Child Support

questions & answers

Question: My ex wants more child support. We agreed upon a number and I have been sending that amount into the clearing house. Then she wanted it back dated 6 months and her attorney said I had to pay it. None of this has been court ordered and they have not mailed anything to me. I have not been making as much money as I had been, real estate, how can I get this reduced to what it was before. And, do I have to pay the new amount if there is NO order?

Answer:

If you already have an attorney, you should talk with your attorney. If you do not already have an attorney you may want to check with an attorney to answer questions about your specific situation.  The following, however, may serve as a general guidance:

You are required to pay child support in the amount last ordered by the court.  

To be clear:

Question #1: Were you served or delivered with any paperwork filed by your ex-wife requesting an increase in support?  If yes, check with the court immediately regarding the status of that paperwork. (Specifically checking if child support was increased by the court).

Question #2:  Did you and your ex-wife sign written documentation agreeing to an increase in child support? 

If the answer is "yes", the agreement was likely submitted to the court by your ex's attorney and the court likely "signed off" on that agreement.  If that is the case, you are bound by the increase.  You should check with the court if you did sign or submit any such agreement.  

If paperwork has not been filed by your ex-wife, and.or you have not entered into an agreement to increase child support then the answer is likely "no," - under these circumstances you would not bound (as of yet) to such an increase.  (You would still obligated to pay the amount of the last court order). (Note, however, if your ex believes that child support should be increased, and the the two of you cannot reach an agreement, she will likely file a Petition for Modification of Child Support). 

To be certain, you may want to check with an attorney.  As indicated, the answer to your question is fact dependent.  Even a minor variation in the facts could lead to a different answer.

Modification of Support:

Generally, to modify child support the party seeking modification (whether it be for an increase or a decrease) must show that there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances (i.e., salary reduction or salary increase).  If application of the child support guidelines based on the change of circumstances results in a variance of 15% or more from the last order -(either an increase or a decrease) -  there is a presumption that the child support should be modified. 

If you wish to modify child support, you should carefully read Rules 91(B) and 91(D) of the Rules of Family Law Procedure.

There also is a child support calculator available online at: www.supreme.state.az.us/childsup/

Additional links that may prove helpful to you are as follows:

Maricopa County, Arizona

Coconino County, Arizona

Yavapai County, Arizona

 

 

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My ex wants more child support. We agreed upon a number and I have been sending that amount into the clearing house. Then she wanted it back dated 6 months and her attorney said I had to pay it. None of this has been court ordered and they have not mailed anything to me. I have not been making as much money as I had been, real estate, how can I get this reduced to what it was before. And, do I have to pay the new amount if there is NO order?

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