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Arkansas Child Support
Child Support in Arkansas
Arkansas child support guidelines uses the Percentage of Income Formula. This regime calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the noncustodial parent. This is generally the father, who is obligated to support the child.
Circuit courts have exclusive jurisdiction in the support of minors and may order support payments paid through the registry of the court and secured by a bond. The spouses must file an Affidavit of Financial Means in divorce cases involving child support.
Normally, any parent having physical custody of a minor child may file a petition to require the noncustodial parent or parents of a minor child to provide support for the minor child. This also includes the parent or person to whom physical custody has been relinquished or awarded who is receiving assistance in the form of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act - Foster Care, or has contracted with the Department for the Collection of Support.
Child support is described in Arkansas Code - Title 9 - Chapters: 12-312, 14-105.
Arkansas child support is calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Arkansas child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.
In awarding a reasonable amount of child support, the court considers the circumstances of the parents and child and the nature of the case. The court considers the following income sources in calculating a child support order: salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation, disability income, pensions, and annuities. The court considers the following factors in ordering child support: expenses in food, clothing, medical, educational, transportation, insurance and other relevant factors.
The Arkansas Family Support is available from the clerk of any Chancery Court. Child support is described in the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated; Title 9, Chapters 12-312 and 14-105 and Addendum to 1997 Arkansas Code Supplement.
Once this amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate Arkansas child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. Additional information about Arkansas child support can be found in the Arkansas state statutes.
Arkansas utilizes the percentage of income formula. This determines the amount of child support as a percentage of the income of the parent paying child support. This percentage is a factor of the number of children being supported. The Percent of Income Model is the most basic method for calculating support. Many people contend that it does not take into consideration important details, which makes this model of support calculation the least exact.
Other Expenses and Deductions
Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Extraordinary medical expenses, childcare deduction, and private school tuition are considered deviation factors.
In addition to child support payments, an Arkansas court may order a parent to include the children on the parent's health, dental and life insurance coverage; contribute to the child's day care expenses; and contribute to extraordinary medical expenses (i.e. glasses, braces or orthopedic shoes)
Child Support Enforcement
The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is a division within the Department of Finance and Administration:
OCSE works in partnership with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and other State agencies. The actions of OCSE are based on federal and state law.
More information about Arkansas Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.
In Arkansas, parents support a minor child until he or she reaches age 18 and graduates from high school, marries, or dies (whichever occurs first).
If the Arkansas Family Support guidelines chart generates an amount found to be inappropriate or unjust, the court considers the following factors:
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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