For those ordered to pay child support, remember that non-payment is serious.
If you lose your job or your income goes down, you should immediately file for a reduction in child support; if granted the reduction will be retroactive to when you filed.
If you fail to file and just hope your ex-spouse will let it go, BEWARE.
If you pay directly to your ex-spouse and not through the court ordered Clearinghouse, Arizona law says your direct cash payment to the payee may be deemed a gift and not for child support. Again BEWARE.
If your ex-spouse says, “just pay what you can and when you get back on your feet, you can pay the full amount,” BEWARE!
Child support arrearages are NOT dischargeable in bankruptcy and DO accrue interest.
Also, the State Child Support Enforcement Agency can intercept your tax refund. The judge can incarcerate you for contempt, non-payment and arrears.
The bottom line: child support can be modified if times are tough, if your income goes down, or your ex-spouse’s income goes up, or when kids turn 18 and graduate. But the modification downward is NOT automatic. You MUST file with the court to protect your rights.
If you have any questions, contact me. We can run a child support worksheet and advise you if you are entitled to a child support reduction. If you receive child support and your ex-spouse is making a lot more money, you may be entitled to an increase in child support.
Call us and BEWARE!
Attorney Profile: Paul S. Rowley, Arizona Child Support Lawyer