Who Decides How Much Child Support is Paid?

In response to federal legislation, each state has adopted official child support guidelines. To receive federal funding, each state is required to have a standardized system for determining child support. These “guidelines” establish the method for calculating child support in each case and are designed to ensure consistency and predictability in child support amounts. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines use a formula to determine the proper amount of child support that considers each party’s monthly income, the cost of health insurance and daycare, and the time spent with each parent. In Arizona, it is mandatory that court’s use the guidelines, however, the court or parties may elect to deviate from the guidelines so long as there are specific legitimate reasons for doing so.