How is Child Support Determined in Arkansas?
In an Arkansas divorce, child custody, and/or child visitation action, an Arkansas family law judge is required to make an award of child support for the care of the children. An award of child support to one party for the benefit of the parties’ children is generally based on the monetary needs of the children and ability to pay. In setting child support, the judge is directed to refer to the Family Support Chart drafted by the Arkansas Legislature and instituted by Administrative Order 10 of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The Family Support Charts can be found on the Arkansas Judiciary website at:
There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount set forth in the Family Support Chart is the correct amount of support. This means that the judge has to order the child support sum set forth in the chart to be paid, unless he or she can provide an adequate reason to deviate from the chart. The amount of child support to be paid by a party is based upon either their weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly take-home pay.
Calculation of Arkansas child support is based upon all sources of income – not only a party’s primary employment. “Income” that may be used to calculate Arkansas child support includes all forms of payment due to an individual such as wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers’ compensation, disability compensation, payments from pensions or other retirement funds, and interest on investments.
Items deducted from the calculation of “Income” are those amounts for federal and state income taxes, FICA tax, Medicare, medical insurance paid for dependent children, and any support paid to other dependents pursuant to a court order.
Once you have calculated the amount of “Income” and appropriate deductions for purposes of the Arkansas Child Support Chart, then you can determine the amount to be paid for child support by selecting the appropriate chart (by pay schedule – weekly, monthly, etc.) and cross referencing the “Income” amount by the number of dependents.
If a payor’s income exceeds the amount shown on the Family Support Chart, the following percentages are presently used in calculating periodic support:
One dependent – 15%
Two dependents – 21%
Three dependents – 25%
Four dependents – 28%
Five dependents – 30%
Six dependents 32%
To compute child support when income exceeds the chart, add together the maximum weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly chart amount, and the percentage of the dollar amount that exceeds that figure, based upon the number of dependents.
If you are seeking an attorney for your Arkansas child support case, call Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC today. Our attorneys are here to protect your interest in all child support matters and ensure that you receive the legal representation you deserve.
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