How to Use The Child Support Calculator
Child support in Maricopa County is calculated using the Arizona child support guidelines, unless a party can show good cause for why a deviation is in the minor child’s best interest.
Pursuant to the Arizona child support guidelines the court will use the child support calculator. This calculator allows you to enter all the information and gives the parents a child support obligation.
The first information that must be entered is the child’s name and birth date. This information is important to determine when child support will start and when child support will end. The minor child’s birth date also determines if an adjustment of 10% is warranted. Child support for that child will adjusted by 10% if the child is over 12 years old because the Arizona child support guidelines stipulate that children over 12 have more financial needs.
The second field used to calculate child support is income. The court takes into account your (1) gross income, (2) Court ordered spousal maintenance paid and received, (3) custodial parenting of other children not common to the relationship, and (4) Court-ordered child support from other relationships. Although this seems simple the Court can input income (increase the income of one party) if that party is receiving non-taxable income, gifts, willfully remaining underemployed, or receiving any other type of service, good or money that affects income even if indirectly. A good example of this is rent given by a friend, or a housing allowance given by your employer.
The third field used to calculate child support is labeled ‘additions.’An addition is something like medical, dental, or vision paid by the parent for the child. The additions field also includes extra education expenses such as tuition for a charter school, daycare for a minor child, or extraordinary expenses that would be used for a handicapped or gifted child. The goal of this field is to give the parent credit for the items the parent is paying for on a monthly basis.
The fourth field used to calculate child support is ‘obligations.’ This section will only be filled out if the parents are not using an equal time schedule (Under time-sharing agreement at the top of the form states essentially equal). If the time sharing agreement at the top of the calculator says mostly with mother or mostly with father the court will use this section to give the non-primary parent credit for the days he/she spends with their child.
Although this calculator is a very helpful tool to use at trial and when deciding strategy for your case it is important that the numbers used can be proved to the court, are backed up with supporting documents, and that the form is filled out properly.
To access the Arizona child support calculator please visit the Arizona courts child custody calculator online.
For more information, please call 602-889-6273 to speak with an experienced attorney today.