Seven Myths About Arizona Child Support

 

1.     My ex got married and has substantially more income in her household now. I want to modify my child support obligation.

Sorry. Your Ex’s new spouse has zero legal obligations to support your munchkins. His or her income has absolutely no bearing on how much you will owe your ex for support.

2.     We have equal parenting time, so no one pays any child support.

Child support is calculated using a number of factors, one of them is parenting time. Other factors include each parent’s income, child care costs, insurance costs, and others. Just because you have equal parenting time, does not necessarily mean you don’t owe any support.

3.     My child support order was entered last month and now I’ve lost my job, I can’t ask for a modification for a year!

When modifying parenting time or legal decision making, you have to wait one year after an order is entered before asking for a modification (absent an emergency). This is not the case for child support issues. If changes have occurred that would create more than a 15% change to the actual child support obligation you may ask the court for a modification.

4.     I’m going to prison and can’t work. My child support obligation will be suspended.

NO!!!!!!!! You must ask for a modification of your child support obligation. So many people get out of prison owing tens of thousands of dollars for unpaid child support. You must modify a court order to reduce or suspend your obligation.

5.     My ex agreed in writing to modify my support. We don’t need to file with the court.

If there is a court order in place, you and your ex cannot agree to an increase or decrease without facing the possibility of the Court ignoring your agreement. File a stipulated modification changing the child support obligation. Yes, it costs some money now, but will save you thousands later.

6.     You can never get more support than what the child support calculator states,

In certain cases, you may be eligible for a deviation from the child support guidelines. If, for instance, you child has special needs including tutoring and behavioral support, you may be eligible for an upward deviation. Similarly, if the child has an independent source of income like a trust fund or money from work as a child actor, you may be able to secure a downward deviation.

7.     If you and your ex agree to a child support amount, the Judge has to accept it.

The Judge does not have to accept an amount that you and your ex agree to for child support. The judge must find that the amount you agreed to is in the best interest of the child. Further, if any of the parents are receiving or have received state assistance, you may have a IV-D case, A IV-D case means that the State is a party to your case. The State will want to recoup the money paid out in food stamps on behalf of your children by the other parent. In these cases you will need to include the state as a party and serve them with a copy of anything and everything filed in your case.