fb Learn If Child Support Considers A Parents Debts In Arizona
Logo
Call Now(480)305-8300

The Relationship Between Child Support and Debts in Arizona

Posted on : November 24, 2019, By:  Chris Hildebrand
The Relationship Between Child Support and Debts in Arizona

Increase in Debts as a Basis to Modify or Terminate Child Support in Arizona

Some people have asked about the relationship between child support and debts in Arizona. Stated differently, does a judge take into consideration the amount of debts a parent has to pay when calculating child support.

The short answer to that question is, no, a judge in Arizona will not take into consideration the amount of debts a parent has to pay when calculating child support in Arizona.

This principle of Arizona law was recognized when the Arizona Court of Appeals answered that question in the case of Jorgenson v. Jorgenson.

The Arizona Court of Appeals examined whether a parent incurring significantly more debts since child support was previously calculated provides a basis to modify that parent’s child support obligation pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Section 503(E).

U.S. News and World Report Votes Hildebrand Law, PC Best Law Firms for 2020 2021 2022 2023

Facts of Jorgenson vs. Jorgenson

Husband and Wife divorced in 1978.

Father was order to pay $200 in child support per month for each of their two children.

The child support payments for the parties’ son were to cease when he would later take up residence with Father and the payments for their daughter were to increase to $300 after her twelfth birthday. By October of 1980, the parties’ son had moved in with Father.

Modification or Termination of Child Support in Arizona Based on a Parent’s Increase in Debts

Past Child Support in Arizona.

Father filed a petition to modify child support, alleging that a substantial and continuing change of circumstances had occurred, and asked to terminate his child support payments to Mother.

Father, among other things, alleged he had incurred more debt since the divorce and that increase in his debts constituted a substantial and continuing change in circumstances to modify or terminate his child support obligation to Mother.

The Impact of Debts on Child Support in Arizona

The appellate court ruled a parent obligated to pay child support may not avoid that obligation by voluntarily incurring debts. Instead, the appellate court noted that the child support obligation is the parent’s primary financial obligation over all other debts.

In short, the fact that a parent cannot both pay child support and service all their monthly debts is not a basis to modify or termine child support in Arizona because the obligation to pay child support is paramount to all other debts a parent may incur.

Parents Debts Have No Affect on Child Support in Arizona

A substantial and continuing change in financial circumstances can be used as a basis to modify or terminate child support. However, an increase in the amount of debts a parent accrues does not provide a basis for a parent to seek a modification or termination of child support in Arizona.

Increased Debt is Not a Defense Contempt of Court for Not Paying Child Support in Arizona

The Relationship Between Child Support and Debts in Arizona.

The ruling in this case could also be expanded to preclude a parent from defending their failure to pay child support in a contempt proceeding in Arizona becuase they allege the couldn’t afford to pay the full child support amount because child support is a parent’s primary financial obligation over all other finacial obligations, including debts.

Arizona Child Support Attorneys | Hildebrand Law, PC

If you have questions about the relationship between child Support and debts in an Arizona divorce case, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child support and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child support and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona child support or family law case around today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Arizona Child Support:

Can child support arrears be forgiven in Arizona?

In most cases, the parent owed child support can waive the child support arrears but cannot waive any amounts that may be due to the State of Arizona for reimbursement of public assistance payments to the custodial parent.

How far behind in child support before you go to jail in Arizona?

There is no set amount of time or money a person has to have failed to pay child support before that person is incarcerated for Contempt of Court for failing to pay child support in Arizona.

What are the consequences of not paying child support in Arizona?

The consequences of not paying child support include being held in contempt, being incarcerated until you pay the child support.


Skip to toolbar