Understanding Child Support in Maricopa County, AZ

Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce proceedings, especially when children are involved. It is a legal obligation for both parents to financially support their children, even after the marriage has ended. In Maricopa County, AZ, child support is determined based on several factors that aim to ensure the well-being of the child.

What is Child Support?

Child support is a court-ordered payment made by one parent to the other for the financial support of their child. It is intended to cover the child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and education.

The amount of child support is determined by the court and is based on the income and expenses of both parents.

The Role of Maricopa County Superior Court

In Maricopa County, AZ, child support cases are handled by the Superior Court. The court's main goal is to ensure that the child's best interests are met while also considering the financial capabilities of both parents. The court follows specific guidelines and laws when determining child support to ensure fairness and consistency in all cases.

Arizona Child Support Guidelines

The Arizona Child Support Guidelines are used by the court to determine the amount of child support that should be paid. These guidelines take into account various factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children, and any special needs or expenses of the child. The guidelines also consider the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

This is known as parenting time or visitation. The more time a parent spends with their child, the lower their child support obligation may be.

Income of Both Parents

The income of both parents is a significant factor in determining child support in Maricopa County. The court will consider the gross income of each parent, including wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and any other sources of income. The court may also consider the earning potential of a parent if they are unemployed or underemployed. In cases where one parent is self-employed or has irregular income, the court may use an average of their income over a specific period to determine child support.

Expenses of the Child

The court will also consider the expenses of the child when determining child support.

This includes basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well as any medical or educational expenses. The court may also consider any special needs of the child, such as childcare or therapy.

Modifications to Child Support

In some cases, the court may modify the amount of child support if there is a significant change in circumstances. This could include a change in income, a change in the child's needs, or a change in parenting time. It is essential to note that modifications can only be made through a court order and cannot be done informally between parents.

Enforcement of Child Support Orders

Once a child support order has been established, it is legally binding and must be followed by both parents.

If a parent fails to pay child support, there are several enforcement measures that can be taken by the court. These include wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, suspension of driver's license or professional licenses, and even jail time. It is crucial for both parents to understand their legal obligations when it comes to child support and to comply with court orders to avoid any legal consequences.


Child support is an essential aspect of divorce proceedings in Maricopa County, AZ. The court takes into account various factors when determining child support to ensure the well-being of the child. It is crucial for both parents to understand their obligations and comply with court orders to ensure the best interests of their child are met.

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Rosie Roik
Rosie Roik

Hipster-friendly tv buff. Friendly travel fanatic. Avid social media nerd. Incurable tv ninja. Musicaholic.

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