Arizona judges use statutory guidelines and consider a number of factors when determining the amount of child support one parent will be ordered to pay the other after a divorce or separation. Both parents are considered responsible for contributing a portion of money towards the care of a child. The guidelines provide a framework for the courts, but judges may deviate from the guidelines when individual circumstances so dictate.
For children under the age of 18, courts take into consideration the relevant amount of time the child will reside with each parent as well as the income of each parent and the financial resources of the child. Child support will often be ordered even when parents share joint custody of a child. Courts will also consider the medical support of the child as well as the standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents had remained together.
Child support may be ordered or continued past the age of majority in certain cases. If a child turns 18 while still in high school, the court will continue child support payments until the senior year is completed or the child turns 19. For children who have a severe disability to the point that he or she will be unable to live independently and care for himself or herself, the judge may order child support to continue into adulthood if one parent continues to care for the child.
Calculating child support is a complicated process involving not only legal guidelines but numerous important factors as well. When a parent is going through a child support and custody case, the advice and counsel of a family law attorney can be valuable.
Source: Arizona State Legislature, “25-320. Child support; factors; methods of payment; additional enforcement provisions; definitions“, October 08, 2014