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Phoenix Family Law Lawyer

Phoenix Family Law Lawyer

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FamilyLawLawyerPhoenix.com - Arizona child support guidelines
FamilyLawLawyerPhoenix.com - Arizona child support guidelines

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Published by: phoenixfamilylaw on Sep 12, 2010
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familylawlawyerphoenix.comPhoenix Family Law Lawyer
SUMMARY OF ARIZONA CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
Prepared by:http://familylawlawyerphoenix.com  Author:
Bill
 
Bishop,
 
Arizona
 
Divorce
 
and
 
Family
 
Law
 
Attorney
 
 
 
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SUMMARY OF ARIZONA CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
Child Support in Arizona is determined pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.The Arizona Child Support Guidelines can be somewhat complex in application where various factorsare in dispute. The following is a basic description of how the Child Support Guidelines work for thereader's ease of understanding.Child Support is based upon the parties' combined incomes (i.e. the higher the incomes, the more thecombined child support obligation. In order to determine child support pursuant to the Arizona ChildSupport Guidelines, you first insert both parties' incomes, which results in a basic child supportobligation attributed to both parties. The child support obligation is divided between the parties pursuantto percentage of their respective income.
For example, if Mother earns $7,500.00 per month, and Father earns $2,500.00 per month, the percentage is 75% Mother and 25% Father. This does not mean that Mother owes Father a child support obligation. If Mother is the primary residential parent, Father may owe Mother 25% of the child support obligation while Mother "assumes" 75% of the obligation through her normal financial support of the children while they are in her primary care.
If the parties have equal income and equal parenting time, there may not be a child support order. If oneparty is the primary residential parent, the other party will generally have to pay child support (but notalways depending upon the circumstances).The more children the parties have, the higher the child support obligation. However, such is not a directcorrelation (i.e. having two children does not result in a child support that is double that realized if theparties only have one child). Rather, the Child Support Guidelines recognize an economy of scale (i.e.that it does not cost two times more to raise two child rather than one).The obligated party often does not realize the party receiving child support also has a child supportobligation. Such is realized pursuant to the assumption that the cost of providing primary support for thechildren exceeds the amount received in monthly child support.After inserting each parties' incomes, there are various adjustments that take place before determiningthe final child support obligation:1. If one parent pays spousal maintenance to the other parent, the paying parent's income is decreasedand the recipient parent's income is increased by the amount of such spousal maintenance award. Thischanges the percentages of the parties' respective incomes, which in turn changes the amount of thechild support obligation.2. If a party has other children (i.e. children from prior or subsequent relationships), such party willreceive a further downward adjustment to their income in the amount of their child support obligation(or presumed inherent child support obligation pursuant to the guidelines), which results in a change tothe percentages.
 
 
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3. The party who pays the health care insurance for the children is credited with the amount of suchpayments so that each party pays a percentage of such obligation pursuant to their respective adjustedincomes4. In the same regard, the party who pays the child care costs for the children is credited with the amountof such payments so that each party pays a percentage of such obligation pursuant to their adjustedincomes.5. If one or more children are twelve years old or older, such will result in a 10% increase to the basesupport obligation.6. Child support is also adjusted pursuant to the parenting time that the paying party exercises. The morethe parenting time, the higher the adjustment. If the parents share equal parenting time, the largestadjustment applies. In such event, there is merely an equalization of the child support obligationsbetween the two parties which generally results in an even lower child support obligation (or no childsupport obligation if the parties' incomes are substantially equal).The Supreme Court of Arizona provides a child support calculator on line which is free of charge. Youcan merely log on to the website and insert both parties' incomes and adjustments as described above inorder to calculate child support. Because not all factors are not always known, you can insert numerousscenarios (i.e. changes in incomes, anticipated changes in parenting time, termination of child careexpenses, etc.) in order to assess various situations.
MORE IN DEPTH DISCUSSION REGARDING THE DIFFERENT SECTIONS OFTHE ARIZONA CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES:
The following is a more in depth summary of each section of the Child Support Guidelines. Suchdescriptions have been drafted for the ease of reading and understanding. Not all sections and provisionsof the Child Support Guidelines are addressed herein. For a review of the full text of the Arizona ChildSupport Guidelines, click here.
Background:
The Arizona Child Support Guidelines Follow the "Income Shares Model". Such is basedupon extensive research regarding the approximate amounts which would have been spent on thechildren if the parents and children were living together. Each parent contributes his / her proportionateshare of the total child support amount as described previously.Author's Note: The Child Support Guidelines are not perfect for the reason that every situation isdifferent. The guidelines are intended to provide some uniformity, however. The Guidelines do allow fordeviations to the guidelines child support amount in some circumstances, however, the different judgesare not consistent with one another regarding the circumstances that they feel warrant a deviation.
Section 2 - "Premises"
Child Support obligations have priority over all other financial obligations. The existence of otherfinancial commitments and debts is generally not a reason for the failure to pay child support, or for adeviation from the guidelines.

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