plans for cases in which parents are unmarried
– Support divorcing parents plan for children with special needs
– Provide support for LGBTQ+ families deciding issues of parenting time and legal decision-making, as well as child support
We know that each situation is unique. We believe in thoughtful, compassionate support for parents and children during this difficult time.
If you need help calculating child support or with any other issues involving your divorce, get in touch with ARTEMiS Law Firm today. We can help.Contact Us