As the best child support lawyers in Gilbert AZ we often get asked, “can I demand more child support if my ex spouse gets a pay increase?” Today I want to talk to you about something that comes up quite a bit in my office. And that is a parent coming in, usually a mother who is receiving child support, who finds out that their ex spouse just got a big raise in pay and wants to know whether or not that changes how much that spouse should be paying in child support. And the answer is that it could impact how much that spouse owes in child support.
What we’re really talking about here is a child support modification. So it’s always important understand that if you find out that your ex gets some sort of a bump in pay, it doesn’t automatically mean the child support will be modifiable. Child support modification always requires that there be a substantial and ongoing change of circumstance and certainly an increase in pay could mean a substantial and ongoing change of circumstance, but it still means that we need to understand how much that raise is. Here’s why I say that; a lot of times when someone comes in and wants to do a modification of child support, we’ll go through and try to do a child support calculation. If when we do the calculation it does not appear that the child support will change very much, then it may not mean that it’s time to go in and modify child support. Just because you get a raise doesn’t mean you automatically get a change in child support. Remember, you have to go back to court and actually file a petition to modify. So the raise has to be substantial enough that it would increase the child support amount by at least 15%.
We also have to take into account all the other child support factors that the court will look at when doing a child support calculation. This can include your income. So if your income has changed for the positive as well that could impact the child support. Has there been a change in the amount that is being paid for health insurance? Has there been a change in the amount that is being paid for daycare if you need daycare? Those are all important factors in determining whether or not a child support modification is appropriate, but it certainly is the case that if you find out your ex spouse has received some kind of a increase in pay, it would be an appropriate time to come and consult with an attorney to determine whether or not it’s time to go back and ask the court to modify child support.
We want you to know that we handle these cases all the time. We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss your specific situation to see if we can help you out. So if you find yourself in a situation where you believe that modification of child support is appropriate, please give us a call here at the Law Offices of Kevin Jensen and schedule a time to meet with one of our attorneys. Thank you.
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