Sometimes, a child support arrangement achieved in the past is no longer viable in light of current circumstances. For example, a life event such as a job loss or serious injury may lead to the need to obtain a child support modification.
If you are the one paying child support and need your payments to be lower, you and the recipient parent have to agree on the change. A few tips may help you seek the modification of child support effectively.
Whether you need your child support arrangement changed due to an alteration in your income or even a medical disability, you will need to demonstrate this with documentation. For instance, if you have lost your job and are attempting to find new work, you can provide that you sent job applications out for certain job openings.
The change leading to your modification request must have taken place following the issuing of your current child support order in order for it to count. In addition, in Arizona, the change must be a substantial, non-temporary change, meaning it has led to a minimum of a 15 percent change in your obligation.
Take swift action
If you are having trouble keeping up with your current payments, requesting child support modification as soon as possible is expedient. You will still owe any amount you cannot pay in arrears, and this amount is not dischargeable in a bankruptcy protection filling. In addition, you cannot reduce it retroactively.
As you wait to hear back about a possible modification, you can do your best to keep making your payments. Your current order will be in effect until the court decides to issue you a new one. Failure to try to stay on top of your payments will only harm your argument for a payment change.
Pursue an agreement with the other party
If possible, you may want to consider coming to an agreement on your new child support amount with the recipient spouse. Agreement often proves to be difficult, but reaching one outside of court is often less financially and emotionally challenging than involving the court.
A formal alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation, can help you to arrive at a mutually satisfactory and personally beneficial outcome with the other parent when dealing with the modification of child support.