Some useful information about child support in Arizona

Under Arizona law, each parent has an obligation to help support the costs of caring for their own children. Sometimes, those obligations can become complicated when married couples with children decide to divorce. One reason for that is because a parent who maintains primary physical custody of the children will usually be eligible to receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent.

This can be sometimes confusing for the noncustodial parent, especially in cases where the other parent refuses to honor his or her visitation rights. If this has happened to you, it's important for you to know that your obligation to support your children does not automatically stop when that happens. This is true even if the other parent has repeatedly denied you access to your children. In fact, the state will still require you to make payments to the other parent according to the terms of the existing child support order.

Fortunately, Arizona currently has a child support forgiveness program that might improve your current situation. The Department of Child Support Services is currently offering a reduction in back child support requirements for some parents who are currently in arrears. Parents who complete their high school educations or get their GEDs may be eligible to receive a $1,000 forgiveness of their outstanding debts. This offer only applies to individuals who will receive their diplomas or certificates of completion after July 1, 2014.

There are a few other things you should know, regardless of whether you are paying child support or a parent seeking help. Both parents are entitled to seek modifications of existing child support orders for various reasons. For example, the care requirements for a disabled child may change as he or she ages. Additionally, an attorney with experience in Arizona's child support laws can review your current situation and determine whether some other factors such as a change in your employment or your child's primary residence might affect your monthly child-support obligation.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "GED back-to-school incentive program," accessed June 09, 2015

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