In Arizona, child support is established by a lengthy formula set forth by statute.  A.R.S. § 25-320 and appendix.  In this approximately 30 pages of statute, the process for calculating the appropriate child support is spelled out. 


Understanding the formula can be very difficult.  Generally, the largest factors contributing to the ultimate child support amount are the incomes of both parents and the amount of parenting time each parent spends with the children.  Other factors include which parent is paying for medical insurance, day care costs, and extraordinary expenses for the children.


In most cases, the parties’ gross income is used.  However, courts can attribute an increased or decreased income to parties in certain cases.  In one case, the parent who chose to voluntarily cut his income to go back to school was required to pay child support at the rate established by his prior income level.  However, Courts have discretion to make adjustments based upon the facts presented at the trial.


Other adjustments can be made to income also, including payments for support of other children, payment or receipt of spousal maintenance, and so forth.


If you are faced with a difficult case involving child support, whether in a divorce, paternity case, or a post-decree modification of custody and/or child support, please feel free to contact our firm for a free telephonic consultation.