A common concern raised by individuals going through a divorce is whether they will be ruined financially after marital assets are divided and support for your child and spouse are calculated. Under Arizona law, specifically A.R.S. 25-501(A), parents are legally obligated to provide “reasonable support” for any children under the age of 18. This legal responsibility is unavoidable.

Calculating Reasonable Support

Courts in Arizona have adopted guidelines providing a basic formula that will calculate the amount of monthly support owed by you and your ex-spouse. These guidelines are meant to try and estimate the amount you and your ex-spouse would spend on your child, or children if you remained married.

The guidelines include contribution estimates from economists who determined a “basic” amount of child support. This amount will vary depending on how many children you have and your total monthly gross income.

The Twenty Thousand Dollar Ceiling

The guidelines include a presumptive limit of $20,000 a month based on the combined gross income of you and your ex-spouse. If you are making in excess of $20,000 in gross monthly income, it is likely your ex-spouse will petition the court to consider a higher amount for support purposes.

Modifying a Child Support Order

When a court enters a child support order it typically remains in effect until your child reaches the age of 18. If your child is still in high school at the age of 18, then your financial obligation extends to the age of 19, according to A.R.S. § 25-501(A).

Nevertheless, Arizona law A.R.S. 25-5039(E) allows for child support to be modified if you can show “changed circumstances” that are “substantial and continuing.” For example, if you suddenly become disabled, lose your job, have to change jobs and accept employment at a lower salary, you may be able to seek a child support modification since these events could qualify as substantial and continuing changes.

Speak to a Tempe Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are going through a divorce and child support is in play, contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack immediately. Our legal team can conduct a reverse audit, calculating the lifestyle and living expenses of both you and your ex-spouse. We also have the ability to retain accountants, vocational experts, and other professionals to help calculate income if you or your spouse have sporadic income. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We are reachable online or by calling 480-345-2652, or you can visit our office in Tempe.