Arizona governor Doug Ducey has authorized public shaming on social media to call attention to parents who are evading child support obligations, according to an NBC News report. The newly launched campaign posts the photos and names of parents failing to pay child support, along with the amount of backpay owed on Twitter and Facebook. The hope is that public shaming will coax them into paying up and give others thinking of evading child support a reason to stay up to date. The posts are coupled with the hashtag “#deadbeat.” According to the report, the state’s campaign is targeting 421 child support evaders who owe a combined $20 million in back child support payments.

Arizona Child Support Guidelines

Arizona law mandates that both custodial and noncustodial parents provide reasonable support for their mutual minor children. This obligation is unavoidable and courts will use the “best interest of the child” standard when determining any issues arising from a divorce proceeding. The court will consider a parent’s child support obligation first and foremost over all other financial obligations of the parent.

The determination of the amount of child support each parent is liable for is not up to the discretion of the court but, rather, the Arizona Supreme Court has adopted a set of guidelines that provide a formula used to calculate the amount of support required from each parent. Beyond the guidelines themselves, additional factors are considered by the court and may include adjustments for older children, other children not common to the parties, costs of childcare and healthcare, costs involved with parenting time and low-income adjustments. While deviations from the child support guidelines are closely scrutinized, a court may go outside of the guidelines under criteria established by the courts which include a written determination that applying the guidelines “as is” would be unjust and it is in the best interest of the child to deviate from them.

Child support orders are generally in effect until the minor child turns 18 or 19 if he or she is still in school. Arizona law allows for the modification of a child support order upon a showing of changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing. In order to obtain a modification, one party must petition the court for the changes to the existing child support obligation.

Child Support Advice

Arizona places the obligation of a parent to pay child support as primary and above all other financial obligations. Although the calculation of child support may seem simple on the surface, in reality there are several factors that must be considered when applying these rules. For these reasons, a skilled Arizona child support attorney should be contacted right away if you or someone you know has questions or wishes to modify an existing order. Contact us today to schedule your initial case consultation by calling our office at 480.345.2652.