What is the Average and the Maximum Child Support in Arizona?
Child support calculations are troubling for parents who may already be under financial strain following a divorce in Arizona. A general rule of thumb is that the payment will be calculated on the basis of the parent’s adjusted gross income. It is used as the basis that will determine the average and the eventual maximum child support in Arizona, which someone may have to pay to their former spouse and primary custodial parent.
Some Numbers and Statistics
According to the Census Bureau, the average monthly child support payment across the US is 430 dollars. Obviously, this is an amount that can’t be used a guideline for the sum that you will eventually have to pay.
There are many online calculators that can be used to determine child support payments in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Economic Security has one such calculator that can be used to make a more or less accurate estimate.
Based on this calculator, a father who makes 2,000 dollars per month and who has two children staying with their mother will have to make monthly child support payments of 500 dollars. The payment per child will go up when the kids turn 12.
Using the same calculator, the amount that the non-custodial parent will have to pay when both children turn 12 is going to be 614 dollars.
In Arizona, calculations are based on the Child Support Guidelines. They provide a complex formula based on the income of both parents, the amount of time they spend with children, the needs of the children and whether the parents have joint custody. The guidelines also provide numerous examples that show exactly how the calculation is made.
What Happens When Parents have Shared Custody
The examples mentioned above address situations in which one parent has custody over the children and the other has to provide financial support. Things become a bit more complicated whenever the two parents share custody.
Shared parenting means that children spend at least 40 percent of the time with each parent. When the arrangement is such, the gross income of both parents will have to be examined for the purpose of determining who makes child support payments and how substantial they’re going to be.
The simplest formula is that the difference between the two incomes is the amount that the higher earner will have to pay to the other parent.
Here’s a simple example – the father earns 30,000 dollars per year and the mother earns 20,000 dollars per year. If the mother is the sole custodian parent, the father would have to pay her 463 dollars per month. If the father is the sole custodian parent, the mother will have to pay 323 dollars per month.
In the case of shared custody, the difference between the two amounts has to be paid. The calculation is simple – 463-323=140 dollars. This means that the father has to pay the mother 140 dollars per month in child custody.
A Few Additional Considerations
Maximum child support in Arizona law, is 50 percent of the parent’s disposable income. This amount also applies to a person who has gotten married again and who is currently supporting another family.
Arizona Revised Statutes also put a cap on child support whenever the adjusted monthly income of the two parents goes beyond 20,000 dollars. In families that have seven or more children, a child support cap is placed on the sixth child. While a parent may seek support beyond the cap, most courts will adopt a cautious approach towards reviewing the limits determined via state regulations.
Finally, the child support amount that’s determined initially is not set in stone. A parent who undergoes a workplace accident, for example, and deals with a permanent job loss as a result could apply for a modification of the amount. Consult experienced family law attorneys in Arizona to understand and abide by legalities.