Child support is important for both a child and his or her custodial parent's well-being. These payments help cover a child's everyday expenses, educational costs, extracurricular expenses and healthcare. By doing so, child support relieves a custodial parent's financial burden of having to cover all of a child's expenses on his or her own. The law seeks to balance the cost of raising a child between the two parents, but the exact amount of child support owed is often based on the Arizona child support guidelines.
Even once an amount is reached, however, a noncustodial parent may experience life changes that make it difficult for him or her to make full child support payments. When this happens, an owing parent can seek a child support modification. It is important, though, to know when one may be able to receive a modification because applying for one at the wrong time could have the opposite effect the parent wants.
Celebrity actor Charlie Sheen, for example, is seeking to lessen the $55,000 a month he pays to Denise Richards in child support for the couple's two children. Though the couple has agreed to hash out the child support dispute through mediation, the "Anger Management" star may be making a mistake as a determination may find he owes more in child support than he is currently paying.
Since these issues can be complicated, those facing a child support dispute should speak with an Arizona family law attorney. An attorney can help an owing parent recognize when modification may be appropriate, such as when a job is lost or an unexpected health condition arises, and may be able to assist a custodial parent recover as much child support as is warranted. In closing, it is important to note that child support determinations are about supporting a child's best interests, and a couple may be able to work out an arrangement amongst themselves as to how best to support those interests.
Source: AZ Central, "Source: Charlie Sheen entering mediation with Richards," March 22, 2014