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What parents should know about child support in Arizona

The courts may consider several factors when calculating child support in Arizona, in addition to the parents’ gross income.

Going through the divorce process can be incredibly difficult for everyone involved, especially children. When parents separate or divorce, their kids may find it overwhelming as they try to adjust to a new life. In some cases, the parent who is awarded primary physical custody of the children may experience a dramatic change in their finances as well. Parents who are transitioning from a double income to a single income may find it hard to make ends meet, and some may sink into poverty. Child support acts as a way to bridge the financial gap that often occurs when a family becomes separated.

Calculating child support

While there are several different child support models, Arizona adheres to the income shares model of calculating child support, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. Under this model, the courts will take into consideration the income from both parents rather than just the non-custodial parent when determining a final child support amount. Ultimately the child should have same financial resources that they would have had if their parents would have remained together.

Considering all of the factors

In addition to each parent's gross income, the court will consider several other factors that may affect the child's health and wellbeing. The child support may be adjusted to accommodate the following, as reported by the Arizona Child Support Guidelines:

  • Any medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance or other health care costs associated with raising the child
  • Childcare expenses
  • Additional expenses stemming from disabled children
  • Education costs
  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • Cost of living

In some cases, travel expenses associated with exchanging the kids and other deviations may be made according to the courts discretion. Judges make these decisions keeping the best interest of the children in mind, including their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Enforcing child support orders

Arizona has several different ways to collect delinquent child support funds from parents who have failed to make their court-ordered child support funds. Not only can state officials seize bank account funds or property from the negligent parent, but they can also intercept money from lottery winnings and paychecks. In some cases, the Department of Child Support Services can revoke or suspend a parent's professional license until the delinquent amount of child support is paid off.

Finding an attorney

Whether you are just entering into the divorce process, need your child support modified or you need help getting your court-ordered child support, you may want to speak to an attorney. A lawyer in Arizona may help answer your questions regarding the child support process.