Ask RJ Child Support after Graduation - Modification

Ask RJ: Child support, do I just pay half now or file a new motion for modification?

The Question:

I pay child support on two kids. One child is now eighteen and graduated. Do I just pay half now, or do I file a new motion for modification?  I live in Arizona and the divorce went final in July 2018. I payed an upward deviation of support from $240 to $400 a month for both children and now one child is eighteen and is graduating this month… do I just pay 50% and send in to clearinghouse $200 a month or do I have to go to court house and file a modification of orders? My ex is very difficult … she makes mores money now than I do by a little, and now lives out of state.. visitation is based upon child’s will… I pay all transportation costs for travel.

RJ Says:

You must file a Petition to Modify Child Support right away. Please remember that Arizona does not allow retroactive child support modifications. So, if you believe you are entitled to a modification, you need to file soon. Every month you wait is a month you lose. You can NOT just start sending in 50%.

Because you still have a minor child, your child support figure does NOT automatically decrease when an older child emancipates. Also, removing one child from the child support calculation does NOT just divide your current obligation in half. Yes your obligation should go down (unless other factors have also changed, but not by 50%. (Reason: many of the expenses a parent incurs to support their primary household are the same whether it’s one, two, or more children).

Do you have a question? Send it to RJ, and we’ll get you the answer you need.