What if I Lost My Job and Can’t Pay Child Support?

A Scottsdale child support attorney provides assistance in dealing with all issues related to child support in Arizona. The laws are very strict when it comes to parents supporting their children.  Every child is entitled to be supported by both parents, and parents cannot waive this obligation. A prenup won’t be allowed to absolve a parent of child support, even if both parents agreed no support should have to be paid.  Even if a parent doesn’t see his or her kids, that parent is still going to be obliged to pay to support them.  

A standard formula is used in Arizona to determine how much support is owed, and a court order is entered requiring that amount to be paid. If you are currently required to pay support, you have to comply with the court order. If you lose your job and can no longer pay, you’ll have to go to court to get the order modified. Don’t ever just stop paying, as this can result in dire consequences.

A child support attorney in Scottsdale can help you to petition the court for a modification if you have lost your job and are no longer able to afford the support you owe. Contact Singer Pistiner, P.C. today to learn about the legal assistance we can offer if you’re having trouble making your required support payments.

What Happens if You Cannot Pay Child Support?

Arizona Revised Statute section 25-503 explains that: “In any proceeding in which there is at issue the support of a child, the court may order either or both parents to pay any amount necessary for the support of the child.”   A standard formula is utilized in Arizona to determine how much each parent has to pay. This formula takes into account things like the number of children, the income of each parent, and the agreement for how parenting time will be shared.

Once a support order has been entered, the party who is required to pay support has to pay it. Even if you lose your job or other unforeseen events make it difficult or impossible for you to make the payments, you will be legally obliged to continue sending the money. Your obligation will stop only if you petition the court for a successful modification of an existing support order.

Arizona Revised Statute section 25-503 also explains the circumstances under which an order for child support can be modified or terminated. According to the relevant code section, the support order can be changed by a showing that circumstances are different from when the initial order was entered. In order for modification to be granted, the chance must be “substantial and continuing.”

Even when a child support order is changed, however, the amount due will only be altered going forward.  A change made by the court will not affect any amount that has accrued and that is in arrears before the date when a motion was made to the court to modify the child support order.  Modification, when granted, becomes effective on the first day of the month after which notification of the petition for modification was provided unless the court orders the change to go into effect earlier upon a showing of good cause.

A showing of good cause means you must demonstrate to the court why there is a valid reason to allow the change to take effect sooner. However, even when the court agrees to modify the support before the first of the month after you make a request for modification, the court cannot push the date of change back to before you petitioned the court. In other words, the earliest the modification can go into effect is the date you asked the court to change the support order.

How Can a Scottsdale Child Support Attorney Help?

There is no time to waste if you’ve lost your job and you cannot afford to pay support, as you have to keep paying at least until petitioning for a change.  This can be a major hardship when you have limited or no income coming in due to a job loss.

A Scottsdale child support attorney at Singer Pistiner, P.C. can help you to get your petition filed and can assist you in taking prompt action to seek a support modification so a change can happen as quickly as possible when you’ve lost your job and no longer have income. We’ll also help you to convince the court tat your job loss is a substantial and continuing change that actually justifies a modification occurring. Give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online to learn more.


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