Modifying Child Support From Another State
The Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of In re the Marriage of Glover addressed whether a foreign state’s child support could be modified or enforced in Arizona. If certain conditions are met, you may modify or enforce a child support order issued in another state.
A party wishing to modify a foreign child support order in Arizona may do so after meeting specific requirements set forth in the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure and properly registering the foreign child support order in Arizona.
Registration of your foreign child support order is broken up into five mandatory steps. First, you must submit a letter of transmittal to the court requesting registration and enforcement. The next step would be to send two copies of the order to be registered (one copy being certified) and include any modifications of the order being registered.
Thirdly, a sworn statement by the person requesting registration is required (or a certified statement by the custodian of the records showing the amount of any arrearages) and must be sent to the appropriate jurisdictional court. The name and address of the obligee, and if applicable, the person to whom support payments are to be remitted.
Lastly, the name of the obligor will be required and, if known, the obligor’s address and social security number, the name and address of the obligor’s employer and any other source of income paid to the obligor, along with a description and location of any properties of the obligor in this state not exempt from execution.
It is important to note that you are required to provide notice of the registration to the non-registering party. If the non-registering party has any objections to the order, they have twenty days to raise any objections. The superior court will conduct a hearing upon notice of the objection to the registration of the order, but if no objected is filed the order will be registered in Arizona by operation of law.
Enforcement of Another State’s Child Support Order
Arizona (and any other state) follows what is known as the “Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act”, which honors any child support orders issued by another state. It is important to note that the “Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act” is not a basis for modification of child support orders in itself, but is simply in place so that enforcement of child support orders may be obtained when necessary.
If a foreign judgment has been properly registered in another state and neither parent nor their children reside in that state, the parties can request that exclusive jurisdiction is transferred from the issuing state to Arizona.
However, the parties must still follow the required registration procedures. Additionally, if both parties gave written consent for the order to be modified in another state, the order may be modified in that state.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.