Arizona Child Support Guidelines are Set in Stone
In Arizona, the amount of child support the court orders a parent to pay is determined in accordance with the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Although they are called guidelines, the court will almost always order child support pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
GuidelinesAlthough they are called guidelines, the court will almost always order child support pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
The court has discretion to deviate from the guidelines, but will only do so in extraordinary circumstances.
If you are ordered to pay child support, bills such as credit cards, rent or mortgage, and car payments are not factored into a child support calculation.
Determining the Child Support AmountConversely, expenses related to the child such as health insurance and childcare costs are factored into the child support calculation.
The amount of child support actually ordered depends on the following:
- The income, from any source, of each parent;
- The amount of parenting time, days the child is in that parent's care, that each parent is awarded;
- The amount of support that either parent is ordered to pay for any children of previous relationships;
- Whether a parent is the primary custodial parent of any children from previous relationships;
- The amount paid for health insurance, childcare, extra educational expenses, and extraordinary expenses (gifted or handicapped).
Additionally, any spousal maintenance that is ordered is included in the child support calculation and it is deducted from the payor's income and added to the payee's income (receiving parent).
While the court will order child support pursuant to the guidelines, parents may agree to a different amount called a deviation. The agreement to deviate is still subject to the approval of the court and will only be ordered if the court determines that the deviation is in the best interests of the child.
Ultimately, the court's primary concern is the best interest of the child and ensuring that the child is being provided for by both parents.