Parents have an obligation and a duty to care for, and support, their children. In
fact, Arizona law requires both parents to provide reasonable support for their children.
A.R.S. §25-501(A). Raising a child is expensive and this burden should not be left for
one parent to carry on their own. This is why child support is ordered in family court
cases involving minor children. Arizona has established Child Support Guidelines to
make sure that children receive the support they need to not only survive, but to thrive
during their childhood. Paying child support goes beyond providing children with food,
clothing, and shelter. It also helps children receive an education and participate in
The Arizona Child Support Guidelines are based on what is called an “Income
Shares Model.” This means that the calculation approximates the amount of money that
would have been spent on the children if the parents still lived together. The calculation
ensures that both parents contribute their proportional share of the total amount which
would have been spent if the parents resided together. The goal of this model is to
provide the children with a consistent level of support in both households, and a
reasonable plan to guarantee that the parents can pay.
The Courts utilize a worksheet to calculate the amount of child support to be paid. A
similar worksheet can be found here. The factors considered when calculating child
Income of both parents;
Any spousal maintenance paid or received by either party;
If either parent has a child outside of the relationship (with no child support order);
If either parent is ordered to pay child support in another case;
Medical, dental, and vision insurance paid by the parties;
Extra education costs;
Extraordinary (gifted/special needs) expenses; and
Number of parenting time days.
This child support series will take a deep dive into each of these factors and discuss
other issues surrounding child support.
If your case involves a child support calculation and you are unsure of how to
proceed, it is best to get advice from an experienced Phoenix family law attorney. We
have the experience you need. Call us today for a free case evaluation at (480) 268-9393.
We are happy to help. Peace of mind. There is no substitute.