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Modifying divorce decrees in court

In our last post, we spoke very briefly about divorce decrees, what they are and generally what they cover. As we mentioned, it is important to work with an experienced attorney in negotiating with a spouse on divorce issues and in representing one's case before a judge. It can also be important, though, to work with an experienced attorney after a divorce decree is entered.

There are a number of issues that can come up in connection with a divorce decree after the process is completed, and it is often necessary for parties to go back to the court and ask for changes to be made. Post-decree petitions, as they are called, are filed with the aim of modifying or enforcing court orders.

In Maricopa County, separate paperwork must be filled out to enforce or to change an existing court order. Whether or not and how one is ultimately able to have a court order modified or enforced depends on the specifics of the case. In the case of a petition to modify custody or parenting time arrangements, for instance, mediation may be required before one can even request a modification.

In the case of modifying a child support order, there is the requirement that the amount to be paid must be expected to increase or decrease by 15 percent, unless it has otherwise been three years since the last modification, in which case this requirement doesn't apply. Enforcing a child support order can be done through several avenues, including working with an attorney.

Those who find themselves in a position where they need to seek enforcement or modification of a court order can always benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney for direction, advice, and advocacy. As committed family law attorneys, we are experienced in doing just that.

Source: Superior Court Superior Court, "Post Decree: Frequently Asked Questions," Dec. 17, 2014.

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