Whether you’ve just switched to a new career or your child needs long-term medical treatment, there are many reasons why divorced parents may want to modify their child support arrangements. However, to do so, you may need to go through a child support attorney and the court system. Here's a closer look at the modification process in Arizona.
A Guide to Modifying Child Support
Why might child support arrangements be changed?
When child support is set, the judge chooses a figure based on several aspects, from the higher-earning spouse’s income to the kid's daily needs. Therefore, parents may want to request a change if they lose their job, if the paying spouse receives a significant raise, or if the child develops a disability. Changes to school tuition or health insurance payments may also warrant a modification.
When can I request a modification?
Both parents, regardless of who pays child support, can file a request for modification if something has changed. Requests made within three years of the first ruling must include a difference of at least 15% in the support amount, whether it’s higher or lower than the original figure. In Arizona, changes can also be requested after three years have passed since the initial ruling, even if there hasn’t been a noticeable change in income or financial needs.
What if the paying parent has voluntarily left their job?
In rare cases, paying parents may quit their jobs to avoid paying child support. However, Arizona law will take into consideration the reason for unemployment. If the court finds that the person left their position voluntarily, they'll likely decline to lower the child support amount. In this case, it’s the parent’s responsibility to find and resume work.
How can I request a modification?
To begin the process, you can ask a child support attorney to file a request for modification or go to the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) and request a change. Four documents must be filled out and submitted: the Request for Modification Review, Affidavit of Financial Information, Agreement to Accept Service by Mail, and Request for Modification Checklist. You may need to wait for up to 180 days for a response.
If you're interested in requesting child support modification, contact White Mountain Law Group. Based in Show Low, AZ, they also serve clients in Snowflake and Eagar. They offer a broad range of family law services, from filing for divorce to discerning custody or adoption arrangements. These child support attorneys will help you fill out the necessary paperwork accurately so that you can get the modification you need. Learn more about their practice areas on their website, or call (928) 537-1667 to schedule a consultation with a lawyer.
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