Child Support

In Arizona a biological parent is required under the law to provide child support (monetary support) to his or her child(ren). The amount of financial support required to support a child in Arizona is determined by a mathematical formula set forth in the Arizona Support Guidelines and is based on the actual or attributed income of both parents. The Arizona Support Guidelines additionally consider standard expenses for the minor child(ren), medical insurance, child care costs and the time that each parent spends with the child(ren).

When you meet with an attorney they will need information regarding each of these items to determine how to calculate your approximate support award. Further, the Supreme Court of Arizona has a calculator that is available over the internet to calculate support under the Arizona Guidelines. This can be accessed at the Supreme Court Website at

Only one parent will be ordered to physically pay support for a minor child(ren) where at least one parent has physical custody of the child(ren). Said payments are typically ordered to be paid by a wage assignment directly from someone’s weekly or biweekly paycheck.

If a parent stops paying support or falls behind on payments for support, arrears begin to accrue. The Court takes very seriously a parent’s obligation to pay support for a child. If a parent is not paying support, they may be held in contempt by the Court, and ultimately could be incarcerated. The state of Arizona has an enforcement agency responsible for assisting parents to ensure support for a child is paid. This agency is titled the Arizona Department of Child Support Enforcement. If a party is not receiving support, he/she may contact this Department for help to collect/enforce the payment of support or may hire an attorney to prepare an enforcement action.

Once a support order is entered it can be modified or changed throughout the minority of the child(ren) to either lower support payments or increased support payments. Further once a child reaches the age of emancipation, a party may need to stop the current order for support. Arizona law states that a child emancipates at the age of 18 or graduation from high school but no later than the age of 19.

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