Modification of Court-Ordered Child Support

Divorce courts in the US generally has the final say in issues regarding the terms of the divorce decree, and are usually embodied in binding court orders. However, there are circumstances when there is a need for modification of court orders such as when major changes impact on a person’s ability to comply with those orders. One of these is when a supporting parent is no longer able to provide the amount of court-ordered child support. Child support is one of the more sensitive issues in divorce, and failure to pay child support is carries severe sanctions in the US.

Each county in Arizona has its own child support modification process, mainly differentiated by the type of forms used and the order in which they are given. A petitioner in Maricopa County, for instance, is required to file a Petition to Modify Child Support with the Superior Court. The court then issues an Order to Appear for a conference before a judicial officer at the Family Court Conference Center. If there are no challenges to the petition, the officer will then issue and sign a document recording of the stipulation regarding the modification. At this point, the concerned parties can then leave. However, if there is a dispute, an evidentiary hearing will be held at which time the officer will issue a decision regarding the petition based on the facts brought before him or her.

A lawyer, such as one of the divorce attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, would be an important person during the evidentiary hearing because it is then that any legal barriers to the modification can be brought up or broken down, depending on the desires of the client. Without experienced legal representation, it will be very hard to identify, provide and present evidence to present before the judicial officer which will bring about the desired outcome.

If you are involved in a petition for modification of court-ordered child support, it is important that you know what the legal ramifications will be. Consult with a lawyer in your appropriate county about your case to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.

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