Child support is calculated pursuant to a state-wide formula which uses the gross income of the parties as a starting point. Spousal maintenance recipients are required to include their spousal maintenance as a part of their gross income, while those who pay spousal maintenance may deduct those payments from their gross income. Income may be imputed to non-working parties. Other factors include the number of children common to the parties, their ages, the cost of medical insurance for the children, the cost of daycare and the number of parenting time days awarded to the non-custodial parent. A child support calculator can be found here.
The numbers are placed in a worksheet and child support is calculated pursuant to a pre-determined formula. In almost all cases, child support is collected pursuant to an Income Withholding Order which requires employers to garnish the monthly child support directly from the payer’s paycheck and forward these sums to the Child Support Clearinghouse in Phoenix. Upon the request of one or both parties, the amount of child support may change as children reach the age of majority or are otherwise emancipated, the parties change jobs or receive wage increases or decreases or other substantial and continuing changes in circumstances occur. In order to have a superseding child support order entered, a parent must file a petition pursuant to the Simplified Guidelines or may file a more formal Post Dissolution Order to Appear Petition in the Superior Court. You need a court order to change child support. Agreements between the parties are not effective to change a child support order.
If a payer has not paid his or her child support as required and thirty days have passed, the payee may file a Post-Dissolution Order to Appear Petition in order to force the delinquent party to pay as previously ordered. The Court will calculate the arrearage and enter a Judgment in that amount against the offending party. Collection methods include placing a lien on a house or a car, garnishment of wages or bank accounts or tax return intercepts.