In Arizona, child support is calculated pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) under Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) § 25-320. However, to determine a party’s child support obligation, data based on the Guidelines is collected and inserted into a Child Support Calculator which will then calculate the amount of child support obligation.
There are several variables that go into determining the amount of child support a party is obligated to pay. The following factors are typically considered:
- The number of minor child(ren) subject to the current matter;
- The age(s) of the child(ren);
- The income of each party;
- The cost of health insurance for the child(ren) only and which parent pays for the insurance (dental and/or vision may also be included if a party pays for these insurances too);
- Whether a party supports any child(ren) from other relationships and whether child support is being paid or received by that party;
- Whether spousal maintenance is being paid or received by either party; and
- The amount of parenting time exercised by each parent.
Other factors that may be considered, but not required to be included in the Child Support Calculator are:
- The cost of daycare/childcare (if any) and which parent pays for the expense;
- Any extraordinary (gifted or special needs) expenses for the child(ren); and
- Any extra education expenses paid for the child(ren).
The Guidelines currently contain a presumptive adjusted combined income limit of $30,000.00 per month for calculating a child support amount. This means that after reaching the threshold, the support amount is capped by the Child Support Calculator. However, this presumption can be overcome on a showing that the application of the Guidelines would be inappropriate or unjust in a particular case. There are several factors in the that are considered together and weighed in conjunction with a request for a deviation, which can both be found in A.R.S. § 25-320 and the Guidelines. Circumstances that may warrant a deviation include, but are not limited to, the financial resources and needs of the child(ren) and the parents; the standard of living enjoyed by the child(ren) if the home was intact; and the physical, emotional, and/or educational needs of the child(ren).
An Important Note: The Guidelines are reviewed and updated once every four (4) years with the latest version going into effect on January 1, 2022. As such, it is important to always remember to utilize the current Guidelines and Child Support Calculator. A link to the most recent Guidelines can be found here: 2022 Arizona Child Support Guidelines and Child Support Calculator.