Is It Possible To Modify Child Support In Arizona?
Making Arrangements For Child Support Agreements In Arizona
Financial situations can change frequently and drastically. When it comes to making child support arrangements in Arizona, most people don’t realize that they can modify their child support orders to reflect a change in their financial situation. If you are struggling to make your child support payments as the result of a change in your financial circumstances or if the other party has had a significant increase in income, consult with your Tucson family law attorney, who can help you understand your options and discuss whether a child support modification is an option for you.
In order to modify your child support arrangements in Arizona, there’s some important information you need to know:
When Am I Able To Modify Child Support Orders?
No court officials will be checking in on your financial situation throughout the life of your child support order. Therefore, it falls upon you or the other party to file for a modification if there is a significant change in your financial circumstances. If your income has significantly decreased or the other parent’s income has significantly increased, you may be eligible for a modification of child support orders. Both parties are expected by the court to be responsible for reporting a change in their financial situation, so don’t just wait for this to happen automatically.
Time Is Of The Essence
If either involved party has a change in their income, it’s important to file for child support modification right away. In most cases, modification to your child support payments begin when you file. This means that if you lose your job and wait several weeks to file, the change will only back date to when you filed, not to when you lost your job. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that the court will take into consideration; consult with your Phoenix child custody lawyer to learn more about your options. Timing is crucial. If the other party is making more money, waiting for a consistent income may be beneficial.
Always Legalize Agreements Through Established Court Orders
Although finding common ground between the other party can help save you money and reduce court time, any private modifications between parties that are not included in official court documents are considered legally invalid. You can even find yourself in contempt of court if the other party disagrees with or “forgets” any changes that you made between yourselves. Never make the assumption that a child support modification is legally binding until it has been signed by a judge and adopted as a formal court order. Even if you make a private agreement with the other party, the formal court order is still the ruling order. To protect yourself from an even more difficult situation of contempt of court, your family law attorney will always recommend establishing court orders for any changes you want to make to your child support orders.
Be Sure To Keep Good Records
Maintain documentation of everything: changes to your income, changes to your position or job status, large or unexpected expenses, and anything else that pertains to your finances. When you file a motion to modify your child support orders, it’s likely that no changes will be made unless you have documentation to prove the change in your income or financial situation.
Be sure to keep good records of child support payments that you are making. Never make a child support payment in cash without getting a signed receipt – ideally notarized – from the other party. If the receiving party denies at any point that payments were made, it is your responsibility to provide documentation that you made the payment, or you may find yourself in contempt of court for failing to make the ordered payments. Good record keeping is crucial regardless of whether you are receiving or paying child support. In most cases, your Glendale family law attorney will recommend that your child support payments be made by income withholding so that there is clear and consistent documentation.
Special Circumstances Where Payments May Be Extended
Don’t neglect certain situations where child support payments may be extended longer than you expect. Arizona law indicates that parents may still be required to pay support for 18 year old children who are still in high school, until that child graduates from high school. Additionally, if a child has a disability that renders them unable to care for themselves, child support payments may be ongoing. These situations can be confusing, so consult with your Phoenix child custody attorney to discuss your situation.
Always Consult With An Experienced Attorney
Child support is a serious matter that will affect your life for years to come. Even if your financial situation is tight, always consult with an experienced family law attorney before you go to court. Don’t leave the situation to chance when legal expertise can significantly reduce your overall burden!
Get The Income You Need With A Child Support Modification
If you are struggling with your child support orders, consult with the experienced attorneys at My AZ Lawyers. We specialize in helping people just like you navigate the complexities of Arizona family law and find the best solution for challenging circumstances. We will work on your behalf throughout your case to help you understand the court process and provide the best representation. Contact our office today to get started with your confidential, obligation-free consultation.
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