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Due Process Requirement to Modify Child Support in Arizona

Posted on : January 5, 2017, By:  Chris Hildebrand
Notice of Child Support Hearing in Arizona

Due Process and Adequate Notice Requirement to Modify Child Support in Arizona

As a parent in Arizona, it’s important to know that the Due Process clause of the constitution guarantees you the right to adequate notice before a court modifies your child support order.

Failure to receive proper notice can be a violation of your due process rights. But what does “adequate notice” actually mean, and how is it affected by a court’s indication that it won’t consider a modification?

Let’s take a closer look to ensure you understand your rights and entitlements.

In Cook v. Losnegard, 265 P.3d 384, 388 (App. 2011), the Court of Appeals considered these issues.

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Due Process Denied in Arizona Child Support Modification Hearing

An unmarried couple, T.C. Cook and Mr. Losnegard, had a child together. In 2006, T.C. was granted sole custody of their son and Mr. Losnegard was ordered to pay $860.31 per month in child support.

However, Mr. Losnegard moved to another state and filed a “Petition for Modification of Child Custody” to review the child support payments. T.C. opposed this request.

After a trial, the family court upheld T.C.’s sole custody but ordered both parents to equally share the cost of their son’s transportation to visitations in Washington.

Additionally, each parent was ordered to pay their own travel expenses. The court reduced Mr. Losnegard’s child support to $270.19 per month, to which T.C. objected by requesting a new trial. She claimed that the court changed the child support amount without proper notice.

Despite T.C.’s appeal, the court denied her request for a new trial.

Due Process Requirement to Modify Child Support in Arizona.

What Consitutes Inadequate Due Process and Notice of a Child Support Modification Hearing

During the trial, T.C. was under the impression that the court would not address the issue of child support modification.

However, the court specifically stated at the beginning of the trial that it would not consider the modification of the support obligation, and evidence related to child support factors was not presented.

Unfortunately, the post-trial ruling doesn’t explain how or why the court decided to adjudicate child support.

Constitutional Due Process Requires Adaquate Notice to Modify Child Support

As per due process laws, every party deserves to be notified and allowed to present their side of the story in a meaningful way. This includes the chance to bring evidence and question adverse witnesses.

In this case, T.C. was not given enough notice or a chance to be heard when it came to modifying child support. Additionally, T.C. has evidence of daycare expenses that were not considered by the court.

As a result, the Court of Appeals has reversed the child support order to provide a fair opportnity to present evidence in the child support modification hearing.

Child Support Order Vacated When Due Process is Denied in Arizona

The Court of Appeals affirmed the family court’s allocation of travel expenses.

It vacated the modified child support order, remanding for further proceedings consistent with the opinion of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Arizona Child Support Modification Attorneys

If you have questions about notice of child support hearing in an Arizona divorce case, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child support and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child support and family law cases.

Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.

Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona child support or family law case around today.

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