Parents in Arizona and throughout the country are generally required to provide for a minor child’s financial needs. In some cases, this obligation continues until a child graduates from college. Child support amounts are calculated based on a number of factors such as a parent’s income, how custody is allocated and state guidelines. Typically, judges can use any factor that may be deemed relevant in a case to ensure that a child support order protects a child’s best interest.
Almost any source of income that a parent receives during the year can be considered when crafting a child support order. For instance, a judge could take into account wage income, money won at a casino or regular distributions from a trust or employer pension plan. Any government benefits or gifts that a parent receives could also be considered when determining an individual’s ongoing child support obligation.
Parents are typically required to provide a financial statement listing all sources of income to the court prior to a hearing. The statement will also list any expenses that an individual may have. In addition to helping the court figure out how much a parent can likely pay in support each month, it could help parents gain insight into their own financial situation. Online child support calculators can help individuals estimate how much they may owe per month.
Those who are wondering how much their child support payments might be may want to consider talking to an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to explain the various factors a judge could use when creating a support order. Individuals who are already making child support payments could be entitled to a child support modification. This may make it easier to comply with an existing order and avoid financial or other penalties.