Anyone dealing with child support likely needs to know about how to modify their child support when things change and how to use the Arizona Child Support Calculator.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Child Support Calculator is still broken. It is adjusted for 2020 changes to the minimum wage but the new tax laws are still not incorporated. Although some find the Calculator to be a useful tool, we find that most of the time it needs adjusting for your unique situation. We can help with that!
More Info: The Child Support Calculator
Child Support in Arizona
Arizona law requires both parents to provide “reasonable support” for minor children. Arizona courts impose the “best interests” standard for the child during every step of a divorce or legal separation. The Arizona Child Support Guidelines set the parameters for determining child support. In theory, you enter both parties’ incomes into the form, and that yields a basic child support obligation attributed to both parents. This financial obligation is divided between the parents in proportion to their respective gross incomes.
When Can You Modify Child Support In Arizona?
One thing you can count on in life is that things change. There can be Job loss, pay raises, or the child/children could develop increased or decreased financial needs. These can change the child support needed, and modification is the process to change that amount.
Read more about the Specific Requirements to Modify Child Support
How Can You Modify Child Support In Arizona?
The process to request modification is a fairly straightforward process, but there are several steps you must go through. Most Parenting Plans include the requirement to use a mediator to come to an agreement first before taking the issue to court. A mediator who is a licensed Arizona attorney, like our team at Affordable Mediation, can handle both components at the same time, or it can be done separately. Either parent can ask to have the child support modified or can mutually decide to revise it.
What Is The Average Child Support Payment In Arizona?
Determining the average child support payment in Arizona is challenging because there is no state database to draw from. However, there is some useful information we can share. According to the Census Bureau, the average child support payment across the US is $430 dollars per month. The Arizona Department of Security has a calculator to determine what your payments could be and you can keep in mind that Arizona law caps the maximum contribution for child support at 50% of the parent’s disposable income and caps the income you can input at $20,000 per month per parent.
How Often Can You Get Child Support Modified?
There is no hard and fast rule about how often modifications can be requested. Specifically, Arizona law allows that child support may be “modified or terminated upon a showing of changed circumstances that is substantial and continuing…” A.R.S. 25-503(E)
In order to approve a modification, courts typically like to see a change in circumstances that will last for six months or longer. They will consider unemployment for modification if the situation is expected to last 90 days or more. A parent can also request modification after three years, even if no significant changes have occurred in that span.
Is Child Support Modification Retroactive?
For the most part, modifications made to child support orders only go back to the date the request for the change was filed. Typically, family court will only change the child support order back to the date you filed the modification request.
Want to Discuss Modifying Your Child Support?
For assistance with child support modification or anything related to your divorce and parenting agreements, Affordable Mediation is here to help. Give us a call at 602.622.2008 and we can discuss your options.
DISCLAIMER: We work exclusively as mediators. The information you obtain in our blogs and on our website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us about mediation and welcome your calls, chats, and emails.