If you believe there is a need to alter a family court order, modification is possible with the help of an experienced Arizona attorney. Modifiable orders include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Child custody (legal decision making)
- Parenting time
- Spousal maintenance
- Child support
Admittedly, a court ordered modification in Arizona is not an easy process, which is why you need the help of a legal team. Below, we look at important details regarding the modifying of court orders.
In Arizona, the term is now “legal decision making,” and if you look at §25-403 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, you will see the litany of factors that a judge analyzes when deciding if legal decision making modifications are in the best interests of the child or children. These include:
- The mental and physical health of every individual involved
- If there has been child neglect or abuse, or domestic violence of any kind
- The past and present relationship between the child and parents, along with potential future relationships
- If one parent is found to have deliberately misled the court in order to delay the case as a means of increasing the cost of litigation or ensuring the decision goes in his/her favor
Above all, if you believe your child is being harmed in the environment of the other parent, you need to get in touch with a family law attorney today.
Since circumstances often change rapidly, parenting time modification is one of the most commonly sought-after alterations. There are a number of reasons to seek a change, including these three:
- The children age, switch schools, and are able to play a larger role in deciding the environment that makes them happy.
- One parent becomes incapacitated due to addiction or health issues and it is in the best interests of the children to remain shielded from this parent’s problems.
- One parent relocates because of work and it is in the best interests of the children not to move with him/her.
It is important to get in touch with a qualified attorney if you wish to modify a spousal maintenance order because they are not always modifiable. In Arizona, modifications of this nature are possible if there is evidence of a continuing and significant change in circumstances. For instance:
- If you suffer a loss of income or employment. However, a court is unlikely to allow you to reduce your spousal maintenance payments if your layoff is expected to be short-lived.
- If you lose your health insurance, or your employer modifies it. This is a major change, as health insurance is typically a significant expense. If someone’s health insurance costs increase significantly, it may be enough to warrant spousal maintenance modification.
Note that any arrears in spousal maintenance at the time of modification must still be paid. See §25-327 of the Arizona Revised Statutes for more details concerning this modification. We recommend you hire an experienced attorney.
If you are paying child support, and you are the non-custodial parent, there are two types of child support modification at your disposal:
- Simplified Modification: This applies when circumstances change to the point where the new child support payments would be at least 15 percent higher or lower than the amount originally ordered by the court.
- Standard Modification: This applies when circumstances change in a “substantial and continuing manner” to the point where the child support amount should be changed.
In general, a custody or income change would need to be quite substantial to warrant child support modification. Get in touch with us today, because you may not receive the modification you feel you need without the help of an experienced family law attorney.