How much child support do I need to pay? Arizona Attorney Explains
Paying child support is typically part of any divorce between couples with children. One of the first questions parents typically ask themselves is “How much child support should I be expected to pay?”
In Arizona, courts make support decisions based on the best interests of the children. Child support payments vary based on the needs of the children. For example, a child 12 years old or older will require more financial support than a younger child. Parents on average need to spend more money on older kids, according to Arizona child support guidelines. If you have a child with special needs, expenses likely will be higher, and a parent may be ordered to pay additional child support. Childcare and education costs also may add to the amount you have to pay in support.
Information about child support in Arizona
The Arizona Judicial Branch’s website includes helpful information for parents about child support. The state follows the “income shares model,” which is based on the idea that children should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received if their parents lived together.
When you visit the website, you will find helpful information and links, including:
- Child support calculator, an interactive program that allows you to calculate how much you will need to pay.
- Child support guidelines, which were designed to establish a standard of support of children. The state considers the reasonable needs of the children and the parents’ ability to pay.
- Links to Arizona Family Law rules and related statutes.
- Parent education. All new divorcing parents with minor children are required to attend an education program focused on their children’s needs.
Will the amount of time I spend with my child affect my support payments?
If the time each parent spends with the child is equal and the parents have equal income, the guidelines state that expenses for the child are equally shared. No child support will be paid.
But if one parent spends more time with the child, he or she will be entitled to some child support from the other parent even if their incomes are essentially the same. Under this scenario, the amount of child support you have to pay will increase if the other parent makes less income than you do.
Why you should consider hiring an attorney
Any divorce can have a significant financial impact on the spouses. The divorce only becomes more complicated when child support needs to be considered. You will need to have an experienced child support attorney at your side who can protect your interests and your child’s needs.
Attorney Brad Crider can help find solutions that work for you and your child. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.