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How medical costs factor into child support in Arizona

Paying for children's needs can be very expensive for the parents. Children need food, a place to live, clothes (which they grow out of rapidly) diapers (depending on the age), school supplies, fees for extracurricular activities and many other costs. When the parents are married or live together, they may not keep exact records on how much they pay for their children, but it can be a significant portion of their income.

When the parents are divorced or no longer together, the children's financial needs do not decrease, but figuring out how to pay for those expenses can become trickier. The most common way of dealing with that issue is through child support.

Basic child support takes into account each parent's income and determines what each parent needs to pay for the child's basic needs. However, costs for a child go beyond the basic needs. One of these common costs is medical insurance premiums. Children need medical insurance, but generally the insurance for the child is provided through one of the parent's employers and that parent pays a certain amount each month for the insurance.

To account for this extra expense, the amount of the insurance, attributable just to the children, is added to the total amount of child support each month. Then based on how much each parent makes, each parent may be responsible for a percentage of the cost of the insurance premiums. The parents may also be responsible for a percentage of the uninsured medical costs, such as deductibles.

Many parents in Arizona are no longer with the other parent of their children. In many of these situations, one parent is ordered to pay child support each month. In addition to the basic child support amount, parents are also responsible for paying the medical insurance premiums and uninsured medical costs. Experienced child support attorneys understand all the potential expenses associated with child support and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: Superior Court of Maricopa County, "Arizona Child Support Guidelines" accessed on May 11, 2015

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