Under Arizona law, both parents to a child are obligated to provide their children with financial support. It does not matter if the parent-child relationship was forged through birth or adoption, parents have a duty to provide for their kids' needs.
The child's parents may not, however, be required to provide a child with the same amounts of monetary support. That is to say that child support costs are usually not split down the middle between the parents. For example, under the Arizona child support guidelines, a number of different factors must be considered in order to determine how much of a financial obligation each parent should be required to pay.
Some of the factors are directly related to the needs of the child. For example, if the child has any extraordinary medical needs, then those costs must be factored into the support determination. Additionally, if the child suffers from a disability that requires therapy, assistance, or support, then those expenses should also be considered when making a child support order.
Other factors relate to the financial situations of the parents. The parents' capacities to earn and pay are evaluated, as is the standard of living within the household where the child will reside. Costs related to the child's basic needs are assessed, and the Arizona child support guidelines also indicate that expenses that relate to the child's educational needs should also be included in the support computation.
The outcome of two child support computations under the guidelines may be very different based on the circumstances and needs of the children that will be receiving the support. For this reason, readers are reminded not to interpret the information contained herein as legal advice. Rather, readers with further questions about their own child support situations are asked to contact their personal divorce or family law attorneys for more help.