Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If situations change after you are divorced, what do you do?

By Jessica M. Cotter, Esq.

Child support 

If you are ordered to pay child support and you have a change in your financial circumstances that is out of your control, for example your company closes, you are laid off or your position is eliminated; the company restructures and this causes you to lose your job or your pay is decreased or you retire. The child is no longer in daycare. The parenting time changes or one of the children turns 18 and has graduated from high school; you have a child in your home or the other party earns more money. 

In order to modify child support there must be a 15% difference in what you would pay in child support or in what you would receive in child support. When doing this you need to make sure that you are in compliance with Rule 91(b) (2) of the Arizona Family rules of procedure. There are two methods which may be used to change the Child Support. The first requires that you file and serve the following documents:

1. A Petition to Modify Child Support that states what the changes are and how drastic the changes are and that they will not improve;

2. An Affidavit of Financial Information;

3. A copy of the order to appear:
a. You have to file number 1 and 2 and put them in the Judges box along with a blank order to appear
b. The court will then fill in the order to appear to call you to pick it up.
c. Once you receive the filled out order to appear then you can serve the documents 

4. Blank Affidavit of Financial information. 

This is just to get the process started. Then there will be a court hearing where you can present evidence to prove to the court how the circumstances have changed since you were divorced and ask the court to modify the amount of support.  Then the court will make its decision. There is no guarantee that the Child support will be lowered or increased. 

The second way to modify your child support is called the simplified method. For this method the court uses its own forms. You can get those forms on the Maricopa County Superior court website. You need to serve the following forms to the other party:
1. A request to modify- the Simplified process

2. Parents worksheet

3. Child Support order

4. Current Employer information sheet. 

5. A Blank request for hearing. 

Neither of the above methods guarantee that the Child Support will be changed and I would consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney in your area. 

Please check out next week’s blog about how to change Child Custody/ legal decision making. 

The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C.
18301 North 79th avenue 
Suite F-186
Glendale, Arizona 85308

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