Written by attorney Quincy Walter McKinney

Arkansas child support

How does Arkansas determine child support payments?

Child support in Arkansas is usually determined based on a standard chart used in Arkansas courts. The chart is created by the Arkansas Supreme Court and placed in what is called Administrative Order number 10. All you do is locate your net take home pay and see how much is owed for the number of children you have. The chart is broken down by pay intervals. There is a chart for weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly pay intervals.

What is "net income"?

"Net income" is generally defined as any income paid to you including wages, salary, commissions, tips, bonuses, and interest, minus state and federal taxes, other state and federal with holdings, and any health insurance provided to dependent children, as well as child support or other support paid to other dependent children by court order. You cannot deduct from your gross pay retirement contributions, other savings, or investment programs. If you are self-employed the court will look at your last two years tax returns to determine your income.

The court can also consider any perks provided to you by the company or your own business. Any income from investments will also be counted. If you make more than the highest amount found on the chart then court will base child support on 15% of your net income for one child, 21% for two children, 25% for three children, 28% for four children, 30% for five, and 32% for six. VA disability, Workers Compensation Disability, and Unemployment benefits, are all considered income.

How long do child support payments last?

Child support is paid until children turn eighteen or graduate high school, which ever occurs last. Child support can be modified for increases or reductions in income of more than 10% or $100. However child support must be modified by petitioning the court and is done by court order. Verbal agreements are usually not enforceable with regards to child support.

Can I change the amount of child support I pay?

The court can modify child support retroactively back to the date the petition to modify was filed but not beyond that date of filing. Typically, if there is extended summer visitation, child support may be abated by half during these times. The amount specified by the chart is presumed to be correct and the courts will rarely deviate from the chart except in unusual circumstances such as the non-custodial parent having greater than standard visitation.

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