Most people agree that divorce is a difficult process and even more complicated when there are children involved. Because of all the hard work that goes into making decisions regarding child support that is agreeable to both parties, it may seem that once in place such parts of the divorce settlement should be left alone.
Unfortunately, as we all know, that’s not the way life works. Change is inevitable and divorce agreements frequently have to be altered with the passage of time. All kinds of variables may make it necessary to rework child support arrangements as parental situations change. If you need to make modifications to your current child support arrangements in Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, or Mesa, Arizona, give yourself the advantage of dealing with the consummate professionals at Cohen Family Law.
How Our Child Support Modifications Attorney Can Help
At Cohen Family Law, our lead attorney, Mitchell E. Cohen, has decades of experience and extremely impressive credentials in the field of family law, including “Top 10” ratings from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys and the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys in 2018. His ongoing focus on family law has given him ever-increasing knowledge of the subject and deepening compassion for the members of families embroiled in the turmoil of divorce and child support issues.
He knows all too well how sensitive issues like child support are and always makes it his top priority to protect your children’s well-being during any adversarial negotiations. Whatever the reason you need child support modifications, Mitchell is on your side. He will work hard and long to protect your finances and your children’s lifestyle.
Reasons Modification May Be Necessary
In Arizona, as elsewhere in the country, the costs of raising a child are escalating. The expense of housing, feeding, clothing, educating, entertaining, and providing medical care for a child has risen sharply during recent years. For a great many individuals, salaries have not kept pace with these increasing costs.
Although both parents are responsible for supporting their children, the days of one parent out working and the other at home caring for the kids have become nearly extinct. It now takes two incomes to support the average family in this country. Meanwhile, the cost of childcare has risen exponentially. While the child support arrangements initially agreed upon may have been reasonable at the time the divorce became final, many factors may have made them unworkable now, such as:
- Child’s healthcare needs have changed
- There have been changes to parental medical insurance coverage
- Child has become emancipated or has reached the age of adulthood
- One parent loses a job or gets one with a substantially higher income
- One parent gets a significant raise or a noteworthy demotion
- Childcare costs increase or decrease as the child’s grows
- One parent become seriously ill or disabled
- Either parent has another child
- Noncustodial parent is incarcerated
- Parenting time is significantly altered
- Medical or educational costs increase due to changing needs of the child
Generally speaking, although there is no legal restriction on how often child support modifications can be requested in Arizona, however, the courts usually favor approving new changes only after existing ones have been in place for at least 6 months. If the reason for the child support alteration is the unemployment of one parent, the courts are usually amenable to changing child support arrangements only if unemployment lasts for 90 days or more. Moreover, if one parent voluntarily leaves employed, he/she will not likely be permitted to change the legal child support agreement because he/she has intentionally created the loss of income.
The Logic Behind Modifications
Because Arizona child support calculations in Arizona are initially assessed according to the income of each parent, it stands to reason that, if the income of one parent changes significantly, the child support calculations must be altered. Thus, the loss of a job or an injury that prevents one parent from working is relevant to the amount of child support that may be expected from that individual. On the other hand, if the job loss is temporary or the injured parent is able to return to work after a few months, it may be difficult to obtain a child support modification. If the noncustodial parent has received a substantial raise or gotten another job at higher pay, that individual should be expected to contribute more money to his/her children’s support.
Overwhelmed by Child Support Payments or Lack of Them? Turn to Cohen Family Law
At Cohen Family Law, we fully understand how difficult it can be to keep up with child support payments when life throws you an unexpected curve. Whether you have been injured, lost your job, become ill, or gone through some other calamity that has cost you dearly (such as a natural catastrophe that has destroyed your home), Mitchell E. Cohen is here to fight vigorously for your rights. He knows how much you love your children and how committed you are to supporting them. He also has in-depth understanding of the fact that circumstances may temporarily or permanently interfere with your ability to make your agreed-upon child support payments.
Nonetheless, he is quite familiar with parents who try to wriggle out of their responsibility to support their children. Whether your ex is feigning illness or injury or pretending not to have left the unemployment lines, Mitchell will fight aggressively to get your children the support they are entitled to. He has no patience with deadbeats.
What happens one parent just stops paying child support?
Even if you are in serious financial difficulty, don’t just stop making the necessary child support payments. Eventually, the government will come after you, leading to harsh consequences, potentially including:
- Garnishing your wages
- Placing liens on your personal property (e.g. your home or your motor vehicle)
- Retaining your tax refunds
- Seizing your bank account assets
- Denying you a passport
- Reporting your delinquency to credit reporting agencies
- Diverting your unemployment or workers’ comp benefits
- Taking court action which may result in jail time
Clearly, not paying child support has serious, even dangerous, consequences. Don’t let your financial woes become worse or lose your good credit rating, your reputation, or your freedom. Let Mitchell E. Cohen take the situation in hand and protect you. By the same token, if you are being stiffed by an ex who refuses to support his/her own children, Mitchell has the strength to fight to make sure your children receive the support they deserve, if necessary by threatening to use the above tactics or by battling to implement them in a court of law.
Contact Our Phoenix Child Support Modification Lawyer
He has the talent and mastery to keep you and your children safe and well-tended. Remember, the sooner you contact Cohen Family Law, the sooner your burden will be lifted. Mitchell E. Cohen has a history of winning cases and resolving child support cases. Let him resolve yours.