Child Support in Maricopa County, AZ: How to Request a Change Without Going to Court

Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce or separation cases involving children. It is a legal obligation for non-custodial parents to provide financial support for their children's basic needs, such as food, shelter, and education. In Maricopa County, AZ, child support is determined based on the Arizona Child Support Guidelines, which take into account the income of both parents and the number of children involved.

Why Request a Change in Child Support?

There are various reasons why a parent may want to request a change in the amount of child support they are paying or receiving. Some common reasons include a change in income, a change in the child's needs, or a change in custody arrangements.

For instance, if the paying parent loses their job or gets a significant pay cut, they may struggle to meet their child support obligations. On the other hand, if the custodial parent's income increases significantly, they may no longer need as much financial support from the other parent. Whatever the reason may be, it is essential to understand that child support orders are not set in stone. They can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants it. However, many people assume that requesting a change in child support means going back to court, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

The good news is that there are ways to request a change without having to go through the court process.

Requesting a Change Through the Arizona Child Support Services (CSS)

The Arizona Child Support Services (CSS) is a state agency responsible for enforcing and modifying child support orders. If you have an existing child support order through CSS, you can request a modification by filling out an online form on their website. You will need to provide information about the change in circumstances that warrants the modification, such as a change in income or custody arrangements. Once you submit the form, CSS will review your request and determine if it meets the criteria for a modification. If it does, they will send a notice to the other parent informing them of the proposed changes.

The other parent will have 20 days to respond and either agree or disagree with the proposed modification. If they agree, CSS will make the necessary changes to the child support order. If they disagree, CSS will schedule a hearing to resolve the issue.

Requesting a Change Through Mediation

Another way to request a change in child support without going to court is through mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process where both parties meet with a neutral third party (the mediator) to discuss and resolve any issues related to child support.

The mediator's role is to facilitate communication and help both parties reach an agreement that is fair and in the best interest of the child. In Maricopa County, there are several mediation services available for parents who want to modify their child support orders. These services are usually free or low-cost and can be accessed through the Superior Court's Family Court Services or through private mediators. However, both parties must agree to participate in mediation for it to be successful.

Requesting a Change Through an Attorney

If you are unable to reach an agreement through CSS or mediation, you may need to seek legal representation from an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system and advocate for your rights and interests.

They can also help you gather evidence and present your case in court if necessary. It is essential to note that hiring an attorney can be costly, so it may not be the best option for everyone. However, if you have a complicated case or are facing resistance from the other parent, it may be worth considering.


Child support is a crucial aspect of co-parenting, and it is essential to ensure that the amount is fair and reasonable for both parties. If you need to request a change in child support in Maricopa County, AZ, there are various options available to you. Whether through CSS, mediation, or an attorney, it is possible to modify child support without having to go to court.

However, it is always advisable to seek legal advice before making any decisions that could impact your child support obligations.

Rosie Roik
Rosie Roik

Hipster-friendly tv buff. Friendly travel fanatic. Avid social media nerd. Incurable tv ninja. Musicaholic.

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