Arizona Child Support Calculations

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Regardless of whether parents are divorced, separated, or unmarried, Arizona law requires that both be responsible for the financial support of their minor children. This obligation is typically met by the noncustodial parent making child support payments to the custodial parent.

Arizona is an "income shares" model state. This means that both parents' income is used to calculate the child support obligation to approximate the amount of support that the child would've received if both parents lived together and contributed to the household. You can estimate this amount by using the state's guidelines to calculate a child support order. However, there are concerns about the accuracy of using calculators because they use estimates and may vary by case.

Factors Used to Determine Child Support Amounts

The formula for calculating the amount of the child support obligation depends on the following factors:

  • Both parents' income;
  • The parenting time schedule; and
  • Specific deductions.

Explanation of Arizona Child Support Calculations

The laws that govern child support calculations are complex and lengthy. To help parents understand their child support obligations, it's useful to read a plain English explanation of the content. The chart below provides basic information on child support calculations in Arizona.

Statutes

Arizona Revised Statutes:

Parents' Income

Arizona's child support calculations are based on the gross income (not net income) as established by tax records and current pay stubs.

The law requires that the calculations include both parents' income from the equivalent of one full-time position to determine the child support amount.

Parenting Time

"Parenting time," the total number of days that a parent spends with their child outside of school or day care, is an important factor to determine the child support formula for sole physical custody cases. The total number of full, half, and quarter parenting time days directly impact the child support amount. Generally, as the parenting time percentage increases, the child support amount decreases.

With joint physical custody, the parenting time is the same for both parents and isn't used to determine the child support amount. Typically, the parent with the higher income pays child support to the other parent.

Allowed Deductions

There are specific deductions that the courts allow to be used to adjust the income, including the following:

  • Health insurance costs;
  • Child care costs; and
  • Other support obligations (including support for other children).

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Arizona Child Support Calculations: Related Resources

Discuss Child Support Calculations with an Arizona Attorney

Understanding Arizona child support calculations can be very difficult and using a calculator may not be enough to get an accurate figure. Consider seeing an Arizona child support attorney to ensure that your child's support amount is accurate.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.