Arizona Child Support Modification

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Every child in Arizona is entitled to receive financial support from their parents, except under certain circumstances. The state uses guidelines to establish the ability of the parent to pay child support and to determine the amount.

Arizona law prioritizes child support by making it a primary obligation, with other financial obligations considered secondary. However, there are times when a parent can't pay what they owe. For instance, after a lay off. Whether you're the parent paying or collecting the child support, there are times when you may need to change the amount. Maybe your ex received a promotion that came with a salary increase and the support obligation doesn't reflect this. The court acknowledges these changes and allows parents to request a child support modification.

Summary of Arizona Child Support Modification

Although it's advisable to seek help from counsel with any case, it's also helpful to reference a guide that breaks down the law into readable terms. Read the chart below for a simple summary of child support modification in Arizona.

Statutes

Arizona Revised Statutes:

 

Where to File for a Modification

 

When there's an existing order in Arizona that a parent wants to modify, they must file the petition in the superior court in the county where the last order was issued.

Request to Transfer the Case

If a parent wants the case transferred to the county of Arizona where the child resides, or (if the child lives out of state), the county of Arizona where the party requesting the transfer resides, the parent must file a request for transfer with the superior court that issued the last order.
The transfer request must include:

  • Petition regarding support;
  • Statement of payments in default if applicable; and
  • The transmittal fees.

The other parent may object to the transfer by filing an objection and affidavit within 20 days after service of the request to transfer.

Termination vs. Modification

A termination ends the child support obligation. If a person has been ordered to pay support on a presumption of paternity, the court may order a termination if it finds clear and convincing evidence that paternity was established by:

  • Fraud;
  • Duress; or
  • Material mistake of fact.

A modification changes the child support obligation. The modification may result in an increase or decrease in the child support amount.

Effective Date of Termination/Modification

Modification and termination are effective on the first day of the month following notice of the petition unless the court orders the change to be effective on a different date, but not earlier than the date of filing the petition.

What You Must Show for a Modification

To get a child support order modified, you must show, "changed circumstance that is substantial and continuing."

Examples include: The addition of health insurance coverage or a change in the availability of health insurance coverage.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Arizona Child Support Modification: Related Resources

Discuss Arizona Child Support Modification with an Attorney

As a parent you want to make sure that your child gets the support that they're entitled to receive. However, the amount should be in sync with current conditions. If you have concerns about a child support modification in Arizona, get in touch with a child support attorney located near you.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.