Friday, June 10, 2005

Do the Arizona Child Support Guidelines Use Net or Gross Income? Why?

Answer: The Arizona Child Support Guidelines use gross income. It allows the least amount of tinkering with income and simplifies the determination of actual income. Many clients tell me that it is not fair to use gross incomes in determining child support but the result would be the same for gross and net anyway. Why? Because the Arizona Family Courts are seeking an amount of child support to provide for children in a given manner. If the Arizona Family Court used net incomes instead of gross incomes in child support calculations, they just have to up the percentage to get the target amount.

Keep in mind that under the income shares child support model and Arizona public policy generally, the amount of child support is determined not by just a simple percentage of income as many states used to do and some still do, but rather by taking sociologicial, economic and legal data and trying to determine what the average family spends on a child at each income level. In other words, how much do people bringing in $5000 per month spend on each child, how much do parents bringing in $20,000 per month spend on their child, etc., etc. It seems probable, and the data bears it out, that parents with higher combined incomes spend more money on their children than parents with lower incomes and the Arizona Child Support Guidelines are in large part based on this presumption. See my posts below for other Arizona child support information.

Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C.
Trent Wilcox
For the Firm

Phoenix office:
3030 N. Central Ave., Ste. 705
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Ph: 602-631-9555
Fx: 602-631-4004

Goodyear office:
1616 N. Litchfield Rd., Ste. 240
Goodyear, Arizona 85338
Ph: 623-344-7880
Fx: 602-631-4004

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Disclaimer: Providing the above information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To create such a relationship, both the attorney and potential client must sign a written fee agreement. The information contained herein is meant only as general information and is not meant to be relied upon for the purpose of taking legal action. You should contact an attorney in person for further and specific information. Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C. attorneys are licensed in Arizona only except for personal injury attorney Robert N. Edwards, who is licensed in Arizona and Minnesota.

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