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Does a judge have to follow the states child support calculator for the final decree?

Mesa, AZ |

ex husband makes $6000 a month. Im a full time student with no income. and the judge ordered less than $600 for child support. the child support calculator says i should be getting over $1000.

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Attorney answers 3


In Arizona child support must be ordered pursuant to the child support guidelines unless their is a compelling reason to grant a deviation.

In your situation without seeing the calculator and the order from the Judge it is tough to tell but it may be as simple as an error on the judges part in calculating child support or an error on your part in calculating child support.

Some common errors are failing to put in the number of days, medical, or education expenses.

Another possible explanation would be that the judge imputed income to you finding that you are capable of some type of employment (generally the Court will find that all parties are at least capable of minimum wage)

I would recommend contacting an attorney with child support experience and get a free consultation to get a full understanding of the calculation made by both you and the judge.


No, a judge does not have to follow the guidelines, they can order a deviation with good cause. That good cause can be many different issues. Also, you need to review the inputed data to see if it is accurate, about income, child care, parenting time, other children, and so forth. All this information will be on the judge's work sheet.


Mr. Salekin's answer is correct. I would only add that a judge can deviate from the guidelines if the judge finds that it is in the child's best interest to do so.

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