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How child support could increase tension between parents

When Arizona parents of minor children get a divorce, one may be required to pay child support to the other. If a cause was money issues, this could carry over into how the child support payments are handled.

This was the case with one couple who broke up over issues around career dissatisfaction and money. A few years after the divorce, the father informed the mother that the child support payment would be late. At the time, he was trying to put together a repayment plan for bankruptcy that would allow him to keep the home. The mother gave him a month in which to catch up on payments. When he was unable to do so, she turned to the legal system for help.

This created an additional mark against his credit that made it impossible for him to follow through with the repayment plan. Furthermore, when he later needed a car after it was totaled, he could not get a loan. He also felt that he would struggle to get a job at any place that did credit checks. In this case, the mother felt she was justified in turning to the legal system for the sake of the children. However, the father felt her action was vindictive and that a teamwork approach would have made her more cooperative.

The court system recognizes that supporting children, including making sure that they have medical insurance, should be a priority. Furthermore, the custodial parent does not have the option of simply not paying for the children any longer. On the other hand, some of the approaches used by child support enforcement to compel a parent to pay support could hurt that parent's ability to earn money. Filing for a modification after a change in circumstances might be one way to avoid this situation.

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