In the State of Arizona, child support is determined by guidelines and a calculation method adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court, and set forth in the Arizona Child Support statutes.
The amount of child support is a formula arrived at by considering the following factors:
*Gross monthly income of each parent
*Spousal maintenance paid by one parent to the other, if any
*Number of minor children supported by each parent
*Cost of child care
*Cost of medical/dental insurance premiums paid by a parent
*Number of parenting time days each parent has per year
*Extra education costs such as tuition
*Extra-ordinary costs for a child.
In most cases both parents are financially obligated to provide some portion of child support.
Child support is usually collected by means of a wage assignment. The paying parent’s employer mails the child support to the Clearinghouse in Phoenix where it is processed and forwarded to the parent entitled to the child support.
If you are the parent responsible for paying child support and you are paying the child support directly to the other party, you MUST keep meticulous records and receipts for each of your payments. You do not want to have a judgment taken against you for past child support because you cannot document the amounts you have paid to the other party.
If a parent is self-employed, child support is sent by that parent directly to the Child Support Clearinghouse in Phoenix where it is processed and forwarded to the parent entitled to the child support.
Failure to pay child support results in arrears. The parent who is owed the child support should go back to court to obtain a judgment on the arrears and to have the arrears also collected by wage assignment, if possible.
Child support normally terminates for a particular child when that child is age 18 and has graduated from high school, whichever falls later. Alternatively, if a court emancipates the child or if the child is emancipated through marriage, the child support obligation may terminate. Children with special mental or physical handicaps may be eligible to receive child support beyond the normal age of majority.
Child support orders include an allocation between the parents of federal and state tax exemptions for dependent children.
Child support can be modified based upon a substantial and continuing change of circumstances for either or both parents.
If you are concerned about the amount of child support that you need to receive or that you are being ordered to pay, you should consult with me.