Sole practitioner | 35+ years of experience | strong legal advocacy

Honest answers and
straightforward advice
request your free case evaluation

Calculating Child Support Payments in Arizona

Posted By Legal Team | March 31 2022 | Child Support

When two people have a child, they are both required to support that child until the child reaches the age of 18. If the two individuals who have a child together decide to separate, or perhaps if they were never a couple to begin with, the responsibility to support the child still remains with both parents. Child support payments are absolutely essential for the continued growth and development of a child. Here, our Scottsdale child support lawyer shares how child support payments are calculated in the state of Arizona.

How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, the Income Shares Model is used to properly calculate child support payments. These child support guidelines are used to approximate exactly how much each parent would likely have spent on their child or children if they (the parents) were living together. Each parent in the state of Arizona is required to pay their proportionate share of income towards the support of their children.

The family court system in Arizona is responsible for determining child support payment amounts, though this will be a multi-step process. In general, we will see that child support payments are calculated based on the Arizona Child Support Worksheet, which is a computer-based system. However, there are various circumstances where a judge may need to alter the Child Support determination made by the computer-based system.

Using the Income Shares Model, there is a plethora of information that will be gathered regarding the parents and the child or children. This begins with examining the income of both parents. The model will examine how much it costs to raise a child in the particular jurisdiction of Arizona, which does indeed vary from place to place. However, regardless of where the child and parents reside, the basic needs of the child must be accounted for.

Example Using the Income Shares Model

Let us set up a theoretical example to examine how this model works. Let us assume that it costs $1,000 a month to raise a child in Scottsdale, Arizona. The court will then divide this dollar amount by both parents’ combined incomes. If a father earns 65% of the income, then he would be responsible for 65% of the child support monthly, or $650. The mother would be responsible for the remaining 35%, which would equal $350.

Let us further assume that the father has physical custody (this means that the child lives with the father). In this case, the mother, because she is the non-custodial parent, would be the one to pay the father $350 a month. The courts will assume that the father is paying his $650 portion through the monthly expenses related to child care, including rent, mortgage, utilities, food, health insurance, etc.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Child Support?

It is absolutely critical for both parents to continue to pay child support. If an individual does not send child support payments as ordered by the court, this could lead to Class 6 felony charges in Arizona. Upon conviction, this could result in up to 1.5 years in prison. Often, the court will lower failure to pay to a misdemeanor offense, but this could still result in six months in jail and a fine of $2,500.

In addition to jail or prison time and fines, individuals are still required to pay back all child support that they owe. This obligation will never go away. The family court system in Arizona could order that a person’s wages be garnished to pay back any child support they owe.

If your past spouse or parent of your child has not fulfilled their child support obligations, contact our Scottsdale child support enforcement lawyer to find out how you can recover missed payments. At the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau, our Scottsdale family law attorney is experienced with handling complex child support cases and can provide expert legal assistance with any issues regarding your Arizona child support order.

Request a Consulation

  • *required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FULLY OPERATIONAL DURING COVID-19 CRISIS: We are OPEN. Telephone and Video Conferences Available. Close