As the best child support lawyers in Gilbert AZ we often get asked, “do I have to pay as much child support if my ex spouse gets a pay increase?” Do you want to know what happens quite a bit in my office? I have mostly a father or an ex-husband come into my office and say, “Hey, you know what I just found out? I just found out that my wife who was working at Walmart, just got a job at a doctors office or a dentist office and is now making a whole bunch more money… I’ve been paying her child support for all these years. Can I go back and change that now?” It’s a great question, it’s one that comes up all the time, and the answer is: maybe.
Anytime someone comes into our office to discuss potential modification of child support and in this specific instance to determine whether or not the child support amount will go down, we always have to consider all of the child support factors in determining whether or not there’s been a substantial and ongoing change of circumstance. Remember, in order to modify child support you have to demonstrate to the court that there’s been a substantial and ongoing change of circumstance that necessitates this change in the child support amount. When it comes to child support, that usually means that there has to have been at least a 15% change in the amount of child support. So, if when we do a calculation, that increase in your ex spouses income lowers the amount of child support by at least 15%, then it may be an appropriate time to seek modification. But, keep in mind we have to consider all the other factors including your income so, as it is often the case, when one spouse’s income goes up overtime, so does the other spouse’s income. We would have to look at your income to determine if it’s gone up, and if that has any impact on the amount of child support. We also have to consider whether there’s been a change in any cost of health insurance. Whether there is daycare being paid and how much.
These are all important factors in determining whether or not your child support will change, but it is certainly the case that if you find out that the spouse who you have been paying child support to has some sort of significant increase in pay, that could be the perfect time to come and meet with an attorney to discuss possible modification. So if you find yourself in that situation, I would invite you to give us a call here at the Law Offices of Kevin Jensen and schedule a time to meet with one of our attorneys. We’ll take the time to go through the modification process with you, and help you determine whether or not now is the time to go forward with the child support modification case. Thank you.
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