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How to figure child support for high earners

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2018 | Child Support

This blog has previously discussed what a parent can do if he or she feels that the other parent is earning a low amount of income but could be earning more if he or she tried. Phoenix, Arizona parents in this situation do have options to make sure that they get adequate child support, despite the other parent not making any income or only a small amount.

A separate but related problem is what parents can do if they, either based on one parent’s income or on their combined incomes, are earning too much for the Arizona Guidelines to adequately account for their full earnings. The Guidelines, which use a formula to figure child support based on each parent’s income and other factors, only consider households that have up to $20,000 in monthly combined gross income.

A court is not permitted to order child support based on less than $20,000 gross income, a figure which will result in a substantial support payment. However, a parent might rightly think that, in some cases, support shouldn’t be lower just because they or the other parent make too much.

In other words, for example, if a family is earning $360,000 a year, or $30,000 a month, then child support should reflect that full amount.

While this is a valid point, a parent wanting additional support, above and beyond that required at $20,000 a month, will have to show that is in the children’s best interests. A parent may do so by, among other things, offering proof that the child would need additional support in order to maintain their standard of living or by showing a big difference in income between the parents, say, in the case where one parent is a successful brain surgeon while the other stayed at home. Making these sorts of arguments may be best accomplished with the help of a seasoned family law attorney.