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Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC

     

Divorce and Family Law

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 (see also: 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 income;

  • 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.

 
          

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