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As of June 30, 2020, all child support orders in Arkansas will fall under their new guidelines, which is a stripped down version of the Income Shares model. Below you will find a calculator for the new guidelines, as well as a comparison to the old model (Percentage of Obligor). Some notes on the differences between the 2 models are also listed. For more information about child support laws in Arkansas, click here. For additional details on what qualifies as income, factors that may allow for a deviation from the above formula, split custody, and more, refer to Arkansas Administrative Order 10.

  1. For calculation purposes, a month is 4.334 weeks. Bi-weekly is every 2 weeks, or 26 times in a calendar year. Semi-monthly is twice a month or 24 times during a calendar year.

  2. Use monthly gross income (before taxes, FICA, insurance, etc). Do not include pubic assistance such as TANF or SSI. Alimony paid to the other party is deducted from the payor’s income and added to the payee’s income.

  3. Deductions include prior child support orders to another party, including arrearages.

  4. Only include the amount for the child/children, such as the difference between “self” and “family” coverage. If the child’s amount cannot be verified, then it is the total cost of the premium divided by the people on it, times the number of children.

Differences Between the Old and New (2020) Guidelines

  • The new model is based off of gross income (before taxes, insurance, retirement, etc). The old model was based off of net income. Be sure to use the correct incomes in the calculator.

  • You can’t apply for a change just because the guidelines changed. The standard rules still apply of a change in income of $100/mo, 20%, or 3 years.

  • The new guidelines (and the calculator) apply to parents with less than 141 overnights per year. There is no adjustment based on visitation time between 0 and 140. If you have over 141 nights per year, the court may consider a discretionary deviation from the guidelines.

  • The guidelines also do not apply to combined monthly gross income over $30,000. At this point, the court is instructed to use the amount for $30,000 and then may use its discretion in setting an amount above that “to meet the needs of the child and the parent’s ability to provide support.”

  • There is no longer an abatement for visitation over 14 consecutive days, commonly referred to as the "summer abatement."

  • The rules of imputed income can apply to both parents. There is a rebuttable presumption that the payor and the payee can work full-time or earn full-time income.

  • Both parents are now required to provide proof of income when requested by certified mail by the other parent, but no more than once per year.

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