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Modifying an out-of-state child support order in Arizona

After parents split up in Arizona, generally one parent will pay support to the other parent in order to ensure that the child’s financial needs are being met. However, parents are also free to move where they want to live or take jobs that require them to move. This does not alleviate their duty to pay child support though. It just means that the child support order governing them is issued in a different state than they currently live.

As evidenced by moving to a different state, the lives of children and parents change over the course of a child’s life. That is why parents have the ability to modify child support orders, but this becomes slightly more difficult if the parents want to modify an out-of-state order in Arizona.

In order for an Arizona court to modify an out-of-state child support order, certain requirements must be met first. One way that Arizona courts can modify an order is if the child and neither parent still reside in the issuing state and the parent seeking a modification does not live in Arizona, but the other parent does live in state. Another way is if the child and one parent live in Arizona and all parties consent to Arizona having jurisdiction to modify the order.

If one of those requirements is met, the court can modify the child support order according to the procedures of one seeking a modification of an order issued in Arizona. However, if an aspect of the order cannot be modified in the issuing state, it cannot be modified by the Arizona court. This includes the duration of the child support obligation.

Many parents move to different states while their children are still minors. Many will have child support orders issued in the state where the child was born. If a parent or the child moves to Arizona, they may be able to have the Arizona courts modify the child support order if certain requirements are met. This can be a confusing area of the law though, and parents should take steps to ensure they go through the process properly.

Source: Arizona State Legislature, “A.R.S. 25-1311” accessed on May 16, 2016

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