“Deadbeat parents” is a common term thrown around in the media for anyone unable to afford their child support payments. But the reality is that most parents that are unable to meet their child support payments are not doing so out of neglect or ill will. In many cases, low-income parents in Arizona and across the country are simply unable to afford the child support payments required by the court.
Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence for many custodial parents to not receive some or all of the child support that is due. According to the United States Census Bureau, only 45.3 percent of all custodial parents receive the full amount of child support due each month.
For parents who have had a change in financial circumstances, the answer may be to request a modification to the terms of the child support agreement. The amount of child support owed by a non-custodial parent is determined in part by the financial means of that parent. If the non-custodial parent’s finances take a turn for the worst, it may no longer be feasible to continue making child support payments at the current level. This change in circumstances may be brought on by a medical emergency or an unexpected job loss.
A non-custodial parent that has had a change of circumstances may consider contacting an attorney with experience in family law as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help that parent obtain a modification of the child support agreement. Any agreement outside of a formal court order is non-binding, which means that anything short of filing a motion requesting a change in child support will not alleviate the problem.