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When parents are voluntarily impoverished to avoid child support

When some Arizona parents are ordered to pay child support, they attempt to shirk their financial responsibilities by becoming voluntarily unemployed or impoverished. Essentially, this means that a person may voluntarily leave his or her job or stay unemployed even when he or she has the opportunity to work. Some individuals may even work under the table so that their income is not reported.

Child support payments are usually court-ordered payments made by the noncustodial parent to help the custodial parent pay for child-related expenses, such as medical care and schooling. If the custodial parent only has a verbal agreement with the noncustodial parent, he or she should contact his or her local Office of Child Support Enforcement. This agency can assist with helping to establish a legally binding child support order while taking allegations of voluntary impoverishment very seriously.

If the Office of Child Support Enforcement believes that the noncustodial parent is voluntarily impoverished, they will look over his or her employment history and financial records to determine his or her earning potential. If the noncustodial parent was indeed working under the table, the agency may be able to pull credit card applications for any major purchases that were just made.

Even though there are some parents who try to avoid making child support payments, there are others who want to but suddenly become unable. For example, some people may legitimately lose their jobs while others become injured and cannot work. In these cases, a family law attorney may go back to court to request a modification to the child support order while the noncustodial parent looks for a new job. If granted, the modification could temporarily lower the payment amounts so that the person does not go into debt. The lawyer may assist with the case by gathering all associated financial documents that show the parent's new income.

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