Child Support Factors to Establish Child Support

Child Support Factors to Establish Child Support


  • Monthly salary of each parent
  • Age of children
  • Parenting time
  • Day care costs
  • Medical insurance
  • Extracurricular expenses
  • Number of other children not common to the marriage
  • Spousal maintenance

Affidavit of Financial Information

Every case with children must have a document filed called an Affidavit of Financial Information, to be filled out by both parents and notarized. Read all the fine print on this document. It requires you to attach the last three (3) years of taxes and at least six (6) months of pay stubs. (Please remember to delete your Social Security and bank account numbers from these documents. If you file these documents without those numbers being covered, they will become public record and you could be subjecting yourself to possible identify theft).

In the Affidavit of Financial Information, you will outline your current monthly expenses, debts and income. It is understood that these numbers will change upon dissolution (divorce), but the court’s request is for the amount you are spending right now. The courts will analyze your financial position to determine how much child support you (or your spouse) should pay. We recommend that parents omit the taxes and supply the last three pay stubs; these can be produced without becoming part of your court file. The next page is a draft of an Affidavit of Financial Information that needs to be filled out if there are minor children in the marriage. This is a state-required form. You can find it on the court’s website, which is

Child Support Worksheet

The second required document is a Child Support Worksheet. Within this form, there are various boxes to input information such as your income and parenting time with the children. There are other factors that are also taken into consideration in determining this amount. The Child Support Worksheet will calculate who pays child support and how much mother or father shall pay in child support. Although you are able to access this form on the court’s website, we have provided this worksheet on our website for you to download. Please be advised that the court’s final determination may differ from your generated worksheet, but the worksheet should give you an idea of how much child support you will have to pay.

There are two huge factors that determine a child support obligation: each parent’s gross wages and each parent’s parenting time with the child. On the other hand, there are other factors that will give a parent “credit” on his or her side of the child support worksheet. These factors include whether either parent has another child from a previous marriage, has health insurance, pays spousal maintenance or child support or pays daycare expenses, among others.

Following is a copy of the short-form child support worksheet. We do not use the online form that Maricopa County provides. Like most attorneys, we use the short-form for child support calculations and provide several hypothetical cases so that you may see how child support will change when the factors change.

Examples of Child Support Calculations

Family #1

2 children: Born 1/1/10 and 1/1/99

Father’s Income: $60,000/annual

Mother’s Income: $30,000/annual

Additional children not from marriage: Father has 1 other child

Primary Residential Parent: Father

Mother’s Parenting Time 125 days of parenting time

Health Insurance cost: $200.00/month (Father pays)

Child Care cost: $800.00/month (Father pays)

Family #1: Mother would pay $634.71 per month in child support.

Family #2

2 children: Born 1/1/10 and 1/1/99

Father’s Income: $7.25/hour (minimum wage)

Mother’s Income: $36.00/hour

Primary Residential Parent: Equal parenting time

Health Insurance cost: $150.00/mo. (Mother pays)

Child Care cost: $0.00

Family #2: Mother would pay $477.05 per month in child support.

Family #3

2 children: Born 1/1/10 and 1/1/99

Father’s Income: $120,000/annual salary

Father pays spousal maintenance: $2000.00/month

Mother’s Income: $20,000/annual salary Mother receives spousal maintenance: $2000.00/month

Primary Residential Parent: Mother

Father’s Parenting Time: 75 days of parenting time

Health Insurance cost: $100.00/month (Father pays)

Child Care cost: $0

Family #3: Father would pay $1,064.50 per month in child support.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Child support can be easily calculated under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines after several other variables have been determined. Specifically, the following information is required to calculate child support:

  1. Each parent’s monthly gross income
    Gross income includes: receipt of spousal maintenance, Social Security, workman’s compensation, severance pay, commissions, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, retirement plans, interest, self- employment, bonuses, gifts, prizes (lottery winnings), rental income, trust income, pensions, annuities, dividends and capital gains.
  2. The amount of spousal maintenance paid or received by either parent
  3. The amount of court-ordered child support paid by one parent for support of children not common to the other parent
  4. The cost to one parent of supporting children not common to the other parent
  5. The amount of the medical insurance premium for the children
  6. The child care expenses
  7. The physical decision-making schedule

Calculation of child support never includes a new marriage partner, only the two parents of the child.

Who Pays Child Support?

Using the above-described factors, the Child Support Worksheet and the court will be able to determine which parent (if either) should pay child support. The law provides that when the court grants a decision-making order, it also must decide what amount of child support should be paid by each parent under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Joint decision-making does NOT mean that either parent is no longer responsible to provide for the support of the child.

How Is Child Support Paid?

Child support must be paid in money – not in clothing or gifts. It must be paid through the clearinghouse in the state of Arizona if there is a court order for support. In Arizona, most child support payments are made through the “clearinghouse,” and, if possible, through wage assignment. If a parent is ordered to make child support payments through the clearinghouse, that parent shall send the payment to the clearinghouse directly, not to the other parent. The clearinghouse keeps track of all payments. If you have been ordered to make payments through the clearinghouse and you make payments directly to the other parent, those direct payments may be considered as gifts to the other parent. If that is the case, you will not be given credit that you paid child support that month and may be required to pay again to the clearinghouse.

A wage assignment” is now required for the payment of child support, and in some cases, for the payment of spousal maintenance (alimony). An assignment requires an employer or other payor (either a person or company) of a parent who is obligated by court order to pay a certain amount of child support each month to withhold that amount from the wages or money owed to the parent (employee) and to send that amount directly to the clearinghouse. This type of assignment applies to salary, wages, commissions and any type of payments received by the parent ordered to pay support. Either the person required to pay support or the person entitled to receive it can request an assignment order (A.R.S. §25-323 and §12-2454).

Next: Frequently Asked Questions

Agreements on child support: Can my spouse and I agree on a child support amount that is different from the statutory calculation? The Court can permit the parties to settle on an amount of child support that is different from the statutory calculation. In order to do so, however, both parties must sign a statement...

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