Parents in Arizona may benefit from learning more about the state’s provisions governing modifications to child support orders. In order to receive a modification, parents are required to prove to a family judge that a significant change in circumstances or living conditions has occurred. The changes warranting modification may concern the affairs of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and child or both parties. In certain states, the terms of child support orders are reevaluated by a family judge every few years.
Noncustodial parents who realize a significant decrease in income that is not going to be immediately replaced may benefit from seeking a modification. In contrast, if a noncustodial parent receives a significant increase in income, they may be subject to having the amount of child support owed increased by a family judge.
If the custodial parent receives a significant increase in income, the noncustodial parent may have grounds to petition for a court order that reduces the amount of child support owed. If the income of the custodial parent declines significantly due to no fault of their own, they may be entitled to petition for an increase in the amount of child support. In addition, the child may incur new expenses that require an increase in support payments, such as developing a medical condition, orthodontics or extraordinary educational costs. The amount of child support ordered by the court remains legally binding until it is modified by a family judge.
People who need help resolving issues with child support orders may benefit from consulting a family law lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to assist parents with negotiating other aspects of the parenting plan as well, such as visitation schedules and custody arrangements. Lawyers might be effective in assisting parents with negotiating terms of a new modification agreement without the need for a formal proceeding.
Source: American Bar Association , “Child Support”, November 19, 2014