A parent can modify their child support order if there is a change in circumstances that would impact the total obligation or total amount by more than 15 percent. A parent who experiences a change in their childcare costs, income, or health insurance could ask the court to modify their child support obligations.
Child support can be modified through a simplified process or a more traditional process by filing a petition for modification. Provided that the parties agree about the changes in circumstance and do not need or want an evidentiary hearing, either parent may opt for the simplified process.
If the other party agrees with, does not respond to, or does not contest what the petitioner alleges in their simplified request for child support modification, the process can proceed without a court hearing and without presenting any additional filings to a judge. For this reason, it can be very beneficial to speak with an attorney about qualifying circumstances for a Mesa child support modification.
When to Modify Child Support
Under state law, a material change in circumstances is any change that would alter the child support obligation by more than 15 percent. A parent who experiences a significant change in income or whose parenting time arrangement changes may qualify for a modification of child support in Mesa.
Child support could also be changed if the children previously spent equal time with both parents but later move in with one parent full-time. A parent who loses their job or whose children are now in school and no longer require daycare could also request to alter their child support obligation.
Modifications of child support may also be warranted if one parent has been paying alimony to the other and the spousal support obligation has ended. The paying parent would have additional income, and the receiving parent could then file for a modification of child support.
Invalid Reasons to Request Modifications
A change in child support might not be warranted just because the expenses related to the children increase. Additionally, either parent’s choice to remarry or cohabitate with another person would not qualify them to modify child support in Mesa.
If a parent receives a small increase in pay each year – perhaps by three or four percent – that change in income might not be a valid reason to file for a modification. Ultimately, if a change in a parent’s circumstances produces less than a 15 percent difference in their financial obligations, they would likely be ineligible to seek a modification of child support – or child support will not actually be modified.
A parent can terminate their support obligations if their children come to live with them full-time, are no longer minors and have graduated from high school, have become emancipated, or are not living with their other parent. Additionally, if the children live with the receiving parent but attend a boarding school, the paying parent could terminate support.
Proving a Material Change in Circumstances
A parent can prove that there has been a material change in their circumstances with documentation. For instance, if they lose their job or their children are no longer in daycare, the parent can prove it by providing a separation notice or proof of where their kids will be attending school.
In order to modify child support, a parent should file a petition that outlines why the change is warranted. Only the Mesa family court located at 222 N Javelina Dr can determine whether a parent’s circumstances qualify for child support modifications.
If parents simply agree between themselves to change the amount of child support, their agreement is unenforceable and not legal. Parents can protect themselves and their children by filing with the court when attempting to alter child support payments.
Ask an Attorney about Qualifying Circumstances for a Mesa Child Support Modification
Retaining an attorney to change child support payments can be beneficial because the legal processes surrounding modifications can be complicated and stressful. Having a legal representative can help ensure that your family’s best interests are protected in and out of the courtroom. Call our firm today to learn more about qualifying circumstances for a Mesa child support modification.