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Child support and how it can be modified

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Many Arizonans know that divorce can be expensive. An individual may be ordered to give up major assets, like a home, during a settlement or judgment in addition to being forced to pay alimony. Another potentially expensive aspect of marriage dissolution is child support. While this is often a hotly contested issue, child support is often necessary to ensure a child is raised with the financial resources he or she needs.

However, once a child support payment amount is set, it is not necessarily permanent. In fact, both a payer and a receiver of child support can seek modification. Typically, a modification will only be granted when there is a significant and continuing change, like when a parent loses a job, becomes disabled or has an increase or decrease in income. Once the proper paperwork is filed, a judge may adjust the child support payment amount accordingly.

When the amount of child support to be paid is determined, judges use the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines help ensure an adequate amount of each parent's income is used to help raise the child. Factors such as income, the amount of parenting time, child care costs, medical expenses and other costs of raising a child are taken into consideration.

An Arizonan who faces a child support issue should not hesitate to acquire legal help. Whether a parent cannot afford his or her child support payment or is receiving too little child support, an attorney may be able to help remedy the situation by utilizing the law and progressing through the legal system with fierce persuasion and perseverance. Having such an ally on one's side can go a long way toward making life for both a parent and his or her child better.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Modifying Your Child Support," accessed on Aug. 31, 2014

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