If time has passed since your divorce, your child support order may not reflect how circumstances have changed in your family. Your child has grown. You may have started a new job or experienced setbacks. Your child may have new health concerns and new medical expenses. If these changes would result in a significant difference in your child support payments, you could file a petition to modify the support order.
Have you or your ex needed to take on more parenting time?
More parenting time often results in more expenses. When you modify your custody arrangements, the court should consider whether your support payments need to change.
Have you been promoted?
A promotion can mean new opportunities at home as well as at work. For parents receiving child support, a pay raise could mean that they can better meet their child’s needs with less assistance from the other parent. On the other hand, parents paying child support may need to pay more because the increase in their pay allows them to offer more support to their child.
Has your pay been cut? Have you been laid off?
Just like an increase in your income is cause for a modification, a pay cut or involuntary unemployment can change your ability to support your child. If you receive support, you may be entitled to larger payments to provide for your children’s basic needs in your home. If you pay child support to your ex, on the other hand, your change in income may result in a decrease in your monthly payments.
Does your child have new health challenges?
If your child experiences a serious health concern or becomes disabled, you may need to revisit the child’s medical insurance arrangements. Who has the best coverage? The lowest deductible? The least out-of-pocket obligation? If it makes to switch the responsibility for providing coverage, the child support calculation may be affected.
Would your support payments change significantly?
While any change in your child’s needs or your income can impact your budget, it doesn’t necessarily warrant a modification of the child support obligation. Under Arizona Law, you can request a modification if your monthly payments would change by 15% or more.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a modification of child support, speak to an experienced family law attorney. We can help you to determine whether your child support order reflects your family’s current needs.