Modification of Child Support in Arizona
Modification of Child Support in AZ
The Scottsdale Arizona child support attorneys want to provide you with information on modifying child support in Arizona. Modification of child support in Arizona is based on the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Arizona child support orders, the change of those orders, and the enforcement of those orders are made by a judge of the superior court in the county in which the child resides. City and justice court judges have no authority to issue orders establishing, modifying, or enforcing child support orders issued by a superior court judge. The Maricopa County Superior Court is structured into different sections. Specifically, the family law division, criminal law division, civil litigation division, juvenile division, and the probate division. All family law matters are heard in the family law division of the Maricopa County Superior Court.
The Arizona Child Support Guidelines are reviewed and sometimes changed periodically. Most judges choose not to permit a modification of child support in Arizona simply because the Arizona Child Support Guidelines may have changed since the prior child support order was entered.
Modification of Child Support Using the Arizona Child Support Guidelines
The child support guidelines in Arizona require the Court to consider the income of both parents, whether either parent is financially supporting other children, the payment of spousal maintenance, the cost of daycare or preschool, the cost of providing health insurance for the child(ren), the cost of paying for special training for an exceptionally gifted child (i.e., piano lessons for a child exceptionally gifted with musical talent), and the amount of parenting time each parent spends with the child(ren). Once a child support order is in place, a parent may seek to modify that child support order if there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances since the prior child support order was issued. The modification may be sought regarding the amount of time that has passed since the previous child support order was issued.
Many judges require two things to be proven to modify child support. Specifically, that either parties’ income has changed, or other expenses associated with the children used in the prior calculation of child support have changed substantially and that change is expected to continue. The other required factor is that the resulting modified child support amount, whether an increase or decrease, constitute at least a 15% change in the child support amount.
A child support modification may be sought by filing a Petition to Modify Child Support, which may result in the court modifying the child support payment amount or a change in which parent will be responsible for paying health insurance or daycare expenses for the children. A child support modification may also be requested utilizing the Simplified Petition for Modification of Child Support in which case the only thing a judge may do is modify the child support payment. Under the simplified process, a parent cannot seek to change who pays for the child’s health insurance or daycare expenses.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about modification of child support in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about child support laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child support case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.