What Is Child Support?
Child support in Arizona is calculated according to a formula established by the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
Child support is simply money
paid by one parent to the other parent to assist in covering costs associated
with minor children. In most cases, the parent who cares for the children most
of the time will receive child support from the other parent. Child support is
typically paid by a wage assignment to the Support Payment Clearinghouse and
then disbursed to the recipient parent. Child support continues until the
youngest child turns 18 years old but can continue until the child turns 19 if
the child is still attending high school. Child support has priority over all
other financial obligations and is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Child support in Arizona is
calculated according to a formula established by the
Arizona Child Support Guidelines
Child Support Calculator). The amount produced by the formula is the
presumptive amount of support, although in appropriate cases the Court can
deviate upward or downward from the guideline amount. At a minimum, the formula
requires the following information:
each parent’s gross monthly
the cost of any child care;
the number of parenting days
exercised per year; and
the premium cost for health
insurance for the minor children.
The child support order will
also assign responsibility for sharing in any medical costs for the children
that are not covered by insurance, and will allocate the right to claim each
child as a dependent on the parent’s income tax returns. Extracurricular
activity expenses for the children are addressed separately from child support,
because the children’s activities typically change over time.