I am obligated to pay $850/mo in child support-However, my kids reside with their mother in Alabama(I am in AZ) My annual costs to see my kids a few times per year--costs me apx 20K per year(about 4-5k per trip out there). I only make about 45-50K per year--but 30k of that is going to child support and visits. How can I fix this?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. However, if the children live in Alabama now, that state likely has superior jurisdiction (power to hear the case) over Arizona, at least as to child custody. Are you required to see the children only in AL, or would your parenting plan (if you have a divorce decree or establishment order in place) allow you to see them here or somewhere else as well? If so, I would recommend meeting motther halfway to exercise visits here or if that's not legally ordered yet, apply to the AL court for modification to that effect. As for the child support, AZ can still collect that from you no matter where the kids/mom live, but it may be that the amount is no longer appropriate given yours and mother's current incomes, who pays what for health insurance for the children, etc. You really need to consult with an experienced family lawyer -- perhaps one licensed in each state (lawyers are licensed state by state) -- to help you through this thorny problem. Best of luck!