Child Support in Arkansas
Child support in Arkansas is based on the income of the non-custodial parent. The income of the
non-custodial parent is determined by taking the parties gross income and subtracting federal and
state taxes, health insurance paid for the child, if applicable, and any other court ordered child
support obligations, if applicable, to determine the non-custodial parent’s net income. There are
many deductions in a person’s income that are NOT allowable deductions for child support
purposes, therefore, the net income on your pay check may be different then the net income that
the Court determines for child support purposes.
Child Support Modification
A party may be entitled to a modification of child support when there has been a change in
circumstances of the paying party, i.e. a pay raise, loss of job, pay reduction, etc., equal to a 20%
or more change, increase or decrease, or $100.00 or more per month, increase or decrease. Other
changes in the parties circumstances may also entitle a party to a modification of child support.
These changes might include the emancipation of one or more of the minor children, a change in
custodial arrangements, etc. An important thing to remember, however, is that no change can
occur in the child support amount absent an Order from the court that issued the initial child
support order. If you choose to reduce your support, due to a change in income, but there is no
order from the court allowing the reduction, then you will still be responsible for the unpaid
support, based on the original order. The same is true if you choose to increase your support
without a court order, and you later want credit for the increased amount paid. If you believe
that you are entitled to a modification of your support obligation…whether the custodial or the
non-custodial parent, you should see an attorney right away, as the Court will take no action
during any time prior to the filing of a motion with the court.
Child Support Enforcement
Another very important thing to remember is that just because your enforcement case is closed at
the Office of Child Support Enforcement it does not mean that your support obligation has
ended, it only means that the Office of Child Support Enforcement is not taking active efforts to
enforce the Order. The custodial parent can always reopen the enforcement case and you will be
responsible for any payments that were not made to the Child Support Clearinghouse, even those
during the time that the enforcement case was closed. A child support obligation does not end,
prior to the emancipation of the minor child, unless a Court order stops the obligation.
Additionally, if a support obligation exists and the parties agree to an arrangement other than
what the Order requires then a new order will have to be obtained, as the court will not typically
recognize the private agreement of the parties.
If you have any questions regarding your child support obligation, or the child support obligation
owed to you, please contact our office for your free consultation.