At least on their wedding day, most couples who get married believe they’ll be together forever, but unfortunately, that isn’t reality. Many couples will live long and happy lives together. Other married couples will bask in the limelight of marital bliss for a few decades before life takes its toll on their relationship.
Sometimes couples hold on to marriage longer than they feel they should due to the fear of putting their children through the trials of divorce — or putting themselves through the trials divorce. If you do get divorced and have children under 18, your new budget may include obligated child support payments or court-ordered alimony payments on top of losing assets and property.
Divorce can signal a fresh beginning and a new lease on life, but it doesn’t absolve parents of their obligations, like financially taking care of their children.
A divorce will upend a child’s life. Children thrive on stability, so steady support payments allow separated parents to maintain some level of normalcy for their children.
How much does each parent pay?
Arizona calculates support payments using the income-shares model that allows the child to maintain the same lifestyle they had pre-divorce. When calculating these payments, the state includes both parent’s incomes. Those calculations begin with the cost of raising a child in your area. On average, it costs a middle-class household $13,000 per year, per child — or $1,083 per month. The $1,083 is then divided by both parent’s combined incomes.
If the child’s father generated 60% of the family’s income, he would pay $649 per month toward child support, while the mother, who produces 40% of the family’s income, would pay $433 per month.
Of course, the 60/40 split is just an example. The income separations will differ across the spectrum, but the income shares model remains the same: both parents must allocate funds each month towards the child’s well-being.