If you are subject to a child support order from the Superior Court of Maricopa County, or another trial court of record, you should be aware of how that process works and what your rights are in the future. Almost all courts, including Maricopa County, compute child support using a mathematical formula that includes the calculation of support on a worksheet that has been approved by the court. In Maricopa County that worksheet includes the gross incomes of both parents, the costs of medical insurance for the minor child or children, any day care costs for the minor child or children, and the amount of time each parent is physically taking care of the child or children. These various components go into a worksheet that then computes a child support amount on a monthly basis. The court is required to order child support in the amount computed by the worksheet unless the parents agree on a different amount or the court finds that it is in the best interests of the children to order a different amount. Consequently, the worksheet calculated child support is primarily what the court will order in most cases.
Once child support is ordered, it will remain in place until all children are 18 years of age or have graduated from high school if they turn 18 prior to graduation, or at the latest when they turn 19 years of age if they are still in school.
Child support can be modified by showing that there has been a substantial and continuing change in the circumstances of one or both of the parties. Numerous factors go into that calculation and we can help you should you believe that a modification of your child support order is appropriate.
-Steven D. Keist, Founding Partner