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Obtaining a child support order modification in Arizona

In our last post, we wrote about a recent Arizona Court of Appeals ruling which permits enforcement of out-of-state child support orders. The ruling, as we noted, was based on the fact that enforcing an out-of-state child support order would present the kind of confusion modifying an out-of-state order would. It is modification of child support orders, then, that is the real problem.

Child support modification is, however, possible for in-state orders. Modifications can be sought through the Arizona Division of Child Support Services. In determining whether a modification will be granted, there are several requirements that must be met. In particular, there must be a change in circumstances which is substantial and continuing. By substantial is meant that the order, if recalculated, would change by 15 percent or more.

Factors to be considered in a review of a child support order include the income of the parents as well as Arizona child support guidelines. When a significant change is found to have taken place, the support order can be adjusted either up or down. An adjustment can be requested by either parent, and can have the aim of either easing a paying parent's burden or providing the custodial parent with a more appropriate level of support.

There are a variety of circumstances which can lead to a determination that a significant change has taken place include the onset of major illness, emancipation of a child or other changes in custody arrangement, loss of work, and changes in child-related expenses. Those who are in need of a child support modification can benefit from working with an experienced attorney who can advocate for their interests.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Modifying Your Existing Child Support Order Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)," Accessed October 7, 2014.

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