fbpx Skip Navigation

Team

Managing Attorney

President

Office Manager

Guarantee

Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

If you feel that your paid consultation does not bring clarity to your situation, or provides options for resolving your legal issue we’ll refund your consultation payment in full.

Learn more
Close Btn
Close Btn

Practice Areas

(480) 508-0886
Close Btn

Team

(480) 508-0886
Close Btn

Immigration Law

Close Btn

Family Law

Close Btn

Estate Planning

Close Btn

Criminal Law

Close Btn

Business Law

Close Btn

President

Close Btn

Managing Attorney

Close Btn

Office Manager

Dec 31, 2023

Understanding Child Support Guidelines: Ensuring Fair and Adequate Support

Divorce is exponentially more painful when you and your spouse have minor children than when.

Understanding Child Support Guidelines: Ensuring Fair and Adequate Support

Divorce is exponentially more painful when you and your spouse have minor children than when you do not. Fighting with your ex-spouse about parenting is even more stressful than fighting with your ex about money, and fighting with your ex about financial issues related to your children is the worst of all. Disagreements about child support can make the bitterness of divorce last longer and make it harder for both parents and the children to adjust to the new family routine. The courts of Arizona have a uniform set of guidelines that they apply to determine each parent’s child support obligations. 

Each family’s circumstances are unique, but the same rules apply to all of them. Resolving disagreements with your ex about the children’s expenses can help your entire family heal. It is no fun to threaten your ex with contempt of court over unpaid child support or to keep going in circles over a legal case related to a request to modify a child support order. It is easiest if you can see the big picture when you are drafting the parenting plan, which will become the basis for your child support order. A Tempe family law attorney can help you better understand child support guidelines and reach an agreement with your ex-spouse during mediation about parenting time and your respective financial obligations for your children.

What You Need to Know About Child Support Guidelines

How Does the Court Calculate Your Income for Child Support Purposes?

Unsurprisingly, each parent’s income is an important factor in determining the amount of child support. The following sources of income count for purposes of calculating child support:

  • Employment income, including salary, wages, bonuses, and commissions
  • Workers’ compensation benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Investment income and interest on savings
  • Distributions you receive from a trust
  • Retirement income, including but not limited to pensions

Public assistance benefits do not count as income. If you get Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments or SNAP benefits, these do not count toward your income when calculating how much child support you will pay or receive. If you receive alimony from a prior marriage, this counts toward your income. If you receive child support for an older child from a previous marriage, this does not count since the income technically belongs to the child, not to you.

What if Your Income is Unpredictable?

The child support guidelines require you to plug in a numerical value for your annual income, but sometimes, figuring out your income is not so simple. If your job is based on the academic year, and you only get a monthly salary for nine months, the child support guidelines will annualize it. For example, if you make $45,000 per year as a teacher, the court will simply treat this as “$45,000 per year means $3,750 per month.”  If you work on a freelance basis, the court will look at your most recent tax return and assume that your income will be the same in subsequent years.

Parenting Plans are a Matter of What Works for You, but Child Support Obligations are Based on a Mathematical Formula

The court cannot calculate your child support amount until you have finalized a parenting plan. There are only 365 days in a year and only so many ways to divide them between two parents, but each parenting plan is unique because parenting plans also include details about transportation and decision-making. Before it can calculate child support, the court must know how many days the children spend with each parent. Then, it calculates child support based on each parent’s income and each parent’s number of parenting time days. If your income is much higher than your ex-spouse’s, you might still be obligated to pay child support even if the children spend more than half the days of the year with you.

Resolving Disputes About Child Support

The child support guidelines do not resolve every possible question about children’s expenses.  For example, they do not address which parent must carry health insurance for the children and how the parents will pay for the children’s medical expenses that insurance does not cover.  Likewise, the court cannot order you to send your children to private school, but if you choose to do this, you and your ex must agree on how to divide the responsibility for paying tuition.  A family law attorney can help you resolve these disagreements.

Contact Singular Law Group About Child Support Disputes

A family law attorney can help you resolve disagreements with your ex-spouse about child support and your children’s expenses. Contact Singular Law Group PLLC in Tempe, Arizona, to set up a consultation.

 

Sources

https://azcourts.sharepoint.com/sites/CourtForms/Shared%20Documents/Forms/Effective.aspx?id=%2Fsites%2FCourtForms%2FShared%20Documents%2FAOCDRS10H2022%2Epdf&parent=%2Fsites%2FCourtForms%2FShared%20Documents&p=true&ga=1

A Tempe family law attorney can help you draft a parenting plan, which will become the basis of a child support order that applies the Arizona child support guidelines.

Unlock exclusive legal insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Related articles

Navigating Child Custody Arrangements: Understanding the Best Interests of the Child
Feb 15, 2024

Navigating Child Custody Arrangements: Understanding the Best Interests of the Child

You might think that you are easygoing about money until you get a divorce. If.

The Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law

The Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law

To become a U.S. permanent resident or naturalized citizen, you must thoroughly and repeatedly persuade.

Protecting Your Rights: Common Mistakes in Criminal Cases
Jan 15, 2024

Protecting Your Rights: Common Mistakes in Criminal Cases

Several Constitutional amendments in the Bill of Rights deal specifically with people who have been.

Chat with us, our team is here to answer all your questions