In uncertain economic times, paying monthly bills can be tough. Rather than constantly worrying about not having enough money, you may want to look for ways to cut costs. Is your child support obligation on the table, though?
If you have lost your job, you may be able to modify your child support order. Before going through the process to do so, you probably want to know your odds of success. To gauge them, you should understand when child support modification is appropriate in Arizona.
Grounds for child support modification
In the Grand Canyon State, either parent may request a modification of an existing child support order, provided he or she has grounds to do so. State law allows for a modification request in any of the following situations:
- Three years have passed since the initial order or the last modification
- Custody arrangements have changed
- The child has gone through the emancipation process
- Either parent has had a significant income change
- Either parent has developed a disability
If you have lost your job, you likely have a significant income change. The loss of your job may also have caused a change in custody or parenting time. Either way, state law probably permits you to pursue a modification of your existing support order.
Some inherent risk
While asking a judge to modify your child support order may help you better manage finances, it is not without risk. When deciding these matters, judges must consider the best interests of the children. Therefore, a judge may decide to increase the child support you pay. Accordingly, before filing for a modification, you should be certain it is the right approach.
Modifying a child support order can be risky, but the benefit is clear. If a judge lowers your support payments, you are apt to have more money for other necessary expenses. Nonetheless, because judges typically do not make retroactive modifications, you may want to act quickly to protect your financial interests.