Regardless of how their relationship went awry, Arizona parents will want to the best for their children. Part of that is having a child support order. There are fundamental factors that are considered when the order is made such as the child’s needs, the parents’ income and how the child’s best interests will be served.
These factors are not static. They can change and with those changes, the support order can be modified to reflect the new circumstances. There are basic requirements to ask for the modification. In addition, specific information needs to be provided to the Division of Child Support Services. Being fully prepared for the case can be critical from the start.
Know the facts about child support modification
There are two times when a child support order can be modified. The first is when there has been a significant change in the financial situation of either parent. The other is if three years have passed from when the order was put in effect or the last modification was made. If there were three years between changes, new circumstances are irrelevant.
The change could be anything that impacts the child. If they have a sudden medical or dental need, that might be sufficient. There could be major school expenses that were not evident when the prior amount was determined. With a change in circumstances, the parent making the request needs to show that the amount would change by at least 15%.
A person who lost their job or was forced to take a lower paying job could show they need to have the order modified. It can work from the other perspective such as a person getting a better paying job and the other parent asking for the change.
DCSS will need verified financial and personal information to approve the modification. That will include the previous two pay stubs; their income tax returns for the past three years; their tax information; showing DCSS that they have other children and the costs associated with that; evidence of paying for day care; the medical and dental insurance costs; and the child’s records.
It can take as long as six months for the modification to be complete. A supporting parent who is asking that the child support order be reduced or a custodial parent who wants it increased need to understand that the order can remain the same or be changed in favor of either party.
Be prepared when seeking a child support modification
In many instances, the couple might try to negotiate a change in the support order on their own. This might be effective if the sides are on good terms. However, it could be complicated and finding common ground problematic.
No matter the income, needs and situation, people who want a child support modification or are objecting to the request must be aware of how the process works. This can be a major part of reaching an acceptable solution and ensuring the child is cared for as well as possible.