Modifications of decrees of dissolution or paternity orders generally refers to a revision to the original decree/order that was issued when the parties’ marriage was dissolved or paternity was established. The decree/order often includes orders related to parenting time, legal decision-making and child support, as well as, division of assets, liabilities, spousal maintenance, and other related issues.
To modify a decree of dissolution or paternity order, requires the filing of a petition to modify the original decree or order. Local court rules, family law rules, rules of civil procedure and state statutes govern petitions to modify decrees of dissolution or orders of paternity.
With some narrow exceptions, the courts will not entertain petitions for modification of orders for legal decision-making and parenting time for one-year after they they are entered. Those exceptions involve the issues of safety and health of the minor child. Typically, to modify child support, a parent seeking modification must show a “substantial and continuing change of circumstances” that would support the requested modification. The court’s continuing power to modify spousal maintenance normally depends on the terms of the court’s original. Unless the court preserves jurisdiction, post-judgment spousal support is normally limited by the terms stated within the order. With again some very narrow exceptions and a high burden of proof, the courts will not entertain petitions to modify property and liability issues after an original decree or order has been entered. There may be other avenues to seek redress in exigent cases.
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The professionals at the Law office of Kent Lee, PC represent individuals throughout Peoria, Glendale and the surrounding communities of Maricopa County, Phoenix, Surprise, Anthem, Arrowhead, El Mirage, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, Sun City, Sun City Grand, & Sun City West.
If you need legal representation pertaining to modification cases, the Law Office of Kent Lee, PC can help. Please feel free to call (623) 889-7760.