Child Support laws in arizona

Arizona child support laws

How is Child Support Calculated in Arizona?

Child support is calculated according to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.  The guidelines apply the “Income Share Model.”  The model incorporate both parents’ incomes to create a combined total income.  The proportion of each parent’s contribution to the total income is their proportion toward the child support obligation.  

Example:  Father earns $5,000 monthly, Mother earns $3,000 monthly.  The combined income is $8,500 with Mother’s share of 35% and Father’s share of 65% of the total combined income.   The parents are financially responsible in proportion to their individual income, with Mother paying 35% and Father paying 65% of the child support obligation.  

Child Support Factors

  • Income of parents 
  • cost adjustment for additional children not common to the parties
  • court ordered spousal maintenance
  • other court ordered child support obligations
  • childcare expenses
  • health care premiums
  • other extraordinary expenses
  • parenting time
 
 

The Arizona Child Support Guidelines

The court, absent special circumstances, adopts the child support calculations according to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.  The parties may agree to deviate from the recommended child support amount (the guidelines). The court will likely approve the parties’ voluntary agreements concerning the child support amount, however the court is required to make a legal determination that the deviation from the guidelines is fair and just under the circumstances.

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How is Parenting Time Calculated?

Parenting time exercised by the non-residential parent is attributed as a cost of child rearing and lowers the child support obligation in proportion by shifting the cost from the residential parent to the non-residential parent.  In order to adjust for cost, parenting time is calculated as follows:

  • A period of 12- 24 hours counts as one day.
  • A period of 6 -11 hours counts as half a day.
  • A period of 3-5 hours counts as a quarter day.
  • A period of less than 3 hours may count as a quarter day if the non-residential parent pays for all routing expenses for the child, such as meals.
 
 

Duration of Child Support

The court’s presumptive termination date of a child support order is the minor child’s birthday month at the age of eighteen (18).  If the child is not projected to graduate high school by their 18th birthday, the termination date may be extended to the child’s 19th birthday month or the month of their anticipated graduation date, whichever occurs first. You may use the the child support calculator by azcourts.gov to find out the payment details.

Read our page about child custody.