Federal-Minimum-WageIn a recent article by the Arizona Republic and online at AZ Central, certified family law specialist, attorney Douglas Gardner was quoted in an interview discussing Governor Doug Ducey’s recently enacted public shaming of child support ‘obligors’ who are considered “dead-beat” parents for unpaid child support payments.  The full article can be read at:


In his State of the State address for 2016, Governor Doug Ducey unveiled his social media shaming tactic that will be followed, as obligors of child support who meet certain criteria are tweeted out, with a photo and information about the delinquent parent.

It will be interesting to see how this program works, and undoubtedly there will be certain instances of parents who will pay to avoid the public shaming.

However, a concern is the parents who are ordered to pay child support, who have historically paid, but who have recently had a few bad months due to a job loss or unexpected medical issues, who now find themselves a few months behind.

To avoid becoming a “dead beat” parent, an individual who has been ordered to pay child support should petition for a modification of child support if they experience a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances” which would include a job loss, a serious medical problem that will cause them to work less than full time or otherwise experience reduced pay, or other financial circumstances that make the current child support obligation impossible or highly difficult.

It is important to understand that the Court can only change child support going forward, so the sooner you file, the sooner the Court can lower your child support obligation.  If you wait for six months after becoming unemployed to file a Petition to Modify Child Support, you will remain obligated to pay the prior child support order for those six months.  The Court cannot change child support in the past, and the earliest the Court can change child support is the first day of the month after a Petition to Modify Child Support has been filed with the Court.

If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, or annulment case or other family law case involving child support, and if you have determined that you need experienced legal representation, please call 800-899-2730 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at www.yourarizonadivorcelawoyer.cm.