Every child has the right to the financial resources of both parents. When married couples get divorced, the courts will typically order the noncustodial parent to pay child support to the other. Family law in each state contains formulas for calculating the amount of these payments. Below are a few of the elements the courts will consider when determining child support.

What Factors Influence Child Support Payments?

1. Income

The starting point of child support calculations is the actual income or earning potential of each parent. If the custodial parent earns substantially less than the other, they’ll likely receive more than if the positions were reversed.

It’s important to note that family law considers the credentials and experience of both parents, so someone who is voluntarily unemployed may be ordered to pay as if they were working full-time in their field. Parents will need to submit W-2 tax forms, pay stubs, and other documents that show incoming wages. 

2. Existing Dependents

family lawBefore ordering child support, family law courts will take into account the number of dependents each parent has. For instance, if either parent is already supporting children from a previous marriage, their payment amount may be reduced. On the other hand, if a parent also cares for other children, the court will recognize that they have more financial needs.

3. Frequency of Overnight Visits

Courts often try to arrange joint custody arrangements that allow both parents to take turns caring for their children. However, the court will still order child support if one person spends more time caring for the children than the other. As a general rule, the more nights the noncustodial party spends with their children, the less they’ll have to pay in support.


If you’re involved in a family law dispute, the attorneys at Knochel Law Offices will help protect your rights. With offices in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu, AZ, they proudly serve families throughout Mohave and La Paz counties. Visit their website for more information on their family law services, or call (928) 444-1000 to arrange a consultation with an accomplished attorney.