With tassels on the left and kleenex to the right, high school graduations are in full swing. When a kid turns 18 or graduates, that's typically the end of a child support order. If the child graduating from high school is an only child or the youngest child, no legal action is needed to end the child support obligation. It terminates automatically.
But there are certain situations when a parent needs to take legal action to end a support order.
If the a parent's child support obligation is paid by wage garnishment, a motion to stop order of assignment is needed to stop the garnishment of the obligor's wages for payment of child support.
When the child graduating high school has younger siblings, a termination of child support won't be possible. That being said, a modification or reduction of the child support obligation might be an option. This kind of modification doesn't happen automatically. You would have to take legal action.
But remember, retroactive modifications aren't possible in Arizona.
When a parent seeks a modification of child support, the court looks at all the factors that go into the child support calculation under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines.
That means the court won't look at just one factor by itself. In the graduation context, a parent shouldn't assume that a child support obligation will be reduced just because the eldest kid is graduating from high school.
In fact, if the parent's income has gone up, the parent's obligation for the remaining kids could equal or exceed the previous obligation that included the child who graduated.
Before filing a child support modification action, you might want to talk to a Phoenix family law attorney. Together, you can run some calculations based on all of the current circumstances to see if a child support modification is possible.
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