As previous posts have mentioned here in the past, Arizona law ensures that every child receives financial support from both of that child's parents. If a parent refuses to pay child support, that parent can face penalties for non-payment. As a recent blog post explained, these penalties can be severe and include jail time, wage garnishment and the loss of professional licenses. In order to avoid these penalties, parents must pay the child support that has been ordered by the family law court.
However, there are situations where parents just cannot pay because of their financial situations. There are also times when people need more child support than they have been receiving. In both scenarios, a child support modification can be helpful. A child support modification is a court proceeding where the court will consider changing the amount of child support -- either higher or lower -- that a particular parent owes.
According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, there are several times when a child support modification should be requested. If there has been a significant change in the amount of income to either parent, a modification may be necessary. A hearing can be requested if there has been a change in the custody agreement. If one of the children under the child support order has been emancipated, then a modification is likely necessary.
A modification can also be requested when there are necessary changes to health insurance coverage, if there is a change in the number of expenses for a child, if a parent has been released from incarceration or if it has been three or more years since child support was reviewed.
Child support modification can be an important way to avoid penalties for failing to meet child support obligations. However, they can also be complicated. People seeking a modification may want to get more information about their options.