The Attorneys at Mann & Kemp Can Help You Estimate Your Child Support
Here are the key factors for how child support is calculated in Arkansas:
- Income of Both Parents – The incomes of both the custodial and non-custodial parents are considered. This includes wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, disability payments, pensions, interest, etc. Typically, the parents’ most recent tax returns are used to determine income levels.
- Number of Children – The number of children requiring support is factored in. The more children involved, the higher the support amount.
- Overnights with Each Parent – The number of overnight stays the child has with each parent per year affects the calculation. More overnights may lead to a reduction in support paid by the non-custodial parent.
- Health Insurance Costs – The cost of health insurance premiums for the child is taken into account and divided between the parents.
- Daycare and Education Expenses – Approved daycare costs and private or public school tuition fees are divided between the parents.
- Income Tax Deductions – Tax deductions and child tax credits are applied as factors in the calculation.
- Parenting Time – The amount of time each parent spends with the child can adjust the support amount.
- Financial Hardships – Situations like high debt or expenses related to other children may allow for adjustment of support amounts.
The basic calculation involves combining the parents’ incomes, determining the percentage contribution of each parent, and applying that percentage to the standard child support rates set by Arkansas guidelines. There are online child support calculators that can provide estimates as well.
The Arkansas child support guidelines can be found online in a few places:
- Arkansas Judicial Branch website – The administrative office of the courts publishes the current child support chart and guidelines here: https://www.arcourts.gov/administration/domestic-relations/child-support-guidelines
- Arkansas Code – The statute that codifies the child support calculation formula and procedure is Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-14-106. It can be found here: https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-9-family-law/ar-code-sect-9-14-106.html
- Arkansas Legislature website – As part of the Arkansas Code, the child support guidelines Act is published here: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Detail?id=sb770&ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R
- County Circuit Clerk Offices – Individual county circuit clerk offices often publish child support charts, calculation worksheets, and schedule of basic support amounts on their websites.
- Arkansas Legal Services Partnership – This non-profit provides child support resources and guidelines for reference here: https://www.arlegalservices.org/childsupport
The most up-to-date version of the guidelines and schedule of basic child support obligations can be found on the Arkansas Judicial Branch’s website. The statute itself gives the method and formula for calculating support. County clerks, legal service organizations, and lawyers also may have helpful guideline summaries.