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Child support calculators provide estimate of the amount due

Divorcing couples in Phoenix, Arizona, may have an advance idea of the amount of child support to be paid by using the state's child support calculator. Though this calculator is not a valid legal tool and the court has sole authority to finalize the amount, a fairly accurate estimate of the child support amount can be calculated by using this tool.

This calculator considers information such the number of children, date of birth of each child, income of the parents, medical and educational expenses, and uses this information to drive the scales that generate an estimate of the child support. The final amount is decided by the court, after taking an approximation of the amount that would have been spent on raising the child if the couple remained together. The child support guideline is applicable to children not born within the bounds of marriage as well as those adopted. However, child support for stepchildren is usually voluntary. In some cases, the court may even order the custodial parent to pay child support.

Some state agencies provide help for both non-custodial and custodial parents by providing assistance in child support cases. If the case is handled by the state's Division of Child Support Services, the parent may have to make the payments to the Arizona centralized state disbursement unit, or SDU, which is authorized to collect and disburse child support payments. According to federal law, every state should have an SDU.

The payment can be made through various channels, provided that the non-custodial parent is not subject to an income or wage withholding order. Payment can be made by check, debit or credit card, on the website or in person. Certain identifying information, such as the ATLAS case number and mailing address along with zip code, is also required before a payment can be processed.

Source: AZCourts.gov, "Child Support Calculator Information," Accessed on April 3, 2015

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