Frequently Asked Questions

How is Child Support Determined?

Child support in Arizona is determined by the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are located in Arizona Revised Statutes 25-320. They can also be found here: Arizona Child Support Guidelines.

Child support is based on the gross income of each of the parents. Income includes money from all sources including employment, retirement, disability, investments, businesses and so forth. The income of both parents is combined, then the basic child support is determined, and each parent is assessed a part of the child support based on the percentage his or her income is of the combined income.

Additions are made to the child support for health insurance for the child or children, daycare expenses, children over the age of 12, and extraordinary expenses. After the child support is determined, the parent paying the child support is given an adjustment based on the amount of time spent with the child (costs associated with visitation). If there are transportation expenses because a parent lives out of state, these are also allocated.

The judge also determines which parent is entitled to the dependency deduction on his or her taxes for the child or children. This is generally based on the percentage of the child support that is being paid by each parent. Deductions for the child or children can be alternated between the parents, based on the percentages of the child support paid by each parent.

An Order of Assignment is entered in most cases. This Order directs the employer or payor of income to deduct the child support from the salary, wages or other payments to the parent ordered to pay child support and to pay it directly to the Child Support Clearinghouse. The payments are forwarded from the Clearinghouse to the parent entitled to receive the support.

by: Sandra Tedlock

For more information or to make an initial appointment, call our office: (520) 885-9301.