How is child support calculated in Arizona?

In a nutshell, Arizona looks at the following factors to determine child support: •    both parents’ incomes •    whether either parent is supporting another natural or adopted child •    whether either parent is paying or receiving spousal maintenance •    the number of children at issue •    the number of children over 12 •    the cost of health insurance for the children, and which parent is paying that cost •    the cost of day care, and which parent is paying the cost •    the cost of extra-education or extraordinary expenses for a child, and which parent is paying the cost •    the amount of days the parents have parental access with the children.

How is child support collected?

Once child support is determined, it is taken from the paying parent’s wages through an automatic process.

Is the amount of child support that is calculated by the state written in stone or can the parents agree to a different amount?

Parents can ask the Court to deviate from the child support amount dictated by the Guidelines, where there is good cause.

Can child support be changed once it is ordered by the court?

The Arizona Courts allow people to modify the support amount whenever there has been a change in circumstances (a reduction or increase in a party’s income, for example) that would change child support by 15 percent or more.  Child support generally continues until a child is 18 and finished with high school.  Child support does not automatically cease or modify when a modification or cessation of support is appropriate.  A parent has to file documents to stop support.

Child support generally will not be modified earlier than when a request to modify of stop support is made.