Arizona Divorce Laws

Title 25 Marital And Domestic Relations

Chapter 2 Husband And Wife, Property And Contract Rights

25-201. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. " Premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective spouses That is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.

2. " Property" means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.

25-202. Enforcement of premarital agreements; exception

A. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement is enforceable without consideration.

B. The agreement becomes effective on marriage of the parties.

C. The agreement is not enforceable if the person against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following:

1. The person did not execute the agreement voluntarily.

2. The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and before execution of the agreement that person:

(a) Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

(b) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided.

(c) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

D. If a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support and that modification or elimination causes one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or marital dissolution, a court, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid that eligibility.

E. An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

F. If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.

25-203. Scope of agreement

A. Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located.

2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign or create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of or otherwise manage and control property.

3. The disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.

4. The modification or elimination of spousal support.

5. The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.

6. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.

7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.

8. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

B. The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.

25-204. Amendment or revocation of agreement

After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without consideration.

25-205. Limitation of actions

A statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the marriage of the parties to the agreement. However, equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel, are available to either party.

25-211. Property acquired during marriage as community property; exceptions

All property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife except for property that is:

1. Acquired by gift, devise or descent.

2. Acquired after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

25-213. Separate property

A. A spouse's real and personal property that is owned by that spouse before marriage and that is acquired by that spouse during the marriage by gift, devise or descent, and the increase, rents, issues and profits of that property, is the separate property of that spouse.

B. Property that is acquired by a spouse after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is also the separate property of that spouse if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

C. Notwithstanding subsection B of this section and section 25-214, subsection C, a mortgage or deed of trust executed by a spouse who acquires the real property encumbered by that mortgage or deed of trust after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment shall be enforceable against the real property if the petition does not result in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

Article 1. Annulment

 

25-301. Grounds

Superior courts may dissolve a marriage, and may adjudge a marriage to be null and void when the cause alleged constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void.

25-302. Procedure and law

A. The jurisdictional requirements and procedure for obtaining an annulment shall be the same as if the matter were one for dissolution of marriage.

B. If grounds for annulment exist, the court to the extent that it has jurisdiction to do so, shall divide the property of the parties and shall establish the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to any common or adopted children in accordance with the provisions of section 25-320 and chapter 4, article 1 of this title.

Article 2. Dissolution Of Marriage

 

25-311. Jurisdiction; form of petition; award of decree

A. The superior court is vested with original jurisdiction to hear and decide all matters arising pursuant to this chapter and pursuant to chapter 4, article 1 of this title.

B. A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall be entitled, " in re the marriage of _____________ and ___." A custody or support proceeding shall be entitled, " in re the (custody) (support) of ___."

C. The initial pleading in all proceedings under this chapter and under chapter 4, article 1 of this title shall be denominated a petition. A responsive pleading shall be denominated a response.

D. A decree of dissolution or of legal separation, if made, shall not be awarded to one of the parties but shall provide that it affects the status previously existing between the parties in the manner decreed.

25-312. Dissolution of marriage; findings necessary

The court shall enter a decree of dissolution of marriage if it finds each of the following:

1. That one of the parties, at the time the action was commenced, was domiciled in this state, or was stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and that in either case the domicile or military presence has been maintained for ninety days prior to filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.

2. The conciliation provisions of section 25-381.09 and the provisions of article 5 of this chapter either do not apply or have been met.

3. The marriage is irretrievably broken or, if the marriage is a covenant marriage, any of the grounds prescribed in section 25-903.

4. To the extent it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved and made provision for child custody, the support of any natural or adopted child common to the parties of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

25-313. Decree of legal separation; findings necessary

The court shall enter a decree of legal separation if it finds each of the following:

1. That one of the parties at the time the action was commenced was domiciled in this state or was stationed in this state while a member of the armed services.

2. The conciliation provisions of section 25-381.09 and the provisions of article 5 of this chapter either do not apply or have been met.

3. The marriage is irretrievably broken or one or both of the parties desire to live separate and apart or, if the marriage is a covenant marriage, any of the grounds prescribed in section 25-904.

4. The other party does not object to a decree of legal separation. If the other party objects to a decree of legal separation, on one of the parties meeting the required domicile for dissolution of marriage, the court shall direct that the pleadings be amended to seek a dissolution of the marriage.

5. To the extent it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved or made provisions for child custody, the support of any natural or adopted child common to the parties of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of the property.

25-314. Pleadings; contents; defense; joinder of parties; confidentiality

A. The verified petition in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one or both of the parties desire to live separate and apart, or, if the marriage is a covenant marriage, any of the grounds prescribed in section 25-903 or 25-904, whichever is appropriate, and shall set forth:

1. The birth date, occupation, social security number if a duty of support exists or may exist pursuant to section 25-501, and address of each party and the length of domicile in this state.

2. The date of the marriage, the place at which it was performed and whether the marriage is a covenant marriage.

3. The names, birth dates, social security numbers and addresses of all living children, natural or adopted, common to the parties and whether the wife is pregnant.

4. The details of any agreements between the parties as to support, custody and parenting time of the children and maintenance of a spouse.

5. The relief sought.

B. Either party to the marriage may initiate the proceeding.

C. The only defense to a petition for the dissolution of a marriage or legal separation is that the marriage is not irretrievably broken. If the marriage is a covenant marriage, it is a defense that none of the grounds alleged for a dissolution of marriage or legal separation prescribed in section 25-903 or 25-904 are met.

D. The court may join additional parties necessary for the exercise of its authority.

E. This section does not require a victim of domestic violence or a resident of a domestic violence shelter as defined in section 36-3001 to divulge the person's address, except that a means of communicating with the resident, such as a post office box or address of the person's attorney, must be disclosed.

25-315. Temporary order or preliminary injunction; effect; definition

A. In all actions for dissolution of marriage, for legal separation or for annulment, the clerk of the court shall pursuant to order of the superior court issue a preliminary injunction in the following manner:

1. The preliminary injunction shall be directed to each party to the action and contain the following orders:

(a) That both parties are enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common or community property of the parties except if related to the usual course of business, the necessities of life or court fees and reasonable attorney fees associated with an action filed under this article, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.

(b) That both parties are enjoined from:

(i) Molesting, harassing, disturbing the peace of or committing an assault or battery on the person of the other party or any natural or adopted child of the parties.

(ii) Removing any natural or adopted child of the parties then residing in Arizona from the jurisdiction of the court without the prior written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.

(iii) Removing or causing to be removed the other party or the children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance.

(c) That both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

2. The preliminary injunction shall include the following statement:

   Warning

This is an official court order. If you disobey this order the court may find you in contempt of court. You may also be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of interfering with judicial proceedings and any other crime you may have committed in disobeying this order.

You or your spouse may file a certified copy of this order with your local law enforcement agency. A certified copy may be obtained from the clerk of the court that issued this order. If you are the person that brought this action, you must also file evidence with the law enforcement agency that this order was served on your spouse.

This court order is effective until a final decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment is filed or the action is dismissed.

3. The preliminary injunction is effective against the petitioner when the petition is filed and against the respondent on service of a copy of the order or on actual notice of the order, whichever is sooner. If service is by registered mail under the Arizona rules of civil procedure, the order is effective on receipt of the order. The order remains effective until further order of the court or the entry of a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment.

4. At the time of filing the petition for dissolution, legal separation or annulment, the copies of the preliminary injunction shall be issued to the petitioner or the agent, servant or employee filing the petition for dissolution, legal separation or annulment. The petitioner is deemed to have accepted service of the petitioner's copy of the preliminary injunction and to have actual notice of its contents by filing or causing to be filed a petition for dissolution, legal separation or annulment. The petitioner shall cause a copy of the preliminary injunction to be served on the respondent with a copy of the summons and petition for dissolution, legal separation or annulment.

5. The preliminary injunction has the force and effect of an order of the superior court signed by a judge and is enforceable by all remedies made available by law, including contempt of court. Rules 65(a)(1) and 65(e) of the rules of civil procedure do not apply to the preliminary injunction.

B. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, for legal separation, for annulment or for maintenance or support following dissolution of the marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, either party may move for an order for equal possession of the liquid assets of the marital property, temporary maintenance or temporary support of a child, natural or adopted, common to the parties entitled to support. The court shall provide for an order for equal possession of the liquid assets of the marital property that existed as of the date the petition for dissolution or legal separation or annulment was served, unless the court finds that there is good cause not to divide those assets. The court's division of liquid assets held by financial institutions does not invalidate applicable law or any provision of an account agreement that assesses penalties against the account holder for premature or unscheduled withdrawals of account funds. The motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the liquid assets of the parties, the factual basis for the motion and the amounts requested. An order for equal possession of the liquid assets of the marital property does not prejudice any final division of the marital community. This subsection does not eliminate the application of the preliminary injunction.

C. As a part of a motion for temporary maintenance or support or by independent motion accompanied by affidavit, either party may request the court to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction for any of the following relief:

1. Excluding a party from the family home or from the home of the other party on a showing that physical or emotional harm may otherwise result.

2. Providing other injunctive relief proper in the circumstances.

D. The court may issue a temporary restraining order without requiring notice to the other party only if it finds on the basis of the moving affidavit or other evidence that irreparable injury will result to the moving party if no order is issued until the time for responding has elapsed. A bond is not required unless the court deems it appropriate.

E. On the basis of the showing made, and in conformity with sections 25-318 and 25-319, the court may issue a preliminary injunction and an order for temporary maintenance or support in amounts and on terms just and proper in the circumstances. The court may also make temporary orders respecting the property of the parties, as may be necessary.

F. A temporary order or preliminary injunction:

1. Does not prejudice the rights of the parties or any child which are to be adjudicated at the subsequent hearings in the proceeding.

2. May be revoked or modified before final decree on a showing by affidavit of the facts necessary to revocation or modification of a final decree under section 25-327 and as provided in rule 65 of the rules of civil procedure.

3. That provided for joint possession of liquid assets of the marital property does not prejudice either party's claim for temporary maintenance, child support or attorney fees.

4. Terminates when the final decree is entered or when the petition for dissolution, legal separation or annulment is dismissed.

G. A person who disobeys or resists an injunction issued pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1, subdivision (b) or subsection C, paragraph 1 of this section is subject to arrest and prosecution for interference with judicial proceedings pursuant to section 13-2810 and the following procedures apply:

1. Any party may cause a certified copy of the injunction and return of service on the other party to be registered with the sheriff having jurisdiction of the area in which the party resides. The party originally registering the injunction shall register any changes or modifications of the injunction with the sheriff. For enforcement by arrest and prosecution for interference with judicial proceedings, a certified copy of the injunction, whether or not registered with the sheriff, is presumed to be a valid existing order of the court until a final decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment is entered or the action for dissolution or legal separation is dismissed.

2. A peace officer may, with or without a warrant, arrest a person if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that an offense under this subsection has been committed and has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed the offense, whether the offense is a felony or a misdemeanor and whether such offense was committed within or without the presence of the peace officer. The release procedures available under section 13-3883, paragraph 4 and section 13-3903 are not applicable to arrests made pursuant to this subsection.

3. A peace officer making an arrest pursuant to this subsection is not civilly or criminally liable for the arrest if the officer acts on probable cause and without malice.

4. A person arrested pursuant to this subsection may be released from custody in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure or other applicable statute. An order for release, with or without an appearance bond, shall include pretrial release conditions necessary to provide for the protection of the alleged victim and other specifically designated persons and may provide additional conditions which the court deems appropriate, including participation in any counseling programs available to the defendant.

5. The remedies provided in this subsection for enforcement of the preliminary injunction are in addition to any other civil or criminal remedies available, including civil contempt of court. The use of one remedy does not prevent the simultaneous or subsequent use of any other.

H. For the purposes of this section, " liquid assets" means:

1. Cash.

2. Traveler's checks.

3. Cash in financial institutions.

4. Lottery winnings.

25-316. Irretrievable breakdown; finding

A. If both of the parties by petition or otherwise state under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken or if one of the parties so states and the other does not deny it, the court shall make a finding as to whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken.

B. If one of the parties denies under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall hold a hearing to consider all relevant factors as to the prospect of reconciliation and shall do either of the following:

1. Make a finding as to whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken.

2. Continue the matter for further hearing, not more than sixty days later. At the request of either party or on its own motion, the court may order a conciliation conference. At the next hearing the court shall make a finding as to whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken.

C. A finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken is a determination that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

25-317. Separation agreement; effect

A. To promote amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage attendant on their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement containing provisions for disposition of any property owned by either of them, maintenance of either of them, and support, custody and parenting time of their children. A separation agreement may provide that its maintenance terms shall not be modified.

B. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation, the terms of the separation agreement, except those providing for the support, custody and parenting time of children, are binding on the court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the separation agreement is unfair.

C. If the court finds the separation agreement unfair as to disposition of property or maintenance, it may request the parties to submit a revised separation agreement or may make orders for the disposition of property or maintenance.

D. If the court finds that the separation agreement is not unfair as to disposition of property or maintenance and that it is reasonable as to support, custody and parenting time of children, the separation agreement shall be set forth or incorporated by reference in the decree of dissolution or legal separation and the parties shall be ordered to perform them. If the separation agreement provides that its terms shall not be set forth in the decree, the decree shall identify the separation agreement as incorporated by reference and state that the court has found the terms as to property disposition and maintenance not unfair and the terms as to support, custody and parenting time of children reasonable.

E. Terms of the agreement set forth or incorporated by reference in the decree are enforceable by all remedies available for enforcement of a judgment, including contempt.

F. Except for terms concerning the maintenance of either party and the support, custody or parenting time of children, entry of the decree shall thereafter preclude the modification of the terms of the decree and the property settlement agreement, if any, set forth or incorporated by reference.

G. Notwithstanding subsection F, entry of a decree that sets forth or incorporates by reference a separation agreement that provides that its maintenance terms shall not be modified prevents the court from exercising jurisdiction to modify the decree and the separation agreement regarding maintenance, including a decree entered before July 20, 1996.

25-318. Disposition of property; retroactivity; notice to creditors; assignment of debts; contempt of court

A. In a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, or for legal separation, or in a proceeding for disposition of property following dissolution of the marriage by a court which previously lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or previously lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property, the court shall assign each spouse's sole and separate property to such spouse. It shall also divide the community, joint tenancy and other property held in common equitably, though not necessarily in kind, without regard to marital misconduct. For the purposes of this section only, property acquired by either spouse outside this state shall be deemed to be community property if the property would have been community property if acquired in this state. This section does not prevent the court from considering all actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim, excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

B. The community, joint tenancy and other property held in common for which no provision is made in the decree shall be from the date of the decree held by the parties as tenants in common, each possessed of an undivided one-half interest.

C. The court may impress a lien on the separate property of either party or the marital property awarded to either party in order to secure the payment of:

1. Any interest or equity the other party has in or to the property.

2. Community debts that the court has ordered to be paid by the parties.

3. An allowance for child support or spousal maintenance, or both.

4. All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.

D. The decree or judgment shall specifically describe by legal description any real property affected and shall specifically describe any other property affected.

E. This section applies through both prospective and retrospective operation to property without regard to the date of acquisition.

F. In all actions for the dissolution of marriage or legal separation the court shall require the following statement in the materials provided to the petitioner and to be served on the respondent:

   Notice

In your property settlement agreement or decree of dissolution or legal separation, the court may assign responsibility for certain community debts to one spouse or the other. Please be aware that a court order that does this is binding on the spouses only and does not necessarily relieve either of you from your responsibility for these community debts. These debts are matters of contract between both of you and your creditors (such as banks, credit unions, credit card issuers, finance companies, utility companies, medical providers and retailers).

Since your creditors are not parties to this court case, they are not bound by court orders or any agreements you and your spouse reach in this case. On request, the court may impose a lien against the separate property of a spouse to secure payment of debts that the court orders that spouse to pay.

You may want to contact your creditors to discuss your debts as well as the possible effects of your court case on your debts. To assist you in identifying your creditors, you may obtain a copy of your spouse's credit report by making a written request to the court for an order requiring a credit reporting agency to release the report to you. Within thirty days after receipt of a request from a spouse who is party to a dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, which includes the court and case number of the action, creditors are required by law to provide information as to the balance and account status of any debts for which the requesting spouse may be liable to the creditor. You may wish to use the following form, or one that is similar, to contact your creditors:

Creditor notification

Date: ___________________________________

Creditor name and Address: ________________________________

_________________________________________

_________________________________________

Within thirty days after receipt of this notice, you are requested to provide the balance and account status of any debt identified by account number for which the requesting party may be liable to you.

Name: ___________________________________

Address: ________________________________

_________________________________________

_________________________________________

_________________________________________ (signature)

_________________________________________ (printed name)

G. On the written request of any party to a pending dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, the court, except for good cause shown, shall issue an order requiring any credit reporting agency to release the credit report as to the spouse of the requesting party on payment by the requesting party of any customary fee for providing the credit report.

H. On the request of either party and except for good cause shown, the court shall require the parties to submit a debt distribution plan that states the following:

1. How community creditors will be paid.

2. Whether any agreements have been entered into between the parties as to responsibility for the payment of community debts, including what, if any, collateral will secure the payment of the debt.

3. Whether the parties have entered into agreements with creditors through which a community debt will be the sole responsibility of one party.

I. The following form may be used to verify agreements with creditors:

  Agreement with creditor

The parties to this agreement include ___ and ___ who are parties to a dissolution of marriage action filed in ___ county superior court, Arizona, case number ___ and ___ who is a duly authorized representative of ___________________________ (creditor).

The undersigned parties agree that the debt owed by the parties to ___ (creditor) is to be disposed of as follows (check one):

___ The debt is the joint responsibility of the parties, with payment to be made on the following terms: ________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

___ The balance of the debt is the sole responsibility of _____________________ and the creditor releases ___________________ fro m any further liability for that debt, with payment to be made on the following terms:

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

___ The debt has been paid in full as of this date.

We the undersigned acknowledge this agreement.

Dated: _______________________________________

______________________________ _____________________________ Debtor  Debtor

_________________________________ Creditor's representative

Subscribed and sworn to before me this ___ day of ____________, _____.

________________________________ Notary Public

J. If the parties are not able to agree to a joint debt distribution plan pursuant to subsection H the court may order each party to submit a proposed debt distribution plan to the court. In its orders relating to the division of property the court shall reflect the debt distribution plan approved by the court and shall confirm that any community debts that are made the sole responsibility of one of the parties by agreement with a creditor are the sole responsibility of that party.

K. An agreement with a creditor pursuant to subsection I that assigns or otherwise modifies repayment responsibility for community debts secured by real property located in this state shall include all of the following:

1. A legal description of the real property.

2. A copy of the note and recorded security instrument, the repayment of which is to be assigned or modified by the agreement with a creditor.

3. A written and notarized acknowledgment that is executed by all parties to the debt, including the lender, and that states one of the following:

(a) The terms for the repayment of the debt remain unchanged.

(b) The terms for the repayment of the debt have been modified and, beginning on the date of the execution of the acknowledgment, the creditor has agreed that one of the debtors assumes the sole responsibility for the debt and that the other debtor is released from any further liability on the debt.

(c) The debt is paid in full and all parties to the debt are released from any further liability.

L. An agreement executed pursuant to subsection K shall be recorded by either party in the county in which the real property is located.

M. After an agreement is recorded pursuant to subsection L, either party may request that on payment of the title company's fees for the document a title company authorized to do business in this state provide the requesting party with a lien search report or other documentary evidence of liens and other agreements of record in the title to the property.

N. If a party fails to comply with an order to pay debts, the court may enter orders transferring property of that spouse to compensate the other party. If the court finds that a party is in contempt as to an order to pay community debts, the court may impose appropriate sanctions under the law. A party must bring an action to enforce an order to pay a debt pursuant to this subsection within two years after the date in which the debt should have been paid in full.

O. Within thirty days after receipt of a written request for information from a spouse who is a party to a dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, which includes the court and case number of the action, a creditor shall provide the balance and account status of any debts of either or both spouses identified by account number for which the requesting spouse may be liable to the creditor.

25-319. Maintenance; computation factors

A. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

1. Lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for that spouse's reasonable needs.

2. Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient.

3. Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.

4. Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.

B. The maintenance order shall be in an amount and for a period of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering all relevant factors, including:

1. The standard of living established during the marriage.

2. The duration of the marriage.

3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.

4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.

6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.

7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.

8. The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.

9. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse's ability to meet that spouse's own needs independently.

10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.

11. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

12. The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.

13. All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.

C. If both parties agree, the maintenance order and a decree of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation may state that its maintenance terms shall not be modified.

D. Except as provided in subsection C of this section or section 25-317, subsection G, the court shall maintain continuing jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance for the period of time maintenance is awarded.

25-320. Child support; factors; methods of payment; additional enforcement provisions; definitions

A. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child, born to or adopted by the parents, to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct.

B. If child support has not been ordered by a child support order and if the court deems child support appropriate, the court shall direct, using a retroactive application of the child support guidelines to the date of filing a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support proceeding, the amount that the parents shall pay for the past support of the child and the manner in which payment shall be paid, taking into account any amount of temporary or voluntary support that has been paid. Retroactive child support is enforceable in any manner provided by law.

C. If the parties lived apart before the date of the filing for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support and if child support has not been ordered by a child support order, the court may order child support retroactively to the date of separation, but not more than three years before the date of the filing for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, maintenance or child support. The court must first consider all relevant circumstances, including the conduct or motivation of the parties in that filing and the diligence with which service of process was attempted on the obligor spouse or was frustrated by the obligor spouse. If the court determines that child support is appropriate, the court shall direct, using a retroactive application of the child support guidelines, the amount that the parents must pay for the past support of the child and the manner in which payments must be paid, taking into account any amount of temporary or voluntary support that has been paid.

D. The supreme court shall establish guidelines for determining the amount of child support. The amount resulting from the application of these guidelines is the amount of child support ordered unless a written finding is made, based on criteria approved by the supreme court, that application of the guidelines would be inappropriate or unjust in a particular case. The supreme court shall review the guidelines at least once every four years to ensure that their application results in the determination of appropriate child support amounts. The supreme court shall base the guidelines and criteria for deviation from them on all relevant factors, including:

1. The financial resources and needs of the child.

2. The financial resources and needs of the custodial parent.

3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved.

4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs.

5. The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent.

6. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

7. The duration of parenting time and related expenses.

E. In the case of a mentally or physically disabled child, if the court, after considering the factors set forth in subsection D of this section, deems it appropriate, the court may order support to continue past the age of majority and to be paid to the custodial parent, guardian or child, even if at the date of separation, at the time of the filing of a petition or at the time of the final decree, the child has reached the age of majority.

F. If a child reaches the age of majority while the child is attending high school or a certified high school equivalency program, support shall continue to be provided during the period in which the child is actually attending high school or the equivalency program but only until the child reaches nineteen years of age unless the court enters an order pursuant to subsection E of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a parent paying support for a child over the age of majority pursuant to this section is entitled to obtain all records related to the attendance of the child in the high school or equivalency program.

G. If a personal check for support payments and handling fees is rightfully dishonored by the payor bank or other drawee, the person obligated to pay support shall make any subsequent support payments and handling fees only by cash, money order, cashier's check, traveler's check or certified check. If a person required to pay support other than by personal check demonstrates full and timely payment for twenty-four consecutive months, that person may pay support by personal check if these payments are for the full amount, are timely tendered and are not rightfully dishonored by the payor bank or other drawee.

H. Subsection G of this section does not apply to payments made by means of an assignment.

I. If after reasonable efforts to locate the obligee the clerk or support payment clearinghouse is unable to deliver payments for the period prescribed in section 25-503 due to the failure of the person to whom the support has been ordered to be paid to notify the clerk or support payment clearinghouse of a change in address, the clerk or support payment clearinghouse shall not deliver further payments and shall return the payments to the obligor consistent with the requirements of section 25-503.

J. An order for child support shall assign responsibility for providing medical insurance for the child who is the subject of the support order and shall assign responsibility for the payment of any medical costs of the child that are not covered by insurance. In title IV-D cases, the parent responsible pursuant to court order for providing medical insurance for the child shall notify the support payment clearinghouse prescribed in section 46-441 if the child is no longer covered under an employer's insurance plan. The support payment clearinghouse shall notify the child support enforcement agency in the department of economic security of the lapse in insurance coverage.

K. In title IV-D cases the superior court shall accept for filing any documents that are received through electronic transmission if the electronically reproduced document states that the copy used for the electronic transmission was certified before it was electronically transmitted.

L. The court shall presume, in the absence of contrary testimony, that a noncustodial parent is capable of full-time employment at least at the federal adult minimum wage. This presumption does not apply to noncustodial parents who are under the age of eighteen and who are attending high school.

M. An order for support shall provide for an assignment pursuant to sections 25-504 and 25-323.

N. Each licensing board or agency that issues professional, recreational or occupational licenses or certificates shall record on the application the social security number of the applicant and shall enter this information in its database in order to aid the department of economic security in locating parents or their assets or to enforce child support orders. This subsection does not apply to a license that is issued pursuant to title 17 and that is not issued by an automated drawing system. If a licensing board or agency allows an applicant to use a number other than the social security number on the face of the license or certificate while the licensing board or agency keeps the social security number on file, the licensing board or agency shall advise an applicant of this fact.

O. For the purposes of this section:

1. " Child support guidelines" means the child support guidelines that are adopted by the state supreme court pursuant to 42 United States Code sections 651 through 669B.

2. " Date of separation" means the date the married parents ceased to cohabit.

3. " Support" has the same meaning prescribed in section 25-500.

4. " Support payments" means the amount of money ordered by the court to be paid for the support of the minor child or children.

Arizona Child Support Guidelines

 1. Purposes

a. To establish a standard of support for children consistent with the reasonable needs of children and the ability of parents to pay.

b. To make child support orders consistent for persons in similar circumstances.

c. To give parents and courts guidance in establishing child support orders and to promote settlements.

d. To comply with state law (Arizona Revised Statutes Section 25-320) and federal law (42 United States Code Section 651 et seq., 45 Code of Federal Regulations Section 302.56) and any amendments thereto.

2. Premises

a. These guidelines apply to all natural children, whether born in or out of wedlock, and to all adopted children.

b. The child support obligation has priority over all other financial obligations; the existence of non-support-related financial obligations is generally not a reason for deviating from the guidelines.

c. The fact that a custodial parent receives child support does not mean that he or she may not also be entitled to spousal maintenance.

If the court is establishing both child support and spousal maintenance, the court shall determine the appropriate amount of spousal maintenance first.

The receipt or payment of spousal maintenance shall be treated in accordance with sections 5.a and 6.a. The addition to or adjustment from gross income under these sections shall apply for the duration of the spousal maintenance award.

d. A parent's legal duty is to support his or her natural or adopted child(ren). The " support" of other persons such as stepchildren or parents is deemed voluntary and is not a reason for an adjustment in the amount of support determined under the guidelines.

e. In appropriate cases, a custodial parent may be ordered to pay child support.

f. Monthly figures are used to calculate the support obligation. Any adjustments to the child support amount shall be annualized so that each month's support obligation is increased or decreased in an equal amount, instead of the obligation for particular months being abated, increased or decreased.

EXAMPLE: At a child support hearing in a paternity action a custodial parent requests an adjustment for child care costs (Section 9.b.1.). The parent incurs child care costs of $150 per month but only for nine months of the year. The adjustment for child care costs must be annualized as follows: Multiply the $150 monthly cost times the nine months that the cost is actually paid each year, for an annual total of $1,350. Divide this total by 12 months to arrive at an annualized monthly adjustment of $112.50 that may be added to the Basic Child Support Obligation when determining the child support order.

g. When determining the Basic Child Support Obligation under Section 7, the amount derived from the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations shall not be less than the amount indicated on the Schedule:

1. For six children where there are more than six children.

2. For the Combined Adjusted Gross Income of $20,000 where the actual Combined Adjusted Gross Income of the parents is greater than $20,000.

3. Presumption

In any action to establish or modify child custody, and in any action to establish child support or past support or to modify child support, whether temporary or permanent, local or interstate, the amount resulting from application of these guidelines shall be the amount of child support ordered. These include, without limitation, all actions or proceedings brought under title 25 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (including maternity and paternity) and juvenile court actions in which a child support order is established or modified. However, if application of the guidelines would be inappropriate or unjust in a particular case, the court shall deviate from the guidelines in accordance with Section 18.

4. Duration of child support

Duration of child support is governed by Arizona Revised Statutes, Sections 25-320 and 25-501, except as provided in Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 25-648.

Upon entry of an initial or modified child support order, the court shall, or in any subsequent action relating to the child support order, the court may, establish a presumptive date for the termination of the current child support obligation. The presumptive termination date shall be the last day of the month of the eighteenth birthday of the youngest child included in the order unless the court finds that it is projected that the youngest child will not complete high school by age 18. In that event, the presumptive termination date shall be the last day of the month of the anticipated graduation date or age 19, whichever occurs first. The administrative income withholding order issued by the department or its agent in a title IV-D case and an order of assignment issued by the court shall include the presumptive termination date. The presumptive date may be modified upon changed circumstances.

An employer or other payor of funds honoring an order of assignment or an administrative income withholding order that includes the presumptive termination date and is for current child support only, shall discontinue withholding monies after the last pay period of the month of the presumptive termination date. If the order of assignment or administrative income withholding order includes current child support and arrearage payment, the employer or other payor of funds shall continue withholding the entire amount listed on the order of assignment or administrative income withholding order until further order.

For purposes of determining the presumptive termination date, it is further presumed:

A. That a child not yet in school will enter first grade if the child reaches age six on or before September 1 of the year in which the child reaches age six; otherwise, it is presumed that the child will enter first grade the following year; and,

B. That a child will graduate in the month of may after completing the 12th grade.

5. Determination of the Gross Income of the Parents

NOTE: Terms such as " Gross Income" and " Adjusted Gross Income" as used in these guidelines do not have the same meaning as when they are used for tax purposes.

a. Gross income includes income from any source, and may include, but is not limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits (subject to Section 25), worker's compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, recurring gifts, prizes, and spousal maintenance. Cash value shall be assigned to in-kind or other non-cash benefits. Seasonal or fluctuating income shall be annualized. Income from any source which is not continuing or recurring in nature need not necessarily be deemed gross income for child support purposes. Generally, the court should not attribute income greater than what would have been earned from full-time employment. Each parent should have the choice of working additional hours through overtime or at a second job without increasing the child support award. The court may, however, consider income actually earned that is greater than would have been earned by full-time employment if that income was historically earned from a regular schedule and is anticipated to continue into the future.

The court should generally not attribute additional income to a parent if that would require an extraordinary work regimen. Determination of what constitutes a reasonable work regimen depends upon all relevant circumstances including the choice of jobs available within a particular occupation, working hours and working conditions.

b. Gross income does not include sums received as child support or benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps and General Assistance.

c. For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, gross income means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income. Ordinary and necessary expenses do not include amounts determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of child support. Ordinary and necessary expenses include one-half of the self-employment tax actually paid.

d. Expense reimbursements or benefits received by a parent in the course of employment or self-employment or operation of a business shall be counted as income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses.

e. If a parent is unemployed or working below full earning capacity, the court may consider the reasons. If earnings are reduced as a matter of choice and not for reasonable cause, the court may attribute income to a parent up to his or her earning capacity. If the reduction in income is voluntary but reasonable, the court shall balance that parent's decision and benefits therefrom against the impact the reduction in that parent's share of child support has on the child(ren)'s best interest. In accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes Section 25-320, income of at least minimum wage shall be attributed to a parent ordered to pay child support. If income is attributed to the parent receiving child support, appropriate child care expenses may also be attributed.

The court may decline to attribute income to either parent. Examples of cases in which it may be inappropriate to attribute income include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:

1. A parent is physically or mentally disabled,

2. A parent is engaged in reasonable career or occupational training to establish basic skills or reasonably calculated to enhance earning capacity,

3. Unusual emotional or physical needs of a natural or adopted child require that parent's presence in the home, or

4. The parent is a current recipient of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

f. Only income of persons having a legal duty of support shall be treated as income under the guidelines. For example, income of a parent's new spouse is not treated as income of that parent.

g. The court shall not take into account the impact of the disposition of marital property except as provided in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 25-320 A. 6. (" . . . excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common." ) or to the extent that such property generates income to a parent.

h. The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations is based on net income and converted to gross income for ease of application. The impact of income taxes has been considered in the Schedule (Federal Tax, Arizona State Tax, FICA).

6. Adjustments to Gross Income

For purposes of this section, " children of other relationships" means natural or adopted children who are not the subject of this particular child support determination.

Adjustments to gross income for other support obligations are made as follows:

A. The court-ordered amount of spousal maintenance resulting from this or any other marriage, if actually being paid, shall be deducted from the gross income of the parent paying spousal maintenance. Court-ordered arrearage payments shall not be included as an adjustment to gross income.

B. The court-ordered amount of child support for children of other relationships, if actually being paid, shall be deducted from the gross income of the parent paying that child support. Court-ordered arrearage payments shall not be included as an adjustment to gross income.

C. An amount shall be deducted from the gross income of a parent for children of other relationships covered by a court order for whom they are the custodial parent. The amount of the adjustment shall be determined by a simplified application of the guidelines (defined in example below).

D. An amount may be deducted from the gross income of a parent for support of natural or adopted children of other relationships not covered by a court order. The amount of any adjustment shall not exceed the amount arrived at by a simplified application of the guidelines (defined in example below).

EXAMPLE: A parent having gross monthly income of $2,000 supports natural or adopted minor child who is not the subject of the support case before the court and for whom no support order exists. To use the simplified application of the guidelines, locate $2,000 in the Combined Adjusted Gross Income column of the Schedule. Select the amount in the column for one child, $420. The parent's income may be reduced up $420, resulting in an Adjusted Gross Income of $1,580.

7. Determining the Adjusted Gross Income of the Parents

Adjusted Gross Income is gross income minus the adjustments provided in Section 6 of these guidelines. The Adjusted Gross Income for each parent shall be established. These amounts shall be added together. The sum is the Combined Adjusted Gross Income.

8. Determining the Basic Child Support Obligation

Locate the income closest to the parents' Combined Adjusted Income figure on the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations and select the column for the number of children involved. This number is the Basic Child Support Obligation.

If there are more than six children, the amount derived from the schedule of basic support obligations for six children shall be the presumptive amount. The party seeking a greater sum shall bear the burden of proof that the needs of the children require a greater sum.

If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties is greater than $20,000 per month, the amount set forth for combined adjusted gross income of $20,000 shall be the presumptive basic child support obligation. The party seeking a sum greater than this presumptive amount shall bear the burden of proof to establish that a higher amount is in the best interests of the child(ren), taking into account such factors as the standard of living the child(ren) would have enjoyed if the parents and child(ren) were living together, the needs of the child(ren) in excess of the presumptive amount, consideration of any significant disparity in the respective percentages of gross income for each party and any other factors which, on a case by case basis, demonstrate that the increased amount is appropriate.

9. Determining the Total Child Support Obligation

To determine the Total Child Support Obligation, the court:

a. Shall add to the Basic Child Support Obligation the cost of the children's medical dental and/or vision insurance coverage, if any (this provision does not imply any obligation of either parent to provide dental or vision insurance). In determining the amount to be added, only the amount of the insurance cost attributable to the children subject of the support order shall be included. If coverage is applicable to other persons, the total cost shall be prorated by the number of medical, dental and/or vision insurance coverage obtained for the children if persons covered. The court may decline to credit a parent for the coverage is not valid in the geographic region where the child resides.

EXAMPLE: Through an employment-related insurance plan, a parent provides medical insurance that covers the parent, one child subject of the support case and two other children. Under the plan, the cost of an employee's individual insurance coverage would be $50. This parent instead pays a total of $170 for the " family option" that provides coverage for the employee and any number of dependents. Calculate the adjustment for medical insurance as follows: Subtract the $50 cost of individual coverage from the $170 paid for the " family option" to find the cost of dependent coverage. The $120 remainder then is divided by three - the number of covered dependents. The resulting $40 is added to the Basic Child Support Obligation as the cost of medical insurance coverage for the one child.

An order for child support shall assign responsibility for providing medical insurance for the children who are the subject of the child support order. If medical insurance of comparable benefits and cost is available to both parents, the court should assign the responsibility to the parent having primary physical custody.

The court shall also specify the percentage that each parent shall pay for any medical, dental and/or vision costs of the children which are not covered by insurance. For purposes of this paragraph, non-covered " medical" means medically necessary medical, dental and/or vision care as defined by Internal Revenue Service Publication 502.

Except for good cause shown, any request for payment or reimbursement of uninsured medical, dental and/or vision costs must be provided to the other parent within 180 days after the date the services occur. The parent responsible for payment or reimbursement must pay his or her share, as ordered by the court, or make acceptable payment arrangements with the provider or person entitled to reimbursement within 45 days after receipt of the request.

Both parents should use their best efforts to obtain services that are covered by the insurance. A parent who is entitled to receive reimbursement from the other parent for medical costs not covered by insurance shall, upon request of the other parent, provide receipts or other evidence of payments actually made.

b. May add to the Basic Child Support Obligation amounts for any of the following:

1. Child Care Costs:

Child care expenses that would be appropriate to the parents' financial abilities.

Expenses for child care shall be annualized in accordance with Section 2.f.

A custodial parent paying for child care may be eligible for a credit from federal tax liability for childcare costs for dependent children. The custodial parent is the parent who has physical custody of the child(ren) for the greater part of the year. In an equal physical custody situation, neither parent shall be entitled to the credit for purposes of calculating child support. Before adding child care costs to the Basic Child Support Obligation, the court may adjust this cost in order to apportion the benefit that the dependent tax credit will have to the parent incurring the childcare costs.

At lower income levels the head of household does not incur sufficient tax liability to benefit from the federal childcare tax credit. No adjustment should be made where the income of the custodial parent is less than indicated on the following chart:

MONTHLY GROSS INCOME OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT

ONE        TWO         THREE         FOUR         FIVE        SIX

CHILD      CHILDREN    CHILDREN      CHILDREN     CHILDREN    CHILDREN

$2,100     $2,600      $2,700        $2,800       $3,050      $3,300

If the custodial parent's income is greater than indicated on the above chart, the court may adjust this cost for the federal childcare tax credit if the credit is actually claimed or will be claimed. For one child with monthly childcare costs exceeding $200, deduct $50 from the monthly childcare amount. For two or more children with total monthly childcare costs exceeding $400, deduct $100 from the monthly childcare amount. See example one.

For one child with monthly childcare costs of $200 or less, deduct 25% from the monthly childcare amount. For two or more children with total monthly childcare costs of $400 or less, deduct 25% from the monthly childcare amount. See example two.

EXAMPLE ONE: For two children a parent pays monthly child care costs of $550 for nine months of the year. To adjust for the expected tax credit benefit first determine whether the average costs of childcare exceeds $400 per month. In this example, because the average cost of $413 ($550 multiplied by 9 months, divided by 12 months) exceeds the $400 maximum for two or more children, $100 per month may be subtracted from the average monthly cost. $313 ($413 - $100) may be added to the Basic Child Support Obligation for adjusted child care costs.

EXAMPLE TWO: A parent pays monthly childcare costs of $175 for one child. Because this amount is less than the $200 maximum for one child, multiply $175 by 25% ($175 multiplied by 25% = $44). Subtract the adjustment from the monthly average ($175 - $44 = $131). The adjusted amount of $131 may be added to the Basic Child Support Obligation.

Any adjustment for the payment of childcare costs with pre-tax dollars shall be calculated in a similar manner. A percentage adjustment other than twenty-five percent may be utilized if proven by the parent paying the childcare costs.

2. Education Expenses:

Any reasonable and necessary expenses for attending private or special schools or necessary expenses to meet particular educational needs of a child, when such expenses are incurred by agreement of both parents or ordered by the court.

3. Extraordinary Child:

These guidelines are designed to fit the needs of most children. The court may increase the Basic Child Support Obligation to provide for the special needs of gifted or handicapped children.

4. Older Child Adjustment

The average expenditures for child(ren) age twelve or older exceed the average expenditures for all children by approximately ten percent. Therefore, the court may increase child support for a child(ren) who has reached the age of twelve years by an amount up to ten percent of the support shown on the Schedule. If the court chooses to make an adjustment, the following method of calculation shall be used.

EXAMPLE: The Basic Child Support Obligation for one child, age 12, is $300. As much as $30 may be added to the basic child support obligation, for a total of $330. If not all children subject to the order are age 12 or over, the increase will be prorated as follows: Assume the Basic Child Support Obligation for three children is $300. If one of the three children is age 12 or over, assign 1/3 of the Basic Child Support Obligation to the older child ($100). Up to 10% ($10) of that portion of the Basic Child Support Obligation may be added as an older child adjustment, increasing the obligation to $310. NOTE: This proration method is limited to this section and should not be followed in Section 25.

10. Determining Each Parent's Proportionate Share of the Total Child Support Obligation

The Total Child Support Obligation shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their Adjusted Gross Incomes. The obligation of each parent is computed by multiplying each parent's share of the Combined Adjusted Gross Income by the Total Child Support Obligation.

EXAMPLE: Combined Adjusted Gross Income is $1,000. The father's Adjusted Gross Income is $600. Divide the father's Adjusted Gross Income by the Combined Adjusted Income. The result is the father's share of the Combined Adjusted Gross Income. ($600 divided by $1,000 = 60%) The father's share is 60%; the mother's share is 40%.

11. Adjustment for Costs Associated with Parenting Time

Because the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations is based on expenditures for children in intact households, there is no consideration for costs associated with parenting time. When parenting time is exercised by the noncustodial parent, a portion of the costs for children normally expended by the custodial parent shifts to the noncustodial parent. Accordingly, unless it is apparent from the circumstances that the noncustodial parent will not incur costs for the children during parenting time, when proof establishes that parenting time is or is expected to be exercised by the noncustodial parent, an adjustment shall be made to that parent's proportionate share of the Total Child Support Obligation.

For purposes of calculating parenting time days, only the time spent by a child with the noncustodial parent is considered. Time that the child is in school or childcare is not considered.

To calculate child support in equal custody cases, see section 12.

To adjust for the costs of parenting time, first determine the total amount of parenting time indicated in a court order or parenting plan or by the expectation or historical practice of the parents. Using the following definitions, add together each block of parenting time to arrive at the total number of parenting time days per year.

Calculate the number of parenting time days arising from any block of time the child spends with the noncustodial parent in the following manner:

a. Each block of time begins and ends when the noncustodial parent receives or returns the child from the custodial parent or from a third party with whom the custodial parent left the child. Third party includes, for example, a school or childcare provider.

b. Count one day of parenting time for each 24 hours within any block of time.

c. To the extent there is a period of less than 24 hours remaining in the block of time, after all 24-hour days are counted or for any block of time which is in total less than 24 hours in duration:

1. A period of 12 hours or more counts as one day.

2. A period of 6 to 11 hours counts as a half-day.

3. A period of 3 to 5 hours counts as a quarter-day.

4. Periods of less than 3 hours may count as a quarter-day if, during those hours, the noncustodial parent pays for routine expenses of the child, such as meals.

Examples:

1. Noncustodial parent receives the child at 9:00 pm on Thursday evening and brings the child to school at 8:00 am on Monday morning, from which custodial parent picks up the child at 3:00 pm on Monday.

A. 9:00 pm Thursday to 9:00 pm Sunday is three days.

b. 9:00 pm Sunday to 8:00 am Monday is 11 hours, which equals a half day.

c. total is 3 1/2 days.

2. Noncustodial parent picks the child up from school at 3:00 pm Friday and returns the child to school at 8:00 am on Monday.

a. 3:00 pm Friday to 3:00 pm Sunday is two days.

b. 3:00 pm Sunday to 8:00 am Monday is 17 hours, which equals one day.

c. total is 3 days.

3. Noncustodial parent picks up child from soccer at noon on Saturday, and returns the child to custodial parent at 9:00 pm on Sunday.

a. noon Saturday to noon Sunday is one day.

b. noon Sunday to 9:00 am Sunday is 9 hours, which equals 1/2 day.

c. total is 1 1/2 days.

After determining the total number of parenting time days, refer to " Parenting Time Table A" . The left two columns of the table set forth numbers of parenting time days in increasingly higher ranges. Adjacent to each range is an adjustment percentage. The parenting time adjustment is calculated as follows: Locate the total number of parenting time days per year in the left columns of " Parenting Time Table A" and select the adjustment percentage from the adjacent column. Multiply the Basic Child Support Obligation determined under Section 8 by the appropriate adjustment percentage. The number resulting from this multiplication then is subtracted from the proportionate share of the Total Child Support Obligation of the parent who exercises parenting time.

PARENTING TIME TABLE A

      Number of                          Adjustment

  Parenting Time Days                    Percentage

   0        3                                  0

   4        20                              .012

  21        38                              .031

  39        57                              .050

  58        72                              .085

  73        87                              .105

  88        115                             .161

  116       129                             .195

  130       142                             .253

  143       152                             .307

  153       162                             .362

  163       172                             .422

  173       182                             .486

EXAMPLE: The Basic Child Support Obligation from the Schedule is $425 for two children. After making all applicable adjustments under Section 8, the Total Child Support Obligation is $500 and the noncustodial parent's proportionate share is 60%, or $300. The noncustodial parent has parenting time with the children a total of 100 days. On Parenting Time Table, the range of days for this amount of parenting time is from 88 to 115 days. The corresponding adjustment percentage is .161. Multiply the $425 Basic Child Support Obligation by .161. The resulting $68.43 is subtracted from $300 (the noncustodial parent's proportionate share of the Total Child Support Obligation), adjusting the support obligation to $231.57.

As the number of parenting time days approaches equal time sharing (143 days and above), certain costs usually incurred only in the custodial household are assumed to be substantially or equally shared by both parents. These costs are for items such as the child's clothing and personal care items, entertainment and reading materials. If this assumption is rebutted by proof, for example, that such costs are not substantially or equally shared in each household, only parenting time table b must be used to calculate the parenting time adjustment for this range of days. Locate the total number of parenting time days per year in the left columns of " Parenting Time Table B" and select the adjustment percentage from the adjacent column. Multiply the basic child support obligation determined under Section 8 by the appropriate adjustment percentage. The number resulting from this multiplication then is subtracted from the proportionate share of the total child support obligation of the parent who exercises parenting time.

PARENTING TIME TABLE B

    Number of                 Adjustment

  Parenting Time Days         Percentage

  143       152                  .275

  153       162                  .293

  163       172                  .312

  173       182                  .331

12. Equal Custody

If the time spent with each parent is essentially equal, the expenses for the children are equally shared and gross adjusted incomes of the parents also are essentially equal, no support shall be paid. If the parents' incomes are not equal, the total child support amount shall be divided equally between the two households and the parent owing the greater amount shall be ordered to pay what is necessary to achieve that equal share in the other parent's household.

Example: After making all applicable adjustments under Sections 9 and 13, the remaining child support obligation is $1500. The parents' proportionate shares of the obligation are $1000 and $500. To equalize the support available in both households, deduct the lower amount from the higher amount ($1000 - $500 = $500) then divide the balance in half ($500/2 = $250). The resulting amount ($250) is paid to the parent with the lower obligation.

13. Adjustments For Other Costs

If a parent pays a cost under Section 9.a. or 9.b. (except 9.b.4), deduct the cost from that parent's proportionate share of income to arrive at the preliminary child support amount.

EXAMPLE: A noncustodial parent pays for medical insurance through his or her employer. These costs are added to the basic child support obligation pursuant to section 9.a, then prorated between the parents to arrive at each parent's proportionate child support obligation. Because the cost has already been paid to a third party (the insurance company), the cost must be deducted from the noncustodial parent's child support obligation because this portion of the child support obligation has already been paid.

14. Determining the Child Support Order

The court shall order the noncustodial parent to pay child support in an amount equal to his or her proportionate share of the Total Child Support Obligation. The custodial parent shall be presumed to spend his or her share directly on the children.

EXAMPLE: On the Schedule, the Basic Child Support Obligation for a Combined Adjusted Gross Income of $1,500 for one child is $329. To this the court adds $33 because the child is over 12 years of age (10% in this example). The Total Child Support Obligation is $362.

The father's share is 60% of $362, or $217. The mother's share is 40% of $362, or $145. Custody is granted to the mother and under the court-approved parenting plan, parenting time will be exercised by the father a total of 100 days per year resulting in an adjustment of $53 ($329 X 16.1%). After adjusting for parenting time, the father's share is $164 ($217 less $53). The father shall pay the child support amount of $164 per month. The value of the mother's contribution is $145, and she spends it directly on the child.

15. Self Support Reserve Test

In each case, after determining the child support order, the court shall perform a self support reserve test to verify that the noncustodial parent is financially able both to pay the child support order and to maintain at least a minimum standard of living, as follows:

Deduct $775 (the self support reserve amount) from the noncustodial parent's Adjusted Gross Income, except that the court may deduct from such parent's adjusted gross income for purposes of the self support reserve test, only court-ordered arrears on child support for children of other relationships or spousal maintenance if actually paid. If the resulting amount is less than the child support order, the court may reduce the current child support order to the resulting amount after first considering the financial impact the reduction would have on the custodial parent's household. The test applies only to the current support obligation, but does not prohibit an additional amount to be ordered to reduce an obligor's arrears.

Example: Before applying the self support reserve test, the child support order is calculated under the guidelines to be $175. The adjusted gross income of the noncustodial parent is $850. Subtracting the self-support reserve amount of $775 from the noncustodial parent's adjusted gross income of $850 leaves $75. Because this resulting amount is less than the $175 child support order, the court may reduce the child support order to the resulting amount. However, before making any reduction, the court shall examine the self-support capability of the non-paying parent, using the same self support reserve test applied to the noncustodial parent.

In this example, non-paying parent's proportionate share of the total child support obligation calculated under the guidelines to be $200. This parent's adjusted gross income is $892. Subtracting the self support reserve of $775 leaves $117. Because this resulting amount is less than the parent's proportionate share of the total child support obligation, it is evident that both parents have insufficient income to be self supporting. In this situation, the court has discretion to determine whether and in what amount the child support order (the amount the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay) may be reduced.

16. Multiple Children, Divided Custody

When each parent is granted physical custody of at least one of the parties' children, each parent is obligated to contribute to the support of all the children. However, the amount of current support to be paid by the parent having the greater support obligation shall be reduced by the amount of support owed to that parent by the other parent.

EXAMPLE: (For simplicity, this example does not consider parenting time.) Combined Adjusted Gross Income is $3,000 per month. Father's gross income is $1,000 per month (33.3%) and he has custody of one child. Mother's gross income is $2,000 per month (66.6%) and she has custody of two children.

Prepare a Parent's Worksheet to determine support for children in the mother's household. Locate the Combined Adjusted Gross Income figure of $3,000 on the Schedule. Select the support figure in the column for the two children in this household, $817. The father's share is 33.3% of $817 or $272.

Prepare a Parent's Worksheet to determine support for the child in the father's household. Locate the Combined Adjusted Gross Income figure of $3,000. Select the support figure in the column for the one child in this household, $589. The mother's share is 66.6% of $589, or $392.

The mother is obligated to pay the father $392 for child support. This amount is reduced by the $272 obligation owed by the father to the mother. Thus, the mother shall pay $120 per month.

17. Support Assigned to the State

If support has been assigned to the state under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 46-407, the obligation of a parent to pay support shall not be offset by child support arrearages that may be owed to that parent.

18. Travel Expenses Associated with Parenting Time

The court may allocate travel expenses of the child associated with parenting time in cases where one-way travel exceeds 100 miles. In doing so, the court shall consider the means of the parents and may consider how their conduct (such as a change of residence) has affected the costs of parenting time. To the extent possible, any allocation shall ensure that the child has continued contact with each parent. A parent who is entitled to receive reimbursement from the other parent for allocated parenting time expenses shall, upon request of the other parent, provide receipts or other evidence of payments actually made. The allocation of expenses does not change the amount of the support ordered.

19. Gifts in Lieu of Money

Once child support has been ordered by the court, the child support is to be paid in money. Gifts of clothing, etc. in lieu of money are not to be offset against the support order except by court order.

20. Deviations

a. The court shall deviate from the guidelines, i.e., order support in an amount different from that which is provided pursuant to these guidelines, after considering all relevant factors, including those set forth in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 25-320, and applicable case law, only if all of the following criteria are met:

1. Application of the guidelines is inappropriate or unjust in the particular case,

2. The court has considered the best interests of the child in determining the amount of a deviation. A deviation that reduces the amount of support paid is not, by itself, contrary to the best interests of the child,

3. The court makes written findings regarding 1 and 2 above in the child support order, minute entry or child support worksheet,

4. The court shows what the order would have been without the deviation, and

5. The court shows what the order is after deviating.

b. The court may deviate from the guidelines based upon an agreement of the parties only if all of the following criteria are met:

1. The agreement is in writing or stated on the record pursuant to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80(D),

2. All parties have entered into the agreement with knowledge of the amount of support that would have been ordered under the guidelines but for the agreement,

3. All parties have entered into the agreement free of duress and coercion, and

4. The court complies with the requirements of Section 20.a.

21. Third-Party Care Givers

When a child lives with a third-party care giver by virtue of a court order, administrative placement by a state agency or under color of authority, the third-party care giver is entitled to receive support payments from each parent on behalf of the child.

22. Court's Findings

The court shall make findings in the record as to: Gross Income, Adjusted Gross Income, Basic Child Support Obligation, Total Child Support Obligation, each parent's proportionate share of the child support obligation, and the child support order.

The findings may be made by incorporating a worksheet containing this information into the file.

If the court attributes income above minimum wage income, the court shall explain the reason for its decision.

The child support order shall be set forth in a sum certain and start on a date certain. A new child support order shall be filed upon any change in the amount or due date of the child support obligation.

23. Exchange of Information

The court shall order that every twenty-four months financial information such as tax returns, financial affidavits, and earning statements be exchanged between the parties.

Unless the court has ordered otherwise, at the time the parties exchange financial information, they shall also exchange residential addresses and the names and addresses of their employers.

24. Modification

a. Standard Procedure

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 25-503 and 25-327, either parent or the state title IV-D agency may ask the court to modify a child support order upon a showing of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances.

b. Simplified Procedure

Either parent or the state title IV-D agency may request the court to modify a child support order if application of the guidelines results in an order that varies fifteen percent or more from the existing amount. A fifteen percent variation in the amount of the order will be considered evidence of substantial and continuing change of circumstances. A request for modification of the child support amount must be accompanied by a completed and sworn " Parent's Worksheet for Child Support Amount," and documentation supporting the incomes if different from the court's most recent findings regarding income of the parents. If the party requesting the modification is unable to provide documentation supporting the other party's income, the requesting party shall indicate that the income amount is attributed/estimated and state the basis for the amount listed. The state title IV-D agency may submit a parent's worksheet.

The simplified procedure also may be used by either parent or the state title IV-D agency to modify a child support order to assign or alter the responsibility to provide medical insurance for a child who is subject of a support order. A modification of the medical assignment or responsibility does not need to vary by fifteen percent or more from the existing amount to use the simplified procedure.

A copy of the request for modification of child support and the " Parent's Worksheet for Child Support Amount," including supporting documentation, showing that the proposed child support amount would vary fifteen percent or more from the existing child support order shall be served on the other parent, or on both parents if filed by the state title IV-D agency, pursuant to Rules 4.1 and 4.2, Rules of Civil Procedure.

If the requested modification is disputed, the parent receiving service must request a hearing within 20 days of service. If service is made outside the state, as provided in Rule 4.2, Rules of Civil Procedure, the parent receiving service must request a hearing within 30 days of service.

A party requesting a hearing shall file a written request for hearing accompanied by a completed and sworn " Parent's Worksheet for Child Support Amount." Copies of the documents filed, together with the notice of hearing, shall be served on the other party and, if appropriate, the state Title IV-D agency by first class mail not less than ten judicial days prior to the hearing.

Upon proof of service and if no hearing is requested within the time allowed, the court will review the request and enter an appropriate order or set the matter for hearing.

If any party requests a hearing within the time allowed, the court shall conduct such hearing. No order shall be modified without a hearing if one is requested.

The notice provision of Rule 55, Rules of Civil Procedure, does not apply to this simplified modification procedure.

A request to modify child support, request for a hearing and notice of hearing, " Parent's Worksheet for Child Support Amount" and child support order filed or served pursuant to this subsection must be made using forms approved by the Arizona Supreme Court or substantially similar forms.

Approved forms are available from the Clerk of the Superior Court.

25. Effect of Cessation of Support for One Child

If support for more than one child was ordered under these guidelines and thereafter the duty to support one of the children stops, the order is not automatically reduced by that child's share. To obtain a modification to the support order, a request must be made in writing to the court to recalculate the support obligation pursuant to these guidelines. The procedure specified in Section 24 may be used for this purpose.

EXAMPLE: The child support order for an income of $1,500, with four children is $600. One child graduates from high school and turns 18. In determining the new child support amount, do not deduct one-fourth of the order for a new order of $450. Instead, determine a new child support order by applying the guidelines. (NOTE: This method varies from the one used in Section 9.b.4).

26. Income and Benefits Received by or on Behalf of a Child

A. Income earned or money received by a child from any sources other than court-ordered child support shall not. Be counted toward either parent's child support obligation except as stated herein. However, income earned or money received by or on behalf of a person for whom support is ordered to continued past the age of majority pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute Sections 25-320.B and 25-809.F may be credited against any child support obligation.

B. Benefits, such as Social Security Disability or Insurance, received by a custodial parent on behalf of a child, as a result of contributions made by the parent paying support shall be credited as follows:

1. If the amount of the child's benefit for a given month is equal to or greater than the paying parent's child support obligation, then that parent's obligation is satisfied.

2. Any benefit received by the child for a given month in excess of the child support obligation shall not be treated as an arrearage payment nor as a credit toward future child support payments.

3. If the amount of the child's benefit for a given month is less than the parent's child support obligation, the parent shall pay the difference unless the court, in its discretion, modifies the child support order to equal the benefits being received at that time.

C. Except as otherwise provided in section 5.b., any benefits received directly, and not on behalf of a child, be either the custodial parent or the parent paying child support as a result of his or her own contributions, shall be included as part of that parent's gross income.

27. Federal Tax Exemption for Dependent Children

In any case in which the current child support obligation is at least $1,200 per year, there should be an allocation of the federal tax exemptions applicable to the minor children which as closely as possible approximates the percentages of support being provided by each of the parents. If it is determined that a party who is otherwise entitled to the dependency exemption based upon the above percentages will not derive a tax benefit from claiming the dependency exemption, the exemption should be allocated to the other party. The allocation of the exemptions shall be conditioned upon payment by December 31 of the total court-ordered child support obligation for the current calendar year and any court-ordered arrearage payments due during that calendar year for which the exemption is to be claimed. If these conditions have been met, the custodial parent shall execute the necessary Internal Revenue Service forms to transfer the exemptions. If the noncustodial parent has paid the current support, but has not paid the court-ordered arrearage payments, the noncustodial parent shall not be entitled to claim the exemption.

EXAMPLE: Noncustodial parent's percentage of gross income is approximately 67% and custodial parent's percentage is approximately 33%. All payments are current.

If there are three children, the noncustodial parent would be entitled to claim two and the custodial parent would claim one.

If there is only one child, the noncustodial parent would be entitled to claim the child two out of every three years, and the custodial parent would claim the child one out of every three years.

For purposes of this section only, a noncustodial parent shall be credited as having paid child support that has been deducted on or before December 31 pursuant to an order of assignment if the amount has been received by the court or clearinghouse by January 15 of the following year.

28. Child Support Arrears

A. When setting an amount for a payment on arrears, the court should take into consideration that interest accrues on the principal balance. If the court sets a payment on arrears less than the amount of the accruing monthly interest, the court shall make a finding why the amount is less than the accruing monthly interest. Upon showing of substantial and continuing changed circumstances, the court may adjust the amount of payment on arrears.

B. When a current child support obligation terminates, before adjusting the order of assignment to an amount less than the current child support amount and the payment arrears, the court shall consider the total amount of arrears and the accruing interest, and the time that it will take the obligor to pay these amounts.

29. Effective Date and Grounds for Modifications

A. Except for defaults or as otherwise agreed upon by the parties, all child support orders entered after December 31, 2004, shall be made pursuant to these guidelines, whether they be original orders or modifications of preexisting orders, unless the court determines otherwise based on good cause shown. in cases of default, the guidelines in effect at the time of filing the action will be used. the parties may agree to use either the guidelines in effect at the time of filing the action or those in effect at the time the order is entered.

B. A substantial variance between an existing child support order and an amount resulting from application of the new guidelines may be considered evidence of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances for purposes of a modification. A variance of at least 15% would be evidence of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances.

Schedule of Basic Support Obligations

  This Schedule is only part of the overall guidelines and must be used

together with the accompanying information.

COMBINED

ADJUSTED      ONE       TWO      THREE     FOUR      FIVE      SIX

GROSS        CHILD   CHILDREN  CHILDREN  CHILDREN  CHILDREN  CHILDREN

INCOME

  700         167       238       277       309       340       370

  750         178       253       295       329       362       393

  800         189       268       312       348       382       416

  850         199       282       329       366       403       438

  900         210       297       345       385       424       461

  950         220       312       362       404       444       483

1000         231       326       379       423       465       506

1050         241       341       396       442       486       528

1100         251       355       413       460       506       551

1150         262       370       430       479       527       573

1200         272       385       447       498       548       596

1250         281       397       461       514       565       615

1300         291       410       476       531       584       635

1350         300       424       492       548       603       656

1400         310       437       507       565       622       677

1450         319       451       523       583       641       697

1500         329       464       538       600       660       718

1550         338       477       554       617       679       739

1600         348       491       569       634       698       759

1650         357       504       585       652       717       780

1700         367       518       600       669       736       801

1750         377       531       615       686       755       821

1800         386       543       629       702       772       840

1850         394       555       643       717       788       858

1900         403       567       656       732       805       876

1950         411       578       670       747       821       893

2000         420       590       683       761       838       911

2050         429       602       696       776       854       929

2100         437       614       710       791       870       947

2150         446       625       723       806       887       965

2200         455       637       736       821       903       983

2250         463       649       750       836       920      1000

2300         472       661       763       851       936      1018

2350         481       672       776       865       952      1036

2400         489       683       788       879       967      1052

2450         497       694       801       893       982      1069

2500         505       705       813       907       997      1085

2550         514       717       826       921      1013      1102

2600         522       728       838       934      1028      1118

2650         530       739       850       948      1043      1135

2700         539       750       863       962      1058      1151

2750         547       761       875       976      1073      1168

2800         555       772       888       990      1089      1184

2850         564       783       900      1003      1104      1201

2900         572       794       913      1018      1119      1218

2950         581       806       926      1033      1136      1236

3000         589       817       939      1047      1151      1253

3050         596       827       950      1059      1165      1268

3100         603       837       961      1072      1179      1283

3150         610       847       973      1084      1193      1298

3200         617       857       984      1097      1207      1313

3250         625       867       995      1109      1220      1328

3300         632       877      1006      1122      1234      1343

3350         639       887      1018      1135      1248      1358

3400         646       896      1029      1147      1262      1373

3450         653       906      1040      1160      1276      1388

3500         660       916      1051      1172      1289      1403

3550         668       926      1063      1185      1303      1418

3600         674       935      1072      1196      1315      1431

3650         680       943      1081      1206      1326      1443

3700         686       951      1090      1216      1337      1455

3750         692       959      1099      1226      1348      1467

3800         698       967      1108      1236      1359      1479

3850         704       975      1117      1245      1370      1491

3900         710       984      1126      1255      1381      1502

3950         716       992      1135      1265      1392      1514

4000         722      1000      1144      1275      1403      1526

4050         728      1008      1153      1285      1414      1538

4100         734      1016      1162      1295      1425      1550

4150         740      1024      1171      1305      1436      1562

4200         746      1032      1179      1315      1447      1574

4250         753      1040      1188      1325      1458      1586

4300         756      1045      1193      1330      1463      1592

4350         759      1048      1195      1332      1466      1594

4400         762      1050      1197      1335      1468      1597

4450         764      1053      1199      1337      1471      1600

4500         767      1056      1201      1339      1473      1603

4550         770      1058      1203      1342      1476      1606

4600         772      1061      1205      1344      1478      1608

4650         775      1064      1207      1346      1481      1611

4700         778      1067      1209      1348      1483      1614

4750         780      1069      1211      1351      1486      1617

4800         783      1072      1214      1353      1488      1619

4850         786      1075      1216      1355      1491      1622

4900         788      1077      1218      1358      1493      1625

4950         791      1080      1220      1360      1496      1628

5000         794      1084      1223      1364      1501      1633

5050         798      1088      1228      1369      1506      1638

5100         801      1092      1232      1374      1511      1644

5150         804      1096      1236      1378      1516      1650

5200         808      1100      1241      1383      1522      1656

5250         811      1104      1245      1388      1527      1661

5300         815      1108      1249      1393      1532      1667

5350         818      1113      1253      1398      1537      1673

5400         821      1117      1258      1402      1543      1678

5450         825      1121      1262      1407      1548      1684

5500         828      1125      1266      1412      1553      1690

5550         831      1129      1271      1417      1558      1696

5600         835      1133      1275      1422      1564      1701

5650         838      1137      1279      1426      1569      1707

5700         842      1142      1284      1432      1575      1713

5750         845      1146      1289      1437      1581      1720

5800         849      1150      1293      1442      1586      1726

5850         852      1155      1298      1447      1592      1732

5900         856      1159      1303      1453      1598      1739

5950         859      1163      1307      1458      1603      1745

6000         863      1168      1312      1463      1609      1751

6050         866      1172      1316      1468      1614      1757

6100         870      1176      1321      1473      1620      1762

6150         873      1180      1325      1478      1625      1768

6200         876      1184      1330      1483      1631      1774

6250         880      1188      1334      1488      1636      1780

6300         883      1192      1339      1493      1642      1786

6350         886      1197      1343      1498      1647      1792

6400         890      1201      1348      1503      1653      1798

6450         893      1205      1352      1508      1658      1804

6500         897      1209      1357      1513      1664      1810

6550         900      1213      1361      1518      1669      1816

6600         903      1217      1366      1523      1675      1822

6650         907      1221      1370      1528      1680      1828

6700         910      1226      1374      1533      1686      1834

6750         914      1230      1379      1538      1691      1840

6800         915      1231      1380      1539      1692      1841

6850         915      1232      1381      1539      1693      1842

6900         916      1233      1381      1540      1694      1843

6950         917      1234      1382      1541      1695      1844

7000         918      1234      1383      1542      1696      1845

7050         919      1235      1384      1543      1697      1847

7100         920      1236      1385      1544      1698      1848

7150         921      1237      1385      1545      1699      1849

7200         922      1238      1386      1546      1700      1850

7250         923      1239      1387      1547      1701      1851

7300         924      1240      1388      1548      1702      1852

7350         925      1241      1389      1548      1703      1853

7400         926      1242      1390      1549      1704      1854

7450         927      1243      1390      1550      1705      1855

7500         928      1244      1391      1551      1706      1857

7550         928      1245      1392      1552      1707      1858

7600         929      1246      1393      1553      1708      1859

7650         930      1247      1394      1554      1710      1860

7700         931      1248      1395      1555      1711      1861

7750         932      1249      1396      1556      1712      1862

7800         933      1250      1396      1557      1713      1863

7850         934      1251      1397      1558      1714      1864

7900         935      1252      1398      1559      1715      1866

7950         936      1253      1399      1560      1716      1867

8000         937      1254      1400      1561      1717      1868

8050         938      1255      1401      1562      1718      1869

8100         939      1256      1401      1563      1719      1870

8150         942      1261      1406      1568      1724      1876

8200         947      1267      1413      1575      1732      1885

8250         951      1273      1419      1582      1741      1894

8300         956      1279      1426      1590      1749      1903

8350         960      1285      1432      1597      1757      1912

8400         965      1291      1439      1605      1765      1920

8450         969      1297      1446      1612      1773      1929

8500         974      1303      1452      1619      1781      1938

8550         978      1309      1459      1627      1789      1947

8600         983      1315      1466      1634      1798      1956

8650         987      1321      1472      1642      1806      1965

8700         992      1327      1479      1649      1814      1974

8750         996      1333      1486      1656      1822      1982

8800        1001      1339      1492      1664      1830      1991

8850        1005      1345      1499      1671      1838      2000

8900        1010      1351      1506      1679      1847      2009

8950        1014      1357      1512      1686      1855      2018

9000        1019      1363      1519      1693      1863      2027

9050        1024      1369      1525      1701      1871      2036

9100        1028      1375      1532      1708      1879      2044

9150        1033      1381      1539      1716      1887      2053

9200        1037      1387      1545      1723      1895      2062

9250        1042      1394      1552      1730      1904      2071

9300        1046      1400      1559      1738      1912      2080

9350        1051      1406      1565      1745      1920      2089

9400        1055      1412      1572      1753      1928      2098

9450        1060      1418      1579      1760      1936      2106

9500        1063      1422      1583      1765      1941      2112

9550        1066      1426      1587      1770      1946      2118

9600        1069      1430      1591      1774      1952      2123

9650        1072      1434      1595      1779      1957      2129

9700        1075      1438      1599      1783      1962      2134

9750        1079      1442      1604      1788      1967      2140

9800        1082      1446      1608      1793      1972      2145

9850        1085      1450      1612      1797      1977      2151

9900        1088      1454      1616      1802      1982      2157

9950        1091      1458      1620      1807      1987      2162

10000        1094      1462      1624      1811      1992      2168

10050        1098      1466      1629      1816      1997      2173

10100        1101      1470      1633      1821      2003      2179

10150        1104      1474      1637      1825      2008      2184

10200        1107      1478      1641      1830      2013      2190

10250        1110      1482      1645      1834      2018      2195

10300        1113      1486      1649      1839      2023      2201

10350        1116      1490      1654      1844      2028      2207

10400        1120      1493      1658      1848      2033      2212

10450        1123      1497      1662      1853      2038      2218

10500        1126      1501      1666      1858      2043      2223

10550        1129      1505      1670      1862      2048      2229

10600        1132      1509      1674      1867      2054      2234

10650        1135      1513      1678      1872      2059      2240

10700        1139      1517      1683      1876      2064      2245

10750        1142      1521      1687      1881      2069      2251

10800        1145      1525      1691      1885      2074      2256

10850        1148      1529      1695      1890      2079      2262

10900        1151      1533      1699      1895      2084      2268

10950        1154      1537      1703      1899      2089      2273

11000        1157      1541      1708      1904      2094      2279

11050        1161      1545      1712      1909      2099      2284

11100        1164      1549      1716      1913      2105      2290

11150        1167      1553      1720      1918      2110      2295

11200        1170      1557      1724      1923      2115      2301

11250        1173      1561      1728      1927      2120      2306

11300        1176      1565      1733      1932      2125      2312

11350        1180      1569      1737      1936      2130      2318

11400        1183      1573      1741      1941      2135      2323

11450        1186      1577      1745      1946      2140      2329

11500        1189      1581      1749      1950      2145      2334

11550        1191      1584      1753      1954      2150      2339

11600        1194      1588      1756      1958      2154      2344

11650        1197      1591      1760      1963      2159      2349

11700        1199      1595      1764      1967      2164      2354

11750        1202      1598      1768      1971      2168      2359

11800        1205      1602      1772      1976      2173      2364

11850        1207      1605      1776      1980      2178      2369

11900        1210      1609      1779      1984      2182      2374

11950        1213      1612      1783      1988      2187      2380

12000        1215      1616      1787      1993      2192      2385

12050        1218      1619      1791      1997      2196      2390

12100        1221      1622      1795      2001      2201      2395

12150        1223      1626      1798      2005      2206      2400

12200        1226      1629      1802      2010      2210      2405

12250        1229      1633      1806      2014      2215      2410

12300        1231      1636      1810      2018      2220      2415

12350        1234      1640      1814      2022      2225      2420

12400        1237      1643      1818      2027      2229      2425

12450        1239      1647      1821      2031      2234      2430

12500        1241      1650      1825      2034      2238      2435

12550        1244      1653      1828      2038      2242      2439

12600        1246      1656      1831      2042      2246      2444

12650        1249      1659      1835      2046      2251      2449

12700        1251      1662      1838      2050      2255      2453

12750        1254      1666      1842      2054      2259      2458

12800        1256      1669      1845      2058      2263      2462

12850        1258      1672      1849      2061      2268      2467

12900        1261      1675      1852      2065      2272      2472

12950        1263      1678      1856      2069      2276      2476

13000        1266      1681      1859      2073      2280      2481

13050        1268      1684      1863      2077      2284      2486

13100        1270      1688      1866      2081      2289      2490

13150        1273      1691      1870      2085      2293      2495

13200        1275      1694      1873      2088      2297      2499

13250        1278      1697      1876      2092      2301      2504

13300        1280      1700      1880      2096      2306      2509

13350        1283      1703      1883      2100      2310      2513

13400        1285      1707      1887      2104      2314      2518

13450        1287      1710      1890      2108      2318      2522

13500        1290      1713      1894      2112      2323      2527

13550        1292      1716      1897      2115      2327      2532

13600        1295      1719      1901      2119      2331      2536

13650        1297      1722      1904      2123      2335      2541

13700        1299      1726      1908      2127      2340      2546

13750        1302      1729      1911      2131      2344      2550

13800        1304      1732      1914      2135      2348      2555

13850        1307      1735      1918      2139      2352      2559

13900        1309      1738      1921      2142      2357      2564

13950        1312      1741      1925      2146      2361      2569

14000        1314      1744      1928      2150      2365      2573

14050        1316      1748      1932      2154      2369      2578

14100        1319      1751      1935      2158      2374      2582

14150        1321      1754      1939      2162      2378      2587

14200        1324      1757      1942      2166      2382      2592

14250        1326      1760      1946      2169      2386      2596

14300        1329      1763      1949      2173      2391      2601

14350        1331      1767      1953      2177      2395      2606

14400        1333      1770      1956      2181      2399      2610

14450        1336      1773      1959      2185      2403      2615

14500        1338      1776      1963      2189      2408      2619

14550        1341      1779      1966      2193      2412      2624

14600        1343      1782      1970      2196      2416      2629

14650        1345      1786      1973      2200      2420      2633

14700        1348      1788      1976      2203      2424      2637

14750        1350      1790      1978      2206      2426      2640

14800        1352      1793      1981      2208      2429      2643

14850        1354      1795      1983      2211      2432      2646

14900        1356      1798      1985      2214      2435      2649

14950        1358      1800      1988      2216      2438      2652

15000        1360      1802      1990      2219      2441      2656

15050        1362      1805      1992      2222      2444      2659

15100        1364      1807      1995      2224      2447      2662

15150        1366      1809      1997      2227      2449      2665

15200        1368      1812      1999      2229      2452      2668

15250        1370      1814      2002      2232      2455      2671

15300        1372      1817      2004      2235      2458      2674

15350        1374      1819      2006      2237      2461      2677

15400        1376      1821      2009      2240      2464      2681

15450        1378      1824      2011      2242      2467      2684

15500        1380      1826      2013      2245      2470      2687

15550        1382      1828      2016      2248      2472      2690

15600        1384      1831      2018      2250      2475      2693

15650        1386      1833      2021      2253      2478      2696

15700        1388      1835      2023      2256      2481      2699

15750        1390      1838      2025      2258      2484      2703

15800        1392      1840      2028      2261      2487      2706

15850        1394      1843      2030      2263      2490      2709

15900        1396      1845      2032      2266      2493      2712

15950        1398      1847      2035      2269      2495      2715

16000        1400      1850      2037      2271      2498      2718

16050        1402      1852      2039      2274      2501      2721

16100        1404      1854      2042      2276      2504      2724

16150        1406      1857      2044      2279      2507      2728

16200        1408      1859      2046      2282      2510      2731

16250        1410      1861      2049      2284      2513      2734

16300        1412      1864      2051      2287      2516      2737

16350        1414      1866      2053      2290      2518      2740

16400        1416      1869      2056      2292      2521      2743

16450        1418      1871      2058      2295      2524      2746

16500        1420      1873      2060      2297      2527      2749

16550        1422      1876      2063      2300      2530      2753

16600        1424      1878      2065      2303      2533      2756

16650        1426      1880      2067      2305      2536      2759

16700        1428      1883      2070      2308      2539      2762

16750        1430      1885      2072      2310      2541      2765

16800        1432      1887      2074      2313      2544      2768

16850        1434      1890      2077      2316      2547      2771

16900        1436      1892      2079      2318      2550      2775

16950        1438      1895      2082      2321      2553      2778

17000        1440      1897      2084      2324      2556      2781

17050        1442      1899      2086      2326      2559      2784

17100        1444      1902      2089      2329      2562      2787

17150        1446      1904      2091      2331      2564      2790

17200        1448      1906      2093      2334      2567      2793

17250        1450      1909      2096      2337      2570      2796

17300        1452      1911      2098      2339      2573      2800

17350        1454      1914      2100      2342      2576      2803

17400        1456      1916      2103      2344      2579      2806

17450        1458      1918      2105      2347      2582      2809

17500        1460      1921      2107      2350      2585      2812

17550        1462      1923      2110      2352      2588      2815

17600        1464      1925      2112      2355      2590      2818

17650        1466      1928      2114      2358      2593      2821

17700        1468      1930      2117      2360      2596      2825

17750        1470      1932      2119      2363      2599      2828

17800        1472      1935      2121      2365      2602      2831

17850        1474      1937      2124      2368      2605      2834

17900        1476      1940      2126      2371      2608      2837

17950        1478      1942      2128      2373      2611      2840

18000        1480      1944      2131      2376      2613      2843

18050        1482      1947      2133      2378      2616      2847

18100        1484      1949      2135      2381      2619      2850

18150        1486      1951      2138      2384      2622      2853

18200        1488      1954      2140      2386      2625      2856

18250        1490      1956      2143      2389      2628      2859

18300        1492      1958      2145      2392      2631      2862

18350        1494      1961      2147      2394      2634      2865

18400        1496      1963      2150      2397      2636      2868

18450        1498      1966      2152      2399      2639      2872

18500        1500      1968      2154      2402      2642      2875

18550        1502      1970      2157      2405      2645      2878

18600        1504      1973      2159      2407      2648      2881

18650        1506      1975      2161      2410      2651      2884

18700        1508      1977      2164      2412      2654      2887

18750        1510      1980      2166      2415      2657      2890

18800        1512      1982      2168      2418      2659      2893

18850        1514      1984      2171      2420      2662      2897

18900        1516      1987      2173      2423      2665      2900

18950        1518      1989      2175      2426      2668      2903

19000        1520      1992      2178      2428      2671      2906

19050        1522      1994      2180      2431      2674      2909

19100        1524      1996      2182      2433      2677      2912

19150        1526      1999      2185      2436      2680      2915

19200        1528      2001      2187      2439      2682      2918

19250        1530      2003      2189      2441      2685      2922

19300        1532      2006      2192      2444      2688      2925

19350        1535      2008      2194      2446      2691      2928

19400        1537      2011      2196      2449      2694      2931

19450        1539      2013      2199      2452      2697      2934

19500        1541      2015      2201      2454      2700      2937

19550        1543      2018      2203      2457      2703      2940

19600        1545      2020      2206      2460      2705      2944

19650        1547      2022      2208      2462      2708      2947

19700        1549      2025      2211      2465      2711      2950

19750        1551      2027      2213      2467      2714      2953

19800        1553      2029      2215      2470      2717      2956

19850        1555      2032      2218      2473      2720      2959

19900        1557      2034      2220      2475      2723      2962

19950        1559      2037      2222      2478      2726      2965

20000        1561      2039      2225      2480      2728      2969

                                

25-320.02. Self-employed parent; tax practitioner; definition

A. On request of either parent or on the court's own motion, before the court enters an order for child support pursuant to section 25-320, the court may order both parents to meet with a federally authorized tax practitioner if at least one of the parents is self-employed. The federally authorized tax practitioner shall review the accuracy of the self-employed parent's records and submit a written report to the court to help it determine the child support obligation.

B. Each parent may submit to the court the names of not more than two federally authorized tax practitioners. If the parents cannot agree on a federally authorized tax practitioner to conduct the review, the court shall make this choice from a list of names submitted by the parents.

C. The parents shall equally share the cost of the federally authorized tax practitioner.

D. For the purposes of this section, " federally authorized tax practitioner" has the same meaning prescribed in section 42-2069.

25-321. Representation of child by counsel; fees

The court may appoint an attorney to represent the interests of a minor or dependent child with respect to the child's support, custody and parenting time. The court may enter an order for costs, fees and disbursements in favor of the child's attorney. The order may be made against either or both parents.

25-322. Payment of maintenance or support; records; disclosure

A. Except as provided in section 46-441, the court shall order that maintenance or support payments be made to the support payment clearinghouse for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments unless the parties agree otherwise.

B. The clerk of the court or the support payment clearinghouse shall maintain records listing the amount of payments, the date payments are required to be made, the names and addresses of the parties affected by the order and the name and address of the employer or employers of the party ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance.

C. Unless the court has ordered otherwise the parties affected by the order shall inform the clerk of the court or the support payment clearinghouse in writing on entry of the order of their residential address and within ten days of any change of address. A party ordered to pay support or maintenance shall also inform the clerk or the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the name and address of that person's employer or employers and within ten days of any change of employment. If a person fails to notify the clerk of the court or the support payment clearinghouse of a change in residential address or employment the court may hold the person in contempt of court.

D. If the person obligated to pay support has left or is beyond the jurisdiction of the court, any party may institute any other proceeding available under the laws of this state for enforcement of the duties of support and maintenance.

E. On application by any person entitled to receive child support or spousal maintenance and for good cause shown, the superior court may direct an agency or officer of this state to disclose information and documents in the agency's or officer's possession that may assist the applicant or the court to determine the obligor's income, residence, place of employment, assets and debts, except that the residence and place of employment shall not be disclosed if the court finds the obligor has been the victim of domestic violence.

25-323. Assignments

A. Pursuant to the requirements of section 25-504, in any proceeding in which the court orders a person to pay support as defined in section 25-500 the court shall, and in any proceeding in which the court orders a person to pay spousal maintenance the court may, assign to the person or agency entitled to receive the support or spousal maintenance that portion of that person's earnings, income, entitlements or other monies without regard to source as necessary to pay the amount ordered by the court.

B. The court may also issue an ex parte order of assignment pursuant to section 25-504 for support as defined in section 25-500, spousal maintenance or arrearages of or interest on a judgment for spousal maintenance.

C. The court may terminate or adjust orders of assignment pursuant to section 25-504.

25-323.03. Forms; alternative forms

A. The petition or request for assignment, order for assignment, notices to obligor and employer, request for hearing and motion to quash or request to stop or modify the order of assignment shall be on forms prescribed by the supreme court and shall be furnished by the clerk of the superior court as required by law or on request of any obligor, payee or employer.

B. Any party to a proceeding for assignment may use documents other than those provided pursuant to this section if the documents are substantially similar to those prescribed by the supreme court pursuant to this section.

25-324. Attorney fees

The court from time to time, after considering the financial resources of both parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken throughout the proceedings, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other party for the costs and expenses of maintaining or defending any proceeding under this chapter or chapter 4, article 1 of this title. For the purpose of this section costs and expenses may include attorney's fees, deposition costs and other reasonable expenses as the court finds necessary to the full and proper presentation of the action, including any appeal. The court may order all amounts paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's name with the same force and effect, and in the same manner, as if the order had been made on behalf of any party to the action.

25-325. Decree; finality; restoration of maiden name

A. A decree of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation is final when entered, subject to the right of appeal. An appeal from the decree of dissolution that does not challenge the finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken does not delay the finality of that provision of the decree which dissolves the marriage beyond the time for appealing from that provision, and either of the parties may remarry pending appeal. An order directing payment of money for support or maintenance of the spouse or the minor child or children shall not be suspended or the execution of the order stayed pending the appeal.

B. Either party to a decree of legal separation may file a petition for dissolution of marriage in accordance with the requirements of section 25-314. The petition shall be filed under the same case number as the legal separation but shall be considered and shall proceed as a new and separate action with service of process in accordance with rule 4 of the rules of civil procedure. The court may enter a decree of dissolution of marriage in the new action in accordance with section 25-312 upon such terms as are just and without regard to section 25-327, subsection A, except that the provisions as to property disposition in the decree of legal separation or any property settlement agreement approved by the court may not be revoked or modified, unless the court finds the existence of conditions that justify the reopening of a judgment under the laws of this state.

C. Upon request by a party at any time prior to the signing of the decree of dissolution or annulment by the court, the court shall order that party's requested former name be restored.

25-326. Independence of provisions of decree or temporary order; forms

A. If a party fails to comply with a provision of a decree or temporary order or injunction, the obligation of the other party to make payments for support or maintenance or to permit parenting time is not suspended, but the other party may petition or request the court to grant an appropriate order.

B. The petition or request shall be in a form prescribed by the supreme court, which shall be furnished by the clerk of the superior court on request of any party. The party may use a document other than one provided pursuant to this section if the document is substantially similar to the one prescribed by the supreme court pursuant to this section.

25-327. Modification and termination of provisions for maintenance, support and property disposition

A. Except as otherwise provided in section 25-317, subsections F and G, the provisions of any decree respecting maintenance or support may be modified or terminated only on a showing of changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing except as to any amount that may have accrued as an arrearage before the date of notice of the motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate. The addition of health insurance coverage as defined in section 25-531 or a change in the availability of health insurance coverage may constitute a continuing and substantial change in circumstance. The provisions as to property disposition may not be revoked or modified, unless the court finds the existence of conditions that justify the reopening of a judgment under the laws of this state. Modifications and terminations are effective on the first day of the month following notice of the petition for modification or termination unless the court, for good cause shown, orders the change to become effective at a different date but not earlier than the date of filing the petition for modification or termination.

B. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, the obligation to pay future maintenance is terminated on the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.

C. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, provisions for the support of a minor child are not terminated by the death of a parent obligated to support the child. If a parent obligated to pay support dies, the amount of future support may be modified, revoked or commuted to a lump sum payment to the extent just and appropriate in the circumstances and has priority equal to the right for family allowance in section 14-2404. Past due support has priority equal to claims provided for in section 14-3805, subsection A, paragraph 6.

D. Notwithstanding any other law, pursuant to a petition filed pursuant to this section the court may suspend the imposition of future interest that accrues on a judgment for support issued pursuant to this article for the period of time that the petitioner is incarcerated or physically or mentally disabled to the extent that the person is unable to maintain employment.

25-328. Sequence of trials when custody or parenting time is an issue

A. In all cases when custody or parenting time is a contested issue, the court shall first hear and decide all other issues including maintenance and child support if requested to do so by the petitioner, the respondent or the child's attorney. The request shall be in the form of a written demand filed with a motion to set or a controverting certificate.

B. On stipulation of the parties, the court shall first hear and decide custody or parenting time issues.

C. In the absence of a request or stipulation made pursuant to this section, the court may try any issue separately and in any sequence.

25-329. Waiting period

The court shall not consider a submission of a motion supported by affidavit or hold a trial or hearing on an application for a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation until sixty days after the date of service of process or the date of acceptance of process.

25-330. Employer cooperation

Either party to an order for support or maintenance or an agency that has obtained a judgment in its favor in a paternity action or an action to establish child support may request information from an employer, payor or self-employed person pursuant to section 25-513.

25-352. Applicability of program; compliance

A. In an action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment that involves a natural or an adopted minor, unemancipated child who is common to the parties or in any paternity proceeding under chapter 6, article 1 of this title in which a party has requested that the court determine custody, specific parenting time or child support, the court shall order the parties to complete an educational program as prescribed by this article, unless any of the following applies:

1. On its own motion or the motion of either party the court determines that participation is not in the best interests of the parties or the child.

2. A party is or will be enrolled in an education program that the court deems comparable.

3. The court determines that a party previously has completed an educational program adopted pursuant to this article or a comparable program. The court may order a party to attend a program more than once.

B. In an action or proceeding involving child support or the modification or enforcement of parenting time or custody, the court may order either party or both parties to complete an educational program as prescribed by this article.

C. If the parties have a history of domestic violence as defined in section 13-3601 the court may enter appropriate orders that set forth the manner in which the parties shall participate in the program and shall make reasonable efforts to protect the safety of the participants.

D. Each party shall complete the educational program within the time ordered by the judge. The judge may extend the deadline for compliance.

25-353. Failure to comply

Unless the court excuses a party's participation, if a party fails to complete the educational program as ordered pursuant to section 25-352 the court may deny relief in favor of that party, hold that party in contempt of court or impose any other sanction reasonable in the circumstances.

Article 7. Court Of Conciliation

 

25-381.08. Jurisdiction

Whenever any controversy exists between spouses which may, unless a reconciliation is achieved, result in the legal separation, dissolution or annulment of the marriage or in the disruption of the household, and there is any minor child of the spouses or either of them whose welfare might be affected thereby, the conciliation court shall have jurisdiction over the controversy, and over the parties thereto and all persons having any relation to the controversy, as further provided in this article.

25-381.09. Petition invoking jurisdiction or for transfer of action to conciliation court

Prior to the filing of any action for annulment, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation, either spouse, or both spouses, may file in the conciliation court a petition invoking the jurisdiction of the court for the purpose of preserving the marriage by effecting a conciliation between the parties or for amicable settlement of the controversy between the spouses so as to avoid further litigation over the issue involved. In any case where an action for annulment, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation has been filed, either party thereto may by petition filed therein have the cause transferred to the conciliation court for proceedings in the same manner as though action had been instituted in the conciliation court in the first instance.

25-381.11. Petition; contents

The petition shall:

1. Allege that a controversy exists between the spouses and request the aid of the conciliation court to effect a reconciliation or an amicable settlement of the controversy.

2. State the name and age of each minor child whose welfare may be affected by the controversy.

3. State the name and address of the petitioner or petitioners.

4. If the petition is presented by one spouse only, name the other spouse as a respondent and state the address of that spouse.

5. Name as a respondent any other person who has any relation to the controversy and state the address of the person if known to the petitioner.

6. State such other information as the conciliation court may by rule require.

25-381.14. Hearing; time; place; notice; citation; witnesses

The judge of the conciliation court shall fix a reasonable time and place for hearing on the petition, said hearing to be held within thirty days of the date of the filing of the petition, unless the court for good cause orders such hearing to be held within forty-five days from the date of filing the petition. The court shall cause notice of the filing of the petition and of the time and place of the hearing as it deems necessary to be given to the respondents. The court may, when it deems it necessary, issue a citation to any respondent requiring him to appear at the time and place stated in the citation, and may require the attendance of witnesses as in other civil suits.

25-381.15. Time and place of holding hearings

Hearings pursuant to this article may be held at any time and place within the county, and may be held in chambers or otherwise, except that the time and place for hearing shall not be different from the time and place provided by law for the trial of civil actions if any party, prior to the hearing, objects to any different time or place.

25-381.16. Conduct of hearing; recommendations; aid of specialists; expense; confidential communications

A. A person designated by the judge of the conciliation court shall conduct an informal hearing as a conference or series of conferences to effect a reconciliation of the spouses or an amicable adjustment or settlement of the issues.

B. At the conclusion of the hearing the designated person shall submit a report to the director of conciliation who shall review it and shall report the results of the hearing to the judge of the conciliation court. The judge of the conciliation court may, and on request of one or both of the parties shall, order further hearings in pursuance of this article.

C. To facilitate and promote the purposes of this article, the court may, with the consent of both of the parties to the action, recommend or invoke the aid of appropriate resources such as physicians, psychiatrists, social agencies or other individuals or agencies including clergymen of the religious denomination to which the parties belong or may request. No reports of any such individual or agency available to the court shall be filed with or become a part of the records of the case. Any such aid shall not be at the expense of the court or of the county unless the county board of supervisors shall authorize such aid.

D. Hearings or conferences conducted pursuant to this article for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation of the spouses or an amicable adjustment or settlement of issues shall be held in private, and the court shall exclude all persons except the officers of the court, the parties, their counsel and witnesses. Hearings or conferences may be held with each party and his counsel separately and, in the discretion of the judge, commissioner or counselor conducting the hearing or conference, counsel for one party may be excluded when the adverse party is present. All communications, verbal or written, from the parties to the judge, commissioner or counselor in a proceeding under this article shall be deemed confidential communications, and shall not be disclosed without the consent of the party making such communication.

25-381.17. Orders; duration of effectiveness; reconciliation agreement

A. The judge of the conciliation court shall have full power to make, alter, modify, and enforce all orders or temporary orders, orders for custody of children, restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and orders affecting possession of property, as may appear just and equitable, but such orders shall not be effective for more than sixty days from the filing of the petition, unless the parties mutually consent to a continuation of such time.

B. Any reconciliation agreement between the parties may be reduced to writing and, with the consent of the parties, a court order may be made requiring the parties to comply fully therewith.

25-381.18. Dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment; stay of right to file; jurisdiction for pending actions

A. During a period beginning on the filing of a petition for conciliation and continuing until sixty days after the filing of the petition for conciliation, neither spouse shall file any action for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, and, on the filing of a petition for conciliation, proceedings then pending in the superior court are stayed and the case shall be transferred to the conciliation court for hearing and further disposition as provided in this article. All restraining, support, maintenance or custody orders issued by the superior court remain in full force and effect until vacated or modified by the conciliation court or until they expire by their own terms.

B. If, however, after the expiration of the period prescribed in subsection A, the controversy between the spouses has not been terminated, either spouse may institute proceedings for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation by filing in the clerk's office additional pleadings complying with the requirements relating to annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, respectively, or either spouse may proceed with the action previously stayed, and the conciliation court has full jurisdiction to hear, try and determine the action for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation and to retain jurisdiction of the case for further hearings on decrees or orders to be made. The conciliation provisions of this article may be used in regard to postdissolution problems concerning maintenance support, parenting time or contempt or for modification based on changed conditions in the discretion of the conciliation court.

C. On the filing of an action for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation and after the expiration of sixty days from the service or the acceptance of service of process on or by the defendant, neither spouse without the consent of the other may file a petition invoking the jurisdiction of the conciliation court, as long as the domestic relations case remains pending, unless it appears to the court that the filing will not delay the orderly processes of the pending action, in which event the court may accept the petition and the filing of the petition has the same effect as the filing of any such petition within such sixty days after the service or acceptance of process.

25-381.19. Transfer of certain actions where minor child involved

Whenever any action for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation is filed in the superior court and it appears to the court at any time during the pendency of the action that there is any minor child of the spouses or either of them whose welfare may be adversely affected by the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, legal separation or the disruption of the household, and there appears to be some reasonable possibility of a reconciliation being effected, the case may be transferred to the conciliation court for proceedings for reconciliation of the spouses or amicable settlement of issues in controversy in accordance with the provisions of this article.

25-381.20. Procedure in actions where no child is involved; conciliation court may accept case

Whenever application is made to the conciliation court for conciliation proceedings in respect to a controversy between spouses or a contested action for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation, but there is no minor child whose welfare might be affected by the results of the controversy, and it appears to the court that reconciliation of the spouses or amicable adjustment of the controversy can probably be achieved, and that the work of the court in cases involving children will not be seriously impeded by acceptance of the case, the court may accept and dispose of the case in the same manner as similar cases involving the welfare of children are disposed of. In the event of such application and acceptance, the court shall have the same jurisdiction over the controversy and the parties thereto or having any relation thereto that it has under this article in similar cases involving the welfare of children.

25-381.21. Construction of article

Except as specifically and expressly so provided, nothing in this article is intended or shall be construed to repeal, modify, or change in any respect whatsoever the laws relating to annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation, and the court of conciliation shall, when application for such relief is made as provided in this article, apply such laws in the same manner as if action had been brought thereunder in the first instance in the superior court, but the conciliation procedures of the conciliation court shall be applied to arrive at an amicable settlement of all issues in controversy.

25-381.22. Subsequent petition filed within one year

Once a petition by either or both of the spouses has been filed as permitted by section 25-381.09, the filing of any subsequent petition under such section within one year thereafter by either or both of the spouses shall not stay any action for annulment, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation then pending nor prohibit the filing of such an action by either party. The filing of a subsequent petition by either or both of the spouses more than one year after the filing of any previous petition with such effect shall have the same effect toward staying any domestic relations action then pending and toward prohibiting the filing of any such action as provided in section 25-381.18.

25-381.23. Option for mandatory conciliation

In those counties in which the superior court has by rule or order established a conciliation court, the judge or judges of the conciliation court may, by local rule, with the approval of the presiding judge of the superior court in that county, require one or more hearings or conferences at which the parties must attend in order to further the purposes of this article. The court may also grant exemptions from such a local and mandatory rule if to do otherwise would cause undue hardship.

25-381.24. Counseling

The conciliation court, in counties having a population of less than two hundred thousand persons according to the most recent United States census, may contract with qualified marriage and family counselors to provide counseling services.

Chapter 4 Child Custody And Visitation

25-401. Jurisdiction; commencement of proceedings

A. Jurisdiction for child custody proceedings is governed by chapter 8 of this title.

B. A child custody proceeding is commenced in the superior court:

1. By a parent, by filing a petition for either of the following:

(a) Dissolution or legal separation.

(b) Custody of a child born out of wedlock if there has been a prior establishment of maternity or paternity.

2. By a person other than a parent, by filing a petition for custody of the child in the county in which the child is permanently resident or found, but only if the child is not in the physical custody of one of the child's parents.

3. At the request of any person who is a party to a maternity or paternity proceeding pursuant to chapter 6, article 1 of this title.

25-402. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. " Joint custody" means joint legal custody or joint physical custody, or both.

2. " Joint legal custody" means the condition under which both parents share legal custody and neither parent's rights are superior, except with respect to specified decisions as set forth by the court or the parents in the final judgment or order.

3. " Joint physical custody" means the condition under which the physical residence of the child is shared by the parents in a manner that assures that the child has substantially equal time and contact with both parents.

4. " Parenting time" means the condition under which a parent has the right to have a child physically placed with the parent and the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child's care consistent with the major decisions made by a person having legal custody.

5. " Sole custody" means the condition under which one person has legal custody.

25-403. Custody; best interests of child

 

A. The court shall determine custody, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

1. The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to custody.

2. The wishes of the child as to the custodian.

3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.

4. The child's adjustment to home, school and community.

5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent.

7. Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care of the child.

8. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody.

9. Whether a parent has complied with chapter 3, article 5 of this title.

10. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under section 13-2907.02.

B. In a contested custody case, the court shall make specific findings on the record about all relevant factors and the reasons for which the decision is in the best interests of the child.

25-403.01. Sole and joint custody

 

A. In awarding child custody, the court may order sole custody or joint custody. This section does not create a presumption in favor of one custody arrangement over another. The court in determining custody shall not prefer a parent as custodian because of that parent's sex.

B. The court may issue an order for joint custody over the objection of one of the parents if the court makes specific written findings of why the order is in the child's best interests. In determining whether joint custody is in the child's best interests, the court shall consider the factors prescribed in section 25-403, subsection a and all of the following:

1. The agreement or lack of an agreement by the parents regarding joint custody.

2. Whether a parent's lack of agreement is unreasonable or is influenced by an issue not related to the best interests of the child.

3. The past, present and future abilities of the parents to cooperate in decision-making about the child to the extent required by the order of joint custody.

4. Whether the joint custody arrangement is logistically possible.

C. The court may issue an order for joint custody of a child if both parents agree and submit a written parenting plan and the court finds such an order is in the best interests of the child. The court may order joint legal custody without ordering joint physical custody.

25-403.02. Parenting plans

 

A. Before an award is made granting joint custody, the parents shall submit a proposed parenting plan that includes at least the following:

1. Each parent's rights and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and for decisions in areas such as education, health care and religious training.

2. A schedule of the physical residence of the child, including holidays and school vacations.

3. A procedure by which proposed changes, disputes and alleged breaches may be mediated or resolved, which may include the use of conciliation services or private counseling.

4. A procedure for periodic review of the plan's terms by the parents.

5. A statement that the parties understand that joint custody does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

B. If the parents are unable to agree on any element to be included in a parenting plan, the court shall determine that element. The court may determine other factors that are necessary to promote and protect the emotional and physical health of the child.

25-403.03. Domestic violence and child abuse

 

A. Notwithstanding subsection D of this section, joint custody shall not be awarded if the court makes a finding of the existence of significant domestic violence pursuant to section 13-3601 or if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been a significant history of domestic violence.

B. The court shall consider evidence of domestic violence as being contrary to the best interests of the child. The court shall consider the safety and well-being of the child and of the victim of the act of domestic violence to be of primary importance. The court shall consider a perpetrator's history of causing or threatening to cause physical harm to another person.

C. To determine if a person has committed an act of domestic violence the court, subject to the rules of evidence, shall consider all relevant factors including the following:

1. Findings from another court of competent jurisdiction.

2. Police reports.

3. Medical reports.

4. Child protective services records.

5. Domestic violence shelter records.

6. School records.

7. Witness testimony.

D. If the court determines that a parent who is seeking custody has committed an act of domestic violence against the other parent, there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of custody to the parent who committed the act of domestic violence is contrary to the child's best interests. This presumption does not apply if both parents have committed an act of domestic violence. for the purposes of this subsection, a person commits an act of domestic violence if that person does any of the following:

1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause sexual assault or serious physical injury.

2. Places a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious physical injury to any person.

3. Engages in a pattern of behavior for which a court may issue an ex parte order to protect the other parent who is seeking child custody or to protect the child and the child's siblings.

E. To determine if the parent has rebutted the presumption the court shall consider all of the following:

1. Whether the parent has demonstrated that being awarded sole custody or joint physical or legal custody is in the child's best interests.

2. Whether the parent has successfully completed a batterer's prevention program.

3. Whether the parent has successfully completed a program of alcohol or drug abuse counseling, if the court determines that counseling is appropriate.

4. Whether the parent has successfully completed a parenting class, if the court determines that a parenting class is appropriate.

5. If the parent is on probation, parole or community supervision, whether the parent is restrained by a protective order that was granted after a hearing.

6. Whether the parent has committed any further acts of domestic violence.

F. If the court finds that a parent has committed an act of domestic violence, that parent has the burden of proving to the court's satisfaction that parenting time will not endanger the child or significantly impair the child's emotional development. If the parent meets this burden to the court's satisfaction, the court shall place conditions on parenting time that best protect the child and the other parent from further harm. The court may:

1. Order that an exchange of the child must occur in a protected setting as specified by the court.

2. Order that an agency specified by the court must supervise parenting time. If the court allows a family or household member to supervise parenting time, the court shall establish conditions that this person must follow during parenting time.

3. Order the parent who committed the act of domestic violence to attend and complete, to the court's satisfaction, a program of intervention for perpetrators of domestic violence and any other counseling the court orders.

4. Order the parent who committed the act of domestic violence to abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol or controlled substances during parenting time and for twenty-four hours before parenting time.

5. Order the parent who committed the act of domestic violence to pay a fee to the court to defray the costs of supervised parenting time.

6. Prohibit overnight parenting time.

7. Require a bond from the parent who committed the act of domestic violence for the child's safe return.

8. Order that the address of the child and the other parent remain confidential.

9. Impose any other condition that the court determines is necessary to protect the child, the other parent and any other family or household member.

G. The court shall not order joint counseling between a victim and the perpetrator of domestic violence. The court may refer a victim to appropriate counseling and shall provide a victim with written information about available community resources related to domestic violence.

H. The court shall not request or order the services of the division of children and family services in the department of economic security unless it believes that a child may be the victim of child abuse or neglect as defined in section 8-201.

I. in determining whether the absence or relocation of a parent shall be weighed against that parent in determining custody or parenting time, the court may consider whether the absence or relocation was caused by an act of domestic violence by the other parent.

25-403.04. Drug offenses

 

A. If the court determines that a parent has been convicted of any drug offense under Title 13, Chapter 34 or any violation of section 28-1381, 28-1382 or 28-1383 within twelve months before the petition or the request for custody is filed, there is a rebuttable presumption that sole or joint custody by that parent is not in the child's best interests. In making this determination the court shall state its:

1. Findings of fact that support its determination that the parent was convicted of the offense.

2. Findings that the custody or parenting time arrangement ordered by the court appropriately protects the child.

B. To determine if the person has rebutted the presumption, at a minimum the court shall consider the following evidence:

1. The absence of any conviction of any other drug offense during the previous five years.

2. Results of random drug testing for a six month period that indicate that the person is not using drugs as proscribed by title 13, Chapter 34.

25-403.06. Parental access to records

 

A. Unless otherwise provided by court order or law, on reasonable request both parents are entitled to have equal access to documents and other information concerning the child's education and physical, mental, moral and emotional health including medical, school, police, court and other records directly from the custodian of the records or from the other parent.

B. a person who does not comply with a reasonable request shall reimburse the requesting parent for court costs and attorney fees incurred by that parent to force compliance with this section.

C. a parent who attempts to restrict the release of documents or information by the custodian without a prior court order is subject to appropriate legal sanctions.

25-403.07. Identification of a primary caretaker and public assistance

 

The court may specify one parent as the primary caretaker of the child and one home as the primary home of the child for the purposes of defining eligibility for public assistance. This finding does not diminish the rights of either parent and does not create a presumption for or against either parent in a proceeding for the modification of a custody order.

25-403.08. Resources and fees

 

A. in a proceeding regarding sole custody or joint custody, either party may request attorney fees, costs and expert witness fees to enable the party with insufficient resources to obtain adequate legal representation and to prepare evidence for the hearing.

B. If the court finds there is a financial disparity between the parties, the court may order payment of reasonable fees, expenses and costs to allow adequate preparation.

25-403.09. Child support

 

A. for any custody order entered under this Article, the court shall determine an amount of child support in accordance with section 25-320 and guidelines established pursuant to that section.

b. An award of joint custody does not diminish the responsibility of either parent to provide for the support of the child.

25-404. Temporary orders

A. A party to a custody proceeding may move for a temporary custody order. This motion must be supported by pleadings as provided in section 25-411. The court may award temporary custody under the standards of section 25-403 after a hearing, or, if there is no objection, solely on the basis of the pleadings.

B. If a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation is dismissed, any temporary custody order is vacated unless a parent or the child's custodian moves that the proceeding continue as a custody proceeding and the court finds, after a hearing, that the circumstances of the parents and the best interest of the child require that a custody decree be issued.

C. If a custody proceeding commenced in the absence of a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation is dismissed, any temporary custody order thereby is vacated.

25-405. Interviews by court; professional assistance

A. The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child's wishes as to the child's custodian and as to parenting time.

B. The court may seek the advice of professional personnel, whether or not employed by the court on a regular basis. The advice given shall be in writing and shall be made available by the court to counsel, on request, under such terms as the court determines. Counsel may examine as a witness any professional personnel consulted by the court, unless that right is waived.

25-407. Custody hearings; priority; costs; record

A. Custody proceedings shall receive priority in being set for hearing.

B. The court may tax as costs the payment of necessary travel and other expenses incurred by any person whose presence at the hearing the court deems necessary to determine the best interest of the child.

C. The court, without a jury, shall determine questions of law and fact. If it finds that a public hearing may be detrimental to the child's best interest, the court may exclude the public from a custody hearing, but may admit any person who has a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case or a legitimate educational or research interest in the work of the court.

D. If the court finds that to protect the child's welfare, the record of any interview, report, investigation, or testimony in a custody proceeding should be kept secret, the court may then make an appropriate order sealing the record.

25-408. Rights of noncustodial parent; parenting time; relocation of child; exception; enforcement; access to records

 

A. A parent who is not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable parenting time rights to ensure that the minor child has frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent unless the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

B. If by written agreement or court order both parents are entitled to custody or parenting time and both parents reside in the state, at least sixty days' advance written notice shall be provided to the other parent before a parent may do either of the following:

1. Relocate the child outside the state.

2. Relocate the child more than one hundred miles within the state.

C. The notice required by this section shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure. A parent who does not comply with the notification requirements of this subsection is subject to court sanction. The court may impose a sanction that will affect custody or parenting time only in accordance with the child's best interests.

D. Within thirty days after notice is made the nonmoving parent may petition the court to prevent relocation of the child. After expiration of this time any petition or other application to prevent relocation of the child may be granted only on a showing of good cause. This subsection does not prohibit a parent who is seeking to relocate the child from petitioning the court for a hearing, on notice to the other parent, to determine the appropriateness of a relocation that may adversely affect the other parent's custody or parenting time rights.

E. Subsection B of this section does not apply if provision for relocation of a child has been made by a court order or a written agreement of the parties that is dated within one year of the proposed relocation of the child.

F. Pending the determination by the court of a petition or application to prevent relocation of the child:

1. A parent with sole custody or a parent with joint custody and primary physical custody who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child.

2. A parent who shares joint custody and substantially equal physical custody and who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child only if both parents execute a written agreement to permit relocation of the child.

G. The court shall determine whether to allow the parent to relocate the child in accordance with the child's best interests. The burden of proving what is in the child's best interests is on the parent who is seeking to relocate the child. To the extent practicable the court shall also make appropriate arrangements to ensure the continuation of a meaningful relationship between the child and both parents.

H. The court shall not deviate from a provision of any parenting plan or other written agreement by which the parents specifically have agreed to allow or prohibit relocation of the child unless the court finds that the provision is no longer in the child's best interests. There is a rebuttable presumption that a provision from any parenting plan or other written agreement is in the child's best interests.

I. In determining the child's best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

1. The factors prescribed under section 25-403.

2. Whether the relocation is being made or opposed in good faith and not to interfere with or to frustrate the relationship between the child and the other parent or the other parent's right of access to the child.

3. The prospective advantage of the move for improving the general quality of life for the custodial parent or for the child.

4. The likelihood that the parent with whom the child will reside after the relocation will comply with parenting time orders.

5. Whether the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with each parent.

6. The extent to which moving or not moving will affect the emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.

7. The motives of the parents and the validity of the reasons given for moving or opposing the move including the extent to which either parent may intend to gain a financial advantage regarding continuing child support obligations.

8. The potential effect of relocation on the child's stability.

J. The court shall assess attorney fees and court costs against either parent if the court finds that the parent has unreasonably denied, restricted or interfered with court-ordered parenting time.

K. Pursuant to section 25-403.06, the noncustodial parent is entitled to have access to documents and other information about the child unless the court finds that access would endanger seriously the child's or the custodial parent's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

25-409. Visitation rights of grandparents and great-grandparents

A. The superior court may grant the grandparents of the child reasonable visitation rights to the child during the child's minority on a finding that the visitation rights would be in the best interests of the child and any of the following is true:

1. The marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved for at least three months.

2. A parent of the child has been deceased or has been missing for at least three months. For the purposes of this paragraph, a parent is considered to be missing if the parent's location has not been determined and the parent has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.

3. The child was born out of wedlock.

B. The superior court may grant the great-grandparents of the child reasonable visitation rights on a finding that the great-grandparents would be entitled to such rights under subsection A if the great-grandparents were grandparents of the child.

C. In determining the child's best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

1. The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.

2. The motivation of the requesting party in seeking visitation.

3. The motivation of the person denying visitation.

4. The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child's customary activities.

5. If one or both of the child's parents are dead, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.

D. If logistically possible and appropriate the court shall order visitation by a grandparent or great-grandparent to occur when the child is residing or spending time with the parent through whom the grandparent or great-grandparent claims a right of access to the child. If a parent is unable to have the child reside or spend time with that parent, the court shall order visitation by a grandparent or great-grandparent to occur when that parent would have had that opportunity.

E. A grandparent or great-grandparent seeking to obtain visitation rights under this section shall petition for these rights in the same action in which the parents had their marriage dissolved or in which the court determined paternity or maternity, or by a separate action in the county where the child resides if no action has been filed or the court entering the decree of dissolution or determination of paternity or maternity no longer has jurisdiction.

F. All visitation rights granted under this section automatically terminate if the child has been adopted or placed for adoption. If the child is removed from an adoptive placement, the court may reinstate the visitation rights. This subsection does not apply to the adoption of the child by the spouse of a natural parent if the natural parent remarries.

25-410. Judicial supervision

A. Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing at the time of the custody decree, the custodian may determine the child's upbringing, including the child's education, health, care and religious training, unless, on motion by the noncustodial parent, the court, after a hearing, finds that in the absence of a specific limitation of the custodian's authority, the child's physical health would be endangered or the child's emotional development would be significantly impaired.

B. If either parent requests the order, or if all contestants agree to the order, or if the court finds that in the absence of the order the child's physical health would be endangered or the child's emotional development would be significantly impaired, and if the court finds that the best interests of the child would be served, the court shall order a local social service agency to exercise continuing supervision over the case to assure that the custodial or parenting time terms of the decree are carried out. At the discretion of the court, reasonable fees for the supervision may be charged to one or both parents, provided that the fees have been approved by the supreme court.

25-411. Modification of custody decree; affidavit; contents

 

A. a person shall not make a motion to modify a custody decree earlier than one year after its date, unless the court permits it to be made on the basis of affidavits that there is reason to believe the child's present environment may seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health. At any time after a joint custody order is entered, a parent may petition the court for modification of the order on the basis of evidence that domestic violence pursuant to section 13-1201 or 13-1204, spousal abuse or child abuse occurred since the entry of the joint custody order. Six months after a joint custody order is entered, a parent may petition the court for modification of the order based on the failure of the other parent to comply with the provisions of the order. A motion or petition to modify a custody order shall meet the requirements of this section. Except as otherwise provided in subsection b of this section, if a custodial parent is a member of the united states armed forces, the court shall consider the terms of that parent's military family care plan to determine what is in the child's best interest during the custodial parent's military deployment.

B. For the purposes of a motion to modify a custody decree, the military deployment of a custodial parent who is a member of the united states armed forces is not a change in circumstances that materially affects the welfare of the child if the custodial parent has filed a military family care plan with the court at a previous custody proceeding and if the military deployment is less than six months.

C. The court may modify an order granting or denying parenting time rights whenever modification would serve the best interest of the child, but the court shall not restrict a parent's parenting time rights unless it finds that the parenting time would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

D. If after a custody or parenting time order is in effect one of the parents is charged with a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-604.01, child molestation as defined in section 13-1410 or an act of domestic violence as defined in section 13-3601 in which the victim is a minor, the other parent may petition the court for an expedited hearing. Pending the expedited hearing, the court may suspend parenting time or change custody ex parte.

E. to modify any type of custody order a person shall submit an affidavit or verified petition setting forth detailed facts supporting the requested modification and shall give notice, together with a copy of the affidavit or verified petition, to other parties to the proceeding, who may file opposing affidavits. The court shall deny the motion unless it finds that adequate cause for hearing the motion is established by the pleadings, in which case it shall set a date for hearing on why the requested modification should not be granted.

F. The court shall assess attorney fees and costs against a party seeking modification if the court finds that the modification action is vexatious and constitutes harassment.

G. Subsection e of this section does not apply if the requested relief is for the modification or clarification of visitation and not for a change of joint custody, joint legal custody, joint physical custody or sole custody.

25-414. Violation of visitation or parenting time rights; penalties

A. If the court, based on a verified petition and after it gives reasonable notice to an alleged violating parent and an opportunity for that person to be heard, finds that a parent has refused without good cause to comply with a visitation or parenting time order, the court shall do at least one of the following:

1. Find the violating parent in contempt of court.

2. Order visitation or parenting time to make up for the missed sessions.

3. Order parent education at the violating parent's expense.

4. Order family counseling at the violating parent's expense.

5. Order civil penalties of not to exceed one hundred dollars for each violation. The court shall transmit monies collected pursuant to this paragraph each month to the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall transmit these monies monthly to the state treasurer for deposit into the alternative dispute resolution fund established by section 12-135.

6. Order both parents to participate in mediation or some other appropriate form of alternative dispute resolution at the violating parent's expense.

7. Make any other order that may promote the best interests of the child or children involved.

B. Within twenty-five days of service of the petition the court shall hold a hearing or conference before a judge, commissioner or person appointed by the court to review noncompliance with a visitation or parenting time order.

C. Court costs and attorney fees incurred by the nonviolating parent associated with the review of noncompliance with a visitation or parenting time order shall be paid by the violating parent. In the event the custodial parent prevails, the court in its discretion may award court costs and attorney fees to the custodial parent.

25-415. Custody by nonparent; presumption; grounds; definitions

A. A child custody proceeding may also be commenced in the superior court by a person other than a legal parent by filing a verified petition, or by a petition supported by an affidavit, in the county in which the child is permanently resident or is found. The petition shall include detailed facts supporting the petitioner's right to file the petition. The petitioner shall provide notice as required by subsection E. Notice shall include a copy of the petition and any affidavits. The court shall summarily deny a petition unless it finds that the petitioner by the pleadings established that all of the following are true:

1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.

2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the custody of either of the child's living legal parents who wish to retain or obtain custody.

3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning the child's custody within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child's present environment may seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

4. One of the following applies:

(a) One of the legal parents is deceased.

(b) The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

(c) There is a pending proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents at the time the petition is filed.

B. If a person other than a child's legal parent is seeking custody there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the child's best interest to award custody to a legal parent because of the physical, psychological and emotional needs of the child to be reared by the child's legal parent. To rebut this presumption that person must show by clear and convincing evidence that awarding custody to a legal parent is not in the child's best interests.

C. The superior court may grant a person who stands in loco parentis to a child, including grandparents and great-grandparents, who meet the requirements of section 25-409 reasonable visitation rights to the child on a finding that the visitation is in the child's best interests and that any of the following is true:

1. One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months.

2. The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

3. There is a pending proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents at the time the petition is filed.

D. A grandparent, a great-grandparent or a person who stands in loco parentis to a child may bring a proceeding for visitation rights with a child by filing a verified petition in the county in which the child is permanently resident or is found.

E. Notice of a custody or visitation proceeding filed pursuant to this section shall be served pursuant to the rules of civil procedure to all of the following:

1. The child's parents.

2. A person who has court ordered custody or visitation rights.

3. The child's guardian or guardian ad litem.

4. A person or agency that has physical custody of the child or that claims to have custody or visitation rights.

5. Any other person or agency that has previously appeared in the action.

F. A person shall file proceedings for custody or visitation under this chapter in the same action in which the legal parents had their marriage dissolved or any other proceeding in which a previous custody order has been entered regarding the child.

G. For the purposes of this chapter:

1. " In loco parentis" means a person who has been treated as a parent by the child and who has formed a meaningful parental relationship with the child for a substantial period of time.

2. " Legal parent" means a biological or adoptive parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

Chapter 5 Family Support Duties

 

25-500. Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. " Arrearage" means the total unpaid support owed, including child support, past support, spousal maintenance and interest.

2. " Business day" means a day when state offices are open for regular business.

3. " Child support guidelines" means the child support guidelines that are adopted by the state supreme court.

4. " Child support subpoena" means a subpoena issued pursuant to section 25-520.

5. " Department" means the department of economic security.

6. " Income" means any form of payment owed to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation, disability payments, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program and interest.

7. " Obligee" means a person or agency entitled to receive support.

8. " Obligor" means a person obligated to pay support.

9. " Support" means the provision of maintenance or subsistence and includes medical insurance coverage and uncovered medical costs for the child, arrearages, interest on arrearages, past support, interest on past support and reimbursement for expended public assistance. In a title IV-D case, support includes spousal maintenance that is included in the same order that directs child support.

10. " Support payment clearinghouse" means the clearinghouse established pursuant to section 46-441.

11. " Title IV-D" means title IV-D of the social security act.

25-501. Duties of support; exemption

A. Except as provided in subsection F of this section, every person has the duty to provide all reasonable support for that person's natural and adopted minor, unemancipated children, regardless of the presence or residence of the child in this state. In the case of mentally or physically disabled children, if the court, after considering the factors set forth in section 25-320, subsection D, deems it appropriate, the court may order support to continue past the age of majority. If a child reaches the age of majority while the child is attending high school or a certified high school equivalency program, support shall continue to be provided while the child is actually attending high school or the equivalency program but only until the child reaches nineteen years of age unless the court enters an order pursuant to section 25-320, subsection E.

B. A child who is born as the result of artificial insemination is entitled to support from the mother as prescribed by this section and the mother's spouse if the spouse either is the biological father of the child or agreed in writing to the insemination before or after the insemination occurred.

C. The child support guidelines shall be used in determining the ability to pay child support and the amount of payments. The obligation to pay child support is primary and other financial obligations are secondary.

D. All duties of support as prescribed in this chapter may be enforced by all civil and criminal remedies provided by law.

E. Remedies provided by this chapter are cumulative and do not affect the availability of remedies under other law.

F. The court may determine that a parent is not obligated to contribute to the support of the parent's minor child if maternity or paternity is the result of the parent's sexual contact with a person who, as a result of that contact, has been found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405 or sexual assault under section 13-1406. The court may also apply this exemption to the parent's parents or legal guardian.

25-502. Jurisdiction, venue and procedure; additional enforcement provisions

A. The superior court has original jurisdiction in proceedings brought by the department, its agents, a person having physical custody of a child or a party to the case to establish, enforce or modify the duties of support as prescribed in this chapter. All such proceedings are civil actions except as provided in section 25-511. Proceedings to enforce the duties of support as prescribed in this chapter may be originated in the county of residence of the respondent or the petitioner or of the child or children who are the subject of the action.

B. A proceeding to establish support must originate in the county where the child resides or, if the child resides out of state, the county of this state where the party filing the petition to establish support resides, if either of the following applies:

1. An action does not exist under this title.

2. Paternity was established without a court order pursuant to section 36-334.

C. A person or the department or its agent must file a petition to establish or modify a child support order in the superior court in the county of the last order issued under this title if an order exists in this state. If a person wishes the case transferred to the county of this state where the child resides or, if the child resides out of state, the county of this state where the party requesting the transfer resides, the person must file a request for transfer with the clerk of the superior court that issued the last order.

D. A request for transfer pursuant to subsection C of this section must include a petition or motion regarding support, a statement of payments in default, if applicable, and the transmittal fee prescribed in section 12-284. The responding party may object to the transfer by filing an objection and affidavit within twenty days after service of the request to transfer.

E. If the clerk does not receive an objection and affidavit pursuant to subsection D of this section, the clerk shall issue the transfer order and transfer the proceeding and all related court files to the other county within thirty days after service of the request to transfer. If the clerk receives an objection and affidavit within the time prescribed in subsection D of this section, the clerk shall notify all parties of the date of the hearing at least ten days before the hearing date. The court may hear evidence relevant only to the issue of the transfer. If after that hearing the court orders the transfer, the clerk shall transfer the proceeding and court files within ten days after the order. The county to which the transfer is made retains the court files and venue for all purposes and the transferring county shall not retain a copy of those files.

F. The county to which a transfer is made pursuant to subsection D or E of this section shall proceed as if the proceeding were brought in that county originally. A judgment from that county has the same effect and may be enforced or modified as a judgment from the original county.

G. The party who petitioned for transfer must pay the postadjudication fee prescribed in section 12-284 to the county to which the proceeding was transferred within ten days after the date the clerk of the court mails the notice of the requirement to pay the postadjudication fee. If the party does not pay the fee by that date, the transfer order is automatically nullified and the court clerk shall return the proceeding and all related court files to the original county.

H. Except as provided in section 25-510, in title IV-D cases the superior court shall accept for filing any documents that are received through electronic transmission if the electronically reproduced document states that the copy used for the electronic transmission was certified before it was electronically transmitted.

I. On filing of the petition and, if applicable, after a transfer is completed, the court shall issue an order requiring the responding party to appear at the time and place set for the hearing on the petition. The petition shall include each person's and child's social security number if known. Service of the order and a copy of the petition shall be as provided in the Arizona rules of civil procedure. If the responding party receives notice of a hearing but fails to appear, the court may issue a child support arrest warrant as provided in article 5 of this chapter and shall require that the responding party pay at the time of arrest an amount set by the court to secure the responding party's release from custody pending an appearance at the next scheduled hearing. The court also may find the party to be in contempt of court pursuant to section 12-864.01 and set an amount to be paid to purge the contempt. Any purge amount set by the court shall supersede the amount required to be set to secure the responding party's release, and the responding party shall pay only the purge amount as a condition of release from custody. Any amounts paid under this section shall be deposited with the clerk of the court or the support payment clearinghouse and credited first to the responding party's current child support obligation and then to arrearages. The court may grant a default judgment for arrearages on a prima facie showing of the amount due.

J. The department or its agent or a parent, guardian or custodian may file with the clerk of the superior court a request to establish child support. The request must include a proposed order, the worksheet for child support and a notice of the right to request a hearing within twenty days after service in this state or within thirty days after service outside this state. The request must also include the social security number of the child and each party to the proceeding. The request, proposed order, worksheet and notice shall be served pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure on all parties, and in a title IV-D case, on the department or its agent. In a title IV-D case, the department or its agent may serve all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested. If a party does not request a hearing within the time prescribed by this subsection, the court shall review the proposed order and worksheet and enter an appropriate order or set the matter for a hearing. In a title IV-D case, the department or its agent shall enforce the order.

K. Each licensing board or agency that issues professional, recreational or occupational licenses or certificates shall record on the application the social security number of the applicant and shall enter this information in its database in order to aid the department of economic security in locating parents or their assets or to enforce child support orders. This subsection does not apply to a license that is issued pursuant to title 17 and that is not issued by an automated drawing system. If a licensing board or agency allows an applicant to use a number other than the social security number on the face of the license or certificate while the licensing board or agency keeps the social security number on file, the licensing board or agency shall advise an applicant of this fact.

25-503. Order for support; methods of payment; modification; termination; statute of limitations; judgment on arrearages; notice; security

A. In any proceeding in which there is at issue the support of a child, the court may order either or both parents to pay any amount necessary for the support of the child. If a personal check for support payments and handling fees is rightfully dishonored by the payor bank or other drawee, any subsequent support payments and handling fees shall be paid only by cash, money order, cashier's check, traveler's check or certified check. The department may collect from the drawer of a dishonored check or draft an amount allowed pursuant to section 44-6852. Pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, the department shall deposit monies collected pursuant to this subsection in a child support enforcement administration fund. If a party required to pay support other than by personal check demonstrates full and timely payment for twenty-four consecutive months, that party may pay support by personal check if these payments are for the full amount, are timely tendered and are not rightfully dishonored by the payor bank or other drawee. On a showing of good cause, the court may order that the party or parties required to pay support give reasonable security for these payments. If the court sets an appearance bond and the obligor fails to appear, the bond is forfeited and credited against any support owed by the party required to pay support. This subsection does not apply to payments that are made by means of a wage assignment.

B. On a showing that an income withholding order has been ineffective to secure the timely payment of support and that an amount equal to six months of current support has accrued, the court shall require the obligor to give security, post bond or give some other guarantee to secure overdue support.

C. In title IV-D cases, and in all other cases subject to an income withholding order issued on or after January 1, 1994, after notice to the party entitled to receive support, the department or its agent may direct the party obligated to pay support or other payor to make payment to the support payment clearinghouse. The department or its agent shall provide notice by first class mail.

D. The obligation for current child support shall be fully met before any payments under an order of assignment may be applied to the payment of arrearages. If a party is obligated to pay support for more than one family and the amount available is not sufficient to meet the total combined current support obligation, any monies shall be allocated to each family as follows:

1. The amount of current support ordered in each case shall be added to obtain the total support obligation.

2. The ordered amount in each case shall be divided by the total support obligation to obtain a percentage of the total amount due.

3. The amount available from the obligor's income shall be multiplied by the percentage under paragraph 2 of this subsection to obtain the amount to be allocated to each family.

E. Any order for child support may be modified or terminated on a showing of changed circumstance that is substantial and continuing, except as to any amount that may have accrued as an arrearage before the date of notice of the motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate. The addition of health insurance coverage as defined in section 25-531 or a change in the availability of health insurance coverage may constitute a continuing and substantial change in circumstance. Modification and termination are effective on the first day of the month following notice of the petition for modification or termination unless the court, for good cause shown, orders the change to become effective at a different date but not earlier than the date of filing the petition for modification or termination. The order of modification or termination may include an award of attorney fees and court costs to the prevailing party.

F. Notwithstanding subsection E of this section, in a title IV-D case a party, or the department or its agent if there is an assignment of rights under section 46-407, may request every three years that an order for child support be reviewed and, if appropriate, adjusted. The request may be made without a specific showing of a changed circumstance that is substantial and continuing. The department or its agent shall conduct the review in accordance with the child support guidelines of this state. If appropriate, the department shall file a petition in the superior court to adjust the support amount. Every three years the department or its agent shall notify the parties of their right to request a review of the order for support. The department or its agent shall notify the parties by first class mail at their last known address or by including the notice in an order.

G. If a party in a title IV-D case requests a review and adjustment sooner than three years, the party shall demonstrate a changed circumstance that is substantial and continuing.

H. The right of a party entitled to receive support or the department to receive child support payments as provided in the court order vests as each installment falls due. Each vested child support installment is enforceable as a final judgment by operation of law. Unless it is reduced to a written money judgment, an unpaid child support judgment that became a judgment by operation of law expires three years after the emancipation of the last remaining unemancipated child who was included in the court order. Beginning on January 1, 2000, child support orders, including modified orders, must notify the parties of this expiration date. The filing of a request for a written money judgment before the end of that period preserves the right to judgment until the court grants a judgment or the court denies the request. A request does not need to be filed within three years if:

1. The court later determines that the actions or conduct of an obligor impeded the establishment of a written money judgment, including avoiding service or notice of that action, changing a name or social security number or leaving the state where the last support order was entered without notifying the party to whom support is ordered to be paid or the court or the department of that party's residential and mailing addresses.

2. The court later finds that the obligor threatened, defrauded or wrongfully coerced the obligee into not filing a request to reduce any support arrearages to a written money judgment.

I. The department or its agent or a party entitled to receive support may file a request for judgment for support arrearages not later than three years after the emancipation of all of the children who were the subject of the court order. In such a proceeding there is no bar to establishing a money judgment for all of the unpaid child support arrearages for all of the children who were the subject of the court order. Notwithstanding any other law, formal written judgments for support and for associated costs and attorney fees are exempt from renewal and are enforceable until paid in full. If emancipation is disputed, this subsection shall be liberally construed to effect its intention of diminishing the limitation on the collection of child support arrearages.

J. If a party entitled to receive child support or spousal maintenance or the department or its agent enforcing an order of support has not received court ordered payments, the party entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance or the department or its agent may file with the clerk of the superior court a request for judgment of arrearages and an affidavit indicating the name of the party obligated to pay support and the amount of the arrearages. The request must include notice of the requirements of this section and the right to request a hearing within twenty days after service in this state or within thirty days after service outside this state. The request, affidavit and notice must be served pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure on all parties including the department or its agents in title IV-D cases. In a title IV-D case, the department or its agent may serve all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within twenty days after service in this state or within thirty days after service outside this state, a party may file a request for a hearing if the arrearage amount or the identity of the person is in dispute. If a hearing is not requested within the time provided, or if the court finds that the objection is unfounded, the court must review the affidavit and grant an appropriate judgment against the party obligated to pay support.

K. If after reasonable efforts to locate the obligee the clerk or support payment clearinghouse is unable to deliver payments for a period of one hundred twenty days after the date the first payment is returned as undeliverable due to the failure of a party to whom the support has been ordered to be paid to notify the clerk or support payment clearinghouse of a change in address, the clerk or support payment clearinghouse shall return that and all other unassigned payments to the obligor unless there is an agreement of the obligor to pay assigned arrears and other debts owed to the state.

L. If the obligee of a child support order marries the obligor of the child support order, that order automatically terminates on the last day of the month in which the marriage takes place and arrearages do not accrue after that date. However, the obligee or the state may collect child support arrearages that accrued before that date. The obligee, the obligor or the department or its agent in a title IV-D case may file a request or stipulation to terminate or adjust any existing order of assignment, pursuant to section 25-504 or section 25-505.01.

M. For the purposes of subsections H and I of this section, a child is emancipated:

1. On the date of the child's marriage.

2. On the child's eighteenth birthday.

3. When the child is adopted.

4. When the child dies.

5. On the termination of the support obligation if support is extended beyond the age of majority pursuant to section 25-501, subsection A or section 25-320, subsections E and F.

25-503.01. Self-employed parent; monies held as security for payment of support

A. On a showing of good cause, the court may order that a self-employed parent who is required to make child support payments forward an amount equal to not more than six months of child support to the department to hold as security. The department shall release these monies to compensate an obligee for missed current child support payments.

B. This section does not apply unless the self-employed parent is in arrears for three months or more.

C. This section does not limit other remedies available to an obligee, the department or its agents.

D. If a self-employed parent who is required to forward monies to the department pursuant to this section demonstrates full and timely support payments for twenty-four consecutive months, the department shall release to that self-employed parent any monies that remain.

25-504. Order of assignment; ex parte order of assignment; responsibilities; violation; termination

A. In a proceeding in which the court orders a person to pay support the court shall, and in a proceeding in which the court orders a person to pay spousal maintenance the court may, assign to the person or agency entitled to receive the support or spousal maintenance that portion of the person's income necessary to pay the amount ordered by the court. In a proceeding in which spousal maintenance is ordered to be paid the court shall order the assignment on either party's request.

B. A person obligated by an order to pay support or spousal maintenance, the person to whom support or spousal maintenance is ordered to be paid or the department or its agent in a title IV-D case may file a verified request with the clerk of the superior court requesting the clerk to issue an ex parte order of assignment for support or spousal maintenance. The ex parte order of assignment may include a payment for current support and any other support, current spousal maintenance, spousal maintenance arrearages and interest on spousal maintenance arrearages. A request filed by the department or its agent need not be verified. The request shall state:

1. The name of the person or agency entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance.

2. The monthly amount of any current support and the monthly amount of any spousal maintenance ordered by the court.

3. The specific amount requested for any support arrearages, spousal maintenance arrearages or interest.

4. The name and address of the payor to whom it is requested the order of assignment be directed and the name and social security number of the person obligated to pay support or spousal maintenance.

C. After receipt of a request for an ex parte order of assignment the clerk of the superior court, without a hearing or notice to the person obligated to pay support or spousal maintenance, shall issue an order of assignment of that portion of the person's income as is sufficient to pay the amount requested to the person or agency entitled to receive the support or spousal maintenance. On issuance of an ex parte order of assignment, the clerk shall issue a notice directed to the obligor in substantially the following form, which shall also be in Spanish:

   Notice

To: The obligor (the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance)

This is to notify you that part of your income or other monies is being taken away by the enclosed order of assignment that was issued on a request for an order of assignment that also is enclosed. The order of assignment has been issued for currently accruing child support or spousal maintenance, or both, based on the requesting party's claim that you are obligated to pay this. In addition, the requesting party may be claiming a right to collect other support, as defined in section 25-500, Arizona Revised Statutes, arrearages on spousal maintenance or interest on a judgment for unpaid spousal maintenance.

If you believe the enclosed order of assignment is improper or unlawful, that your property is exempt by law, or that your employer or other payor is withholding more than is permitted by law, you may request a hearing before the superior court. You must file a request to terminate or adjust the order of assignment on forms provided by the clerk of the court within seven days after your receipt of the order for assignment, request for an order of assignment and this notice. If you request a hearing, it will be held no more than ten days after you file your request with the court.

Here are some other important things you should know:

The order of assignment is effective immediately on service of the order on your employer or another payor. The first employer or payor served shall not withhold or deduct amounts specified in the ex parte order of assignment for fourteen calendar days from the date of service to allow you, the obligor, an opportunity to contest the order of assignment as provided in section 25-504, Arizona Revised Statutes. A future employer or payor may begin deductions sooner than the fourteen day period after the order of assignment is received.

If you request a hearing, the court, after considering the financial resources of both parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other for the attorney fees and costs of filing or defending the request.

Under state law (section 33-1131, Arizona Revised Statutes) no more than one-half of your disposable earnings for any pay period may be taken to satisfy an order issued for support or spousal maintenance. The amount of disposable earnings exempt from the order of assignment must be paid to you when due. Disposable income means the remaining portion of your wages, salary or compensation for personal services, including bonuses and commissions, or otherwise, and includes payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program or a deferred compensation plan, after deducting from such earnings the amounts required by law to be withheld.

An employer or other payor who receives the order of assignment may deduct from amounts due to you one dollar for each pay period, but not more than four dollars per month, for costs. The employer or payor also must deduct a monthly amount for the support payment handling fee required by state law (section 25-510, Arizona Revised Statutes).

The employer or other payor on whom the order of assignment is served will continue to withhold the amount set in the order and will forward the payment to the support payment clearinghouse until you file with the clerk one of the following:

1. A verified request to adjust the order of assignment, and the court adjusts the order of assignment because there has been a change of circumstances since the time of the issuance of the order or there is other good cause to do so.

2. A verified request for a hearing to terminate the order of assignment and, after a hearing, the court terminates the order of assignment if all obligations have been satisfied or will be satisfied within ninety days.

3. A notarized stipulation stating that the obligation to pay support or spousal maintenance has ended and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or have been waived, and the clerk terminates the order of assignment.

An employer may not refuse to hire, may not discharge or may not otherwise discipline you as a result of the order of assignment. If you are wrongfully refused employment, discharged or otherwise disciplined you may recover damages suffered, plus reinstatement if appropriate, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred against the employer.

Unless a court has expressly ordered otherwise, you must notify the clerk of the court or the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the address of your residence and of your employment and, within ten days, of a change in either one. Your failure to do so may subject you to sanctions for contempt of court, including reasonable attorney fees and costs pursuant to state law (section 25-504, subsection R, Arizona Revised Statutes). Official notices will be delivered to you at the most recent addresses you have provided to the clerk or support payment clearinghouse.

D. Any order of assignment shall be issued only for support, spousal maintenance, spousal maintenance arrearages, interest on spousal maintenance arrearages and handling fees. The order of assignment shall state the total amount that the payor shall withhold. The order of assignment also shall specify the monthly amount of current support and any other payment ordered for support, the monthly amount of any current spousal maintenance, the monthly amount of any spousal maintenance arrearages and any monthly interest payment. If the obligor's disposable earnings from the primary employer or other payor do not meet the support obligation, the court shall issue an order of assignment to a secondary employer or other payor of the obligor in order to meet the full support obligation.

E. An order of assignment shall be served on any employer or other payor by first class mail, electronic transmission or personal delivery or pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure. The order of assignment is effective immediately on receipt by any employer or other payor and any future employer or future payor. Any employer or other payor of monies shall begin withholding no later than fourteen days after receipt of an order of assignment. The employer or other payor, if feasible, may begin withholding sooner than the fourteen day period if a payment to the obligor is due sooner.

F. Two copies of an ex parte order of assignment and of the request for an order of assignment, together with a copy of the notice required by this section, shall be served on any employer or other payor in the same manner as other orders of assignment under this section. Within five days after receipt, the employer or payor shall serve by personal delivery or by registered mail one copy of the ex parte order of assignment and of the request and the notice on the employee or other payee. The ex parte order of assignment is effective on any employer or other payor, and as an assignment by operation of law is effective on any future employers or other future payors, immediately on receipt. The first employer or other payor served shall not withhold or deduct amounts specified in the ex parte order of assignment for fourteen calendar days to allow the obligor an opportunity to contest the order of assignment as provided in this section. Any future employers or future payors shall begin withholding not later than fourteen days after receipt of an ex parte order of assignment but, if feasible, may begin withholding sooner than fourteen days if a payment to the obligor is due sooner.

G. After service of an ex parte order of assignment on the employer or payor that initially receives the order of assignment, an obligor may request a hearing to contest the ex parte order of assignment. The request shall be made in writing, and the obligor shall state under oath the specific reason for the request. The request shall be filed with the court together with a notice of hearing form. The court shall hold a hearing within ten days after the request and notice of hearing form is filed. Immediately on the scheduling of the hearing, the obligor shall serve a copy of the request for and notice of hearing on the person entitled to receive support, and in a title IV-D case to the department. If the obligor files a request for hearing within seven days after receipt of the order of assignment, the court may order the support payment clearinghouse not to disburse any monies received pursuant to the order of assignment until further order of the court. The obligor may contest the withholding for any of the following reasons:

1. There is an error in the identity of the obligor.

2. There is an error in the amount of support or spousal maintenance.

3. Invalidity of the order for support or spousal maintenance.

4. Current support or spousal maintenance is no longer owed, if the order of assignment includes a payment for current support or spousal maintenance.

5. Arrearages are not owed if the order of assignment includes a payment for arrearages.

H. Any employer or other payor who has received any order of assignment shall withhold the amount specified in the order of assignment, together with the handling fee as provided in section 25-510, from the income of the person obligated to pay support or spousal maintenance and shall transmit the withheld monies to the support payment clearinghouse within two business days after the obligor is paid or after the payment to the obligor is due. The handling fee shall be deducted and transmitted monthly. For the cost of compliance the employer or payor may also withhold and retain an additional one dollar per payment but not more than four dollars per month for each obligor. An employer or payor may combine in a single payment withheld monies for more than one obligor, shall separately identify the portion of the remittance that is attributable to each obligor and shall include each obligor's social security number. An employer or payor shall notify the clerk or support payment clearinghouse in writing when the obligor is no longer employed or the right to receive income or other monies has been terminated. The employer or payor shall also notify the clerk or support payment clearinghouse in writing of the obligor's social security number and last known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known, within ten days. In a non-title IV-D case, within ten days after receiving this information the support payment clearinghouse shall notify the clerk of the superior court in the county where the support or maintenance order was issued. If within ninety days of the last payment, the employer or other payor reemploys the obligor or becomes obligated to pay the obligor, the employer or payor is again bound by the order of assignment and is required to perform as required by this section. In a title IV-D case the order of assignment may be reinstated pursuant to section 25-505.01. An employer or payor who fails without good cause to comply with the terms of an order of assignment is liable for amounts not paid to the clerk or support payment clearinghouse pursuant to the order of assignment and reasonable attorney fees, costs and other expenses incurred in procuring compliance and may be subject to contempt.

I. If a person is obligated to pay child support for more than one family and the amount available for withholding is not sufficient to meet the total combined current child support obligation, any monies withheld from the obligor's income shall be allocated to each family by the employer or payor as follows:

1. The amount of current child support ordered in each case shall be added together to obtain the total current child support obligation.

2. The amount of current child support ordered in each case shall be divided by the total current child support obligation to obtain the percentage of the total current child support obligation to be allocated to each case.

3. The amount withheld from the obligor shall be multiplied by the percentage for each case to obtain the amount to be allocated to each case.

J. The person or agency entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance shall notify the clerk of the superior court or support payment clearinghouse in writing of any change of residential address and of any other information required pursuant to section 46-443, within ten days of any change. If after reasonable efforts to locate the obligee the clerk or support payment clearinghouse is unable to deliver payments under an order of assignment for the period prescribed in section 25-503 due to the failure of an obligee to comply with the notice requirement of this subsection, the clerk or support payment clearinghouse shall not make further payment under the order of assignment and shall return payments to the obligor as prescribed in section 25-503. Under these circumstances the court, clerk or department or its agent shall order the release of the employer or payor from the order of assignment on request of the employer, the payor, the department or its agent or on the clerk's own initiative. Any order of assignment from which an employer or payor has been released may be reinstated by following the procedures for obtaining an ex parte order of assignment pursuant to this section or, in a title IV-D case, an administrative income withholding order pursuant to section 25-505.01.

K. Unless a court has ordered otherwise, the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance shall notify the clerk of the superior court or the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the obligor's residential address and the name and address of any employer, and within ten days of any change. Failure to do so may subject the person to sanctions for contempt of court, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

L. Any order of assignment may be adjusted if there has been a change of circumstances since the date the order of assignment was issued or for good cause. The department or its agent or a person obligated to pay or entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance shall file with the clerk of the superior court a request to adjust the order of assignment and a proposed order of assignment. The request shall specify the adjustment sought and the reason for the request. A copy of the request shall be served pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure, or by the department or its agent in a title IV-D case by first class mail, on all other parties and on the state if the department is providing title IV-D support services or has a claim for arrearages. The party receiving the request and proposed order may request a hearing within twenty days or within thirty days if service is made outside this state. On proof of service and if a hearing has not been requested within the time allowed, the clerk shall issue the order of assignment as appropriate. Within two business days after the date the order of assignment is issued, the clerk shall transmit a copy of the order of assignment to the employer or payor, the department or its agent and all parties. Unless ordered otherwise by the court, in a title IV-D case any order of assignment may be adjusted pursuant to section 25-505.01.

M. The department or its agent or a person obligated to pay or entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance may file a request to terminate any order of assignment if the obligation to pay support or spousal maintenance has ended or will end within ninety days after the filing of the request and if all arrearages either have been paid or will be paid within the period or have been waived. The request shall state the reason why termination is requested and shall contain the name and address of the employer or payor of the person obligated to pay support. A copy of the request shall be served pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure, or by the department or its agent in a title IV-D case by first class mail, on all other parties and on the state if the department is providing title IV-D support services or has a claim for arrearages. A party receiving this notice may request a hearing within twenty days or within thirty days if service is made outside this state. On proof of service and if a hearing has not been requested within the time allowed, the clerk shall issue an order terminating the order of assignment as appropriate. Within two business days after the date the order is issued, the clerk shall transmit a copy of the order terminating the order of assignment to the employer or payor and to the department or its agent. If a hearing is requested, the court shall set the hearing within twenty days after receiving the request and shall issue an appropriate order. A person who is ordered to pay support may request the court to terminate an order of assignment at any time if an employer is making deductions on multiple assignments for an obligation for the same minor children. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the clerk shall not charge a fee to a person who files a request to terminate an order of assignment if an employer is making deductions on multiple assignments for an obligation for the same minor children.

N. If a request to adjust or terminate an order of assignment is filed, the court in its discretion may order that the clerk of the superior court or support payment clearinghouse not disburse any monies in dispute until further order of the court.

O. The clerk of the superior court shall issue an order terminating the order of assignment if the parties, including the department or its agent in a title IV-D case, file a notarized stipulation with the clerk that all obligations of support or spousal maintenance have been satisfied and that the obligor is no longer obligated to pay support or spousal maintenance. The stipulation shall state that the current obligation of support or spousal maintenance no longer exists and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or waived. The stipulation shall also contain the name and address of the employer or payor of the person obligated to pay support or spousal maintenance. Within five business days after the date the stipulation is filed, the clerk shall transmit a copy of the order terminating the order of assignment to the employer or payor and to the department or its agent. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the clerk shall not charge a fee to a party who files a stipulation pursuant to this subsection.

P. An assignment ordered pursuant to this section has priority over all other executions, attachments or garnishments. An obligation for current child support shall be fully met before any payments pursuant to an order of assignment may be applied to any other support obligation. An assignment ordered under this section does not apply to amounts made exempt under section 33-1131 or any other applicable exemption law.

Q. Any employer or other payor shall not refuse to hire a person and shall not discharge or otherwise discipline an obligor because of service of an order of assignment authorized by this section. An employer or payor who refuses to hire a person or who discharges or otherwise disciplines an employee or obligor because of service of an order of assignment is subject to contempt and sanctions as may be ordered by the court. A person who is wrongfully refused employment, wrongfully discharged or otherwise disciplined is entitled to recover damages sustained by the prohibited conduct, reinstatement, if appropriate, and attorney fees and costs incurred.

R. In any proceeding under this section the court, after considering the financial resources of the parties and the reasonableness of the positions each party has taken, may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to another party for the costs and expenses, including attorney fees, of maintaining or defending the proceeding.

25-505.01. Administrative income withholding order; notice; definition

A. In a title IV-D case, if a person is obligated to pay support, the department or its agent, without prior notice to the obligor, shall issue an income withholding order using the format prescribed by the United States secretary of health and human services. The order shall include the obligor's social security number. The withholding order shall include payment for current child support or spousal maintenance and may include an installment payment for arrearages pursuant to subsection B of this section or any other support. A withholding order under this section does not apply to amounts exempt under section 33-1131, subsection C or any other applicable exemption law. The withholding order shall direct the holder of the monies to withhold and pay to the person or agency entitled to receive the support the amount ordered by the department. The withholding order shall be accompanied by a written notice of withholding as prescribed in this section.

B. In addition to current support an income withholding order may include an installment for arrearages or any other support if:

1. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to at least two months but not more than six months of the obligor's current support obligation, the income withholding order shall include an additional amount equal to twenty-five per cent of the current support obligation.

2. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to more than six months of the obligor's current support obligation, the income withholding order shall include an additional amount equal to thirty-three per cent of the current support obligation.

3. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to one year or more of the obligors's support obligation, an income withholding order may include an additional amount that exceeds thirty-three per cent of the support obligation.

C. If the obligor does not owe current support but arrearages remain unpaid, the department or its agent may issue or adjust an income withholding order only for arrearages. The income withholding order shall be in the amount of the most recent current support order or the most recent order regarding the payment on arrearages, whichever is greater.

D. The department shall serve the order and notice on an employer or payor by first class mail or by electronic means. Service by mail as authorized in this section is complete as to the employer or payor when the mailing is received. Service by electronic means is complete on transmission to the employer or payor. The income withholding order shall direct the employer or payor to deliver or mail by first class mail a copy of the income withholding notice and order to the obligor within ten days after service on the employer or payor.

E. The income withholding order is an assignment and is binding fourteen days after receipt on an existing and future employer or payor of the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance on whom a copy of the income withholding order and notice of withholding is served. The employer or payor shall withhold the amount specified in the order from the income of the person obligated to pay support and shall transmit that amount to the support payment clearinghouse within two business days after the date the employee is paid. The employer or payor shall advise the support payment clearinghouse of the date the monies were withheld, may combine withheld amounts for several employees in a single payment and shall separately identify the portion of the payment that is attributable to each employee. The employer or other payor may also withhold and retain for application to the employer's or payor's cost of compliance an additional one dollar per pay period or four dollars per month.

F. If the obligor's disposable income from the primary employer or payor does not meet the support obligation, the department shall issue an income withholding order to a secondary employer of the obligor in order to meet the full support obligation.

G. Any obligor, employer or other payor may challenge the income withholding order issued by the department or its agent by filing a written request for administrative review with the department or its agent within ten days after receipt of the notice of income withholding order from the employer or payor. The administrative review shall be conducted pursuant to section 25-522. On receipt of a request for administrative review the department or its agent shall delay implementation of the income withholding order.

H. A change in income withholding pursuant to subsection B of this section is not a sufficient basis for a modification of the current support order.

I. Notwithstanding section 25-504, in a title IV-D case, if all obligations of support have been satisfied and the person obligated to pay support is no longer obligated and if the parties, including the department or its agent in a title IV-D case, submit a stipulation that the current obligation of support no longer exists and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or waived, the department or its agent shall issue an order terminating the income withholding order. The order shall state that the current obligation of support no longer exists and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or waived. The stipulation shall also contain the name and address of the employer or payor of the person obligated to pay support. Within five business days after the date the stipulation is submitted, the department or its agent shall send by first class mail a copy of the order terminating the income withholding order to the employer or payor, the parties and the clerk of the court.

J. Notwithstanding section 25-504, in a title IV-D case, the department or its agent on its own initiative, or the parties to a child support proceeding on request to the department, may terminate an income withholding order issued pursuant to this section or section 25-504, if the obligation to pay support has ended or will end within ninety days after the date the request is submitted and if all arrearages either have been paid or will be paid within the period or have been waived. The request shall include a statement of why the termination is requested, supporting documentation and the name and address of the employer and person obligated to pay support. The requesting party shall notify each party by first class mail of the request to terminate the order. The employer or payor shall continue to withhold and transmit support or spousal maintenance until otherwise ordered. On receipt of a request to terminate an income withholding order the department or its agent may suspend disbursements until a determination is issued. A party that receives notice of a request to terminate an income withholding order may object to the request and provide the department or its agent with the basis for the objection and supporting documents within ten days after receipt of the notice. Within forty-five days after the request the department or its agent shall issue a determination to all parties based on the information available. On a determination to terminate an income withholding order, the department or its agent within two business days shall send by first class mail a copy of the order terminating or adjusting the order to the employer or payor and to the support payment clearinghouse.

K. The employer or payor shall notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing when the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance is no longer employed by the employer or the right to receive income has been terminated. The employer shall notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the former employee's last known address and the name and address of the new employer, if known. If the employer or payor is again obligated to pay income to a person ordered to pay support within ninety days after termination of this right, the employer or payor is again bound by the income withholding order and is required to perform pursuant to this section.

L. The obligation for current child support shall be fully met before any payments under an order of assignment may be applied to payments of arrearages. If a person is obligated to pay child support for more than one family and the amount available for withholding is not sufficient to meet the total combined child support obligation, any monies withheld from the obligor's income shall be allocated to each family by the employer or payor as follows:

1. The amount of current child support ordered in each case shall be added to obtain the total child support obligation.

2. The ordered amount in each case shall be divided by the total child support obligation to obtain a percentage of the total amount due.

3. The amount available from the obligor's income shall be multiplied by the percentage under paragraph 2 of this subsection to obtain the amount to be allocated to each family.

M. An income withholding order shall include a statement that an employer shall not refuse to hire a person or shall not discharge or otherwise discipline an employee as a result of an income withholding order authorized by this section, and an employer who refuses to hire a person or who discharges or otherwise disciplines an employee as a result of the income withholding order is subject to contempt and fines as established by the court. Any person wrongfully refused employment or an employee wrongfully discharged or otherwise disciplined is entitled to recovery of damages suffered, reinstatement if appropriate, plus attorney fees and costs incurred. Any employer or other payor who fails without good cause to comply with the terms of the income withholding order may be liable for amounts not paid to the support payment clearinghouse pursuant to the income withholding order, reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred and may be subject to contempt. The department may initiate an action in superior court to enforce this subsection.

N. On issuance of an income withholding order the department or its agent shall issue a notice of withholding directed to the person ordered to pay support. The notice shall advise the obligor that:

1. An income withholding order has been issued against the obligor's income for payment of currently accruing child support or spousal maintenance, or both.

2. The income withholding order may include an amount for child support arrearages, or any other support.

3. The obligor may file a written request for administrative review with the department pursuant to section 25-522 within ten days after receipt of this notice if the obligor believes that:

(a) The income withholding order is improper or unlawful.

(b) The obligor's property is exempt by law.

(c) The employer or other payor is withholding more than permitted by law.

4. An income withholding order made pursuant to this section becomes binding on the employer or payor or any future employers or future payors fourteen days after receipt of a copy of the order and notice of withholding.

5. The employer or payor shall withhold the amount specified in the order from the income of the person obligated to pay support.

6. Not more than one-half of the obligor's disposable income for any period may be taken to satisfy an income withholding order issued for the support of any person.

7. The amount of disposable income exempt from the income withholding order must be paid to the obligor on the regular payday for the pay period in which income is earned.

8. The employer or other payor shall continue to withhold the amount set forth in the order each pay period and shall forward the amount to the child support payment clearinghouse until either:

(a) The obligor files a request for administrative review with the department or its agent and after review the department or its agent modifies or terminates the income withholding order.

(b) The obligor files a petition with the court and, after a hearing, the court modifies or terminates the income withholding order.

9. An employer may not refuse to hire, may not discharge or may not otherwise discipline the obligor as a result of this income withholding order. If the obligor is wrongfully refused employment, discharged or otherwise disciplined, the obligor may recover damages suffered, reinstatement of employment if appropriate and reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred against the employer.

10. Unless ordered otherwise, the obligor has a duty to notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the address of the obligor's residence and employment and, within ten days, of a change in either one. The department or its agent shall use these addresses to notify the obligor of all subsequent actions to enforce support. Failure of the obligor to advise the department of changes in residential or employment address may subject the obligor to sanctions for contempt of court, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

O. An income withholding order issued pursuant to this section has the same force and effect as an order of the superior court, has priority over all other attachments, executions, garnishments or assignments and may be enforced against the obligor and employer in superior court.

P. For purposes of this section, " arrearages" means past due support, including interest.

25-508. Enforcement of support orders; fee prohibition

A. Any judgment, order or decree, whether arising from a dissolution, divorce, separation, annulment, custody determination, paternity or maternity determination or dependency proceeding or from a uniform interstate enforcement of support act proceeding and any interlocutory support award in any such proceeding or in any other proceeding regarding support that provides for alimony, spousal maintenance or child support may be enforced as a matter of right by lien, execution, attachment, garnishment, levy, appointment of a receiver, provisional remedies or any other form of relief provided by law as an enforcement remedy for civil judgments. An affidavit regarding all payments in default under the support order, along with a copy of the underlying support order, shall be filed with the clerk of the superior court along with the appropriate writ, application, petition or motion.

B. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a department of this state or its political subdivisions shall not charge the department or its agents a fee for performing an act necessary to enforce a support order as provided by this section.

25-511. Failure of parent to provide for child; classification

A. Except as provided in section 25-501, subsection F, any parent of a minor child who knowingly fails to furnish reasonable support for the parent's child is guilty of a class 6 felony.

B. It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of subsection A of this section that the defendant has complied with a valid court order that was in effect for the time period charged and that set forth an amount of support for the minor child or was unable to furnish reasonable support. Inability to furnish reasonable support is not a defense if the defendant voluntarily remained idle, voluntarily decreased his income or voluntarily incurred other financial obligations.

C. The trier of fact, in determining whether the defendant has failed to furnish reasonable support, shall consider all assets, earnings and entitlements of the defendant and whether the defendant has made all reasonable efforts to obtain the necessary funds. On a showing of previous employment or lack of a physical or mental disability precluding employment, the trier of fact may infer that the defendant is capable of full-time employment at least at the federal adult minimum wage. This inference does not apply to noncustodial parents who are under the age of eighteen and who are still attending high school.

25-511.01. Spousal maintenance order; violation; classification

A person who is obligated to pay spousal maintenance pursuant to an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor if the person has notice of the order and wilfully and without lawful excuse fails to comply with the terms of that order.

25-512. Consumer credit reports; use of child support or spousal maintenance obligation information

A. A consumer reporting agency as defined in title 44, chapter 11, article 6 shall include as part of a consumer report information regarding:

1. A court order or judgment obligating a person to pay child support or spousal maintenance.

2. A court order for assignment under section 25-323 or 25-504.

3. An income withholding order issued by the department of economic security or its agent pursuant to section 25-505.01.

B. The state or a person entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance may provide a consumer reporting agency with a copy of a court order or judgment described in this section.

C. The department or its agent may provide a consumer reporting agency with electronic or documentary information that an order or judgment for support or spousal maintenance exists.

D. The department shall report to a consumer reporting agency the name of an obligor who is delinquent in the payment of support and the amount of the support owed.

E. The department shall provide written notice to an obligor that it shall report the amount of the support owed by the obligor to a consumer reporting agency. The department shall provide this notice by first class mail at the obligor's current address, or after a reasonable attempt to ascertain the obligor's location, at the obligor's last known address. The notice shall state the following:

1. The obligor's name and the amount of the arrearage.

2. The address and telephone number of the department or its agent.

3. That the obligor may make a written request to the department or its agent for an administrative review pursuant to section 25-522 to contest the arrearages within fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice.

4. That if the obligor requests an administrative review the department shall not release the report to the consumer reporting agency until a final determination has been made at the administrative review.

5. That if an obligor requests an administrative review, the issues at the administrative review shall be limited to whether the obligor is required to pay child support, whether the obligor is in arrears and the amount of current support and arrears.

6. That if the obligor does not respond to the notice, the department shall send the report to the consumer reporting agency.

25-517. Title IV-D agency; license suspension; notice

A. The department or its agent shall notify an obligor who is at least two months in arrears in making child support payments, periodic payments on a support arrearage or periodic payments pursuant to a court order of support or who has failed to comply with a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant that the obligor may be referred to court for a hearing to suspend or deny the obligor's driver license, professional or occupational license or recreational license. The department or its agent shall notify the obligor by first class mail at the obligor's current address, or after a reasonable attempt to ascertain the obligor's location, at the obligor's last known address. The notice shall state the following:

1. The obligor has wilfully failed to pay child support, wilfully continues to do so and is at least two months in arrears in making child support payments or has failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant.

2. The obligor may request in writing an administrative review conducted pursuant to section 25-522 to contest the matter within fifteen days from the date of mailing of the notice.

3. If the obligor requests an administrative review, the department or its agent shall stay the action to refer the obligor to court for the suspension or denial of the obligor's professional, occupational, recreational or driver license.

4. If the obligor fails to respond to the notice, the department or its agent shall refer the obligor to court for license suspension or denial pursuant to section 25-518.

5. The address and telephone number of the department.

6. The obligor may request a copy of the child support order.

B. If an obligor fails to respond to the notice in subsection A of this section within fifteen days after the date of mailing, the department or its agent shall send the obligor a second notice. The second notice shall include the information under subsection A of this section and shall state the following:

1. If the obligor fails to contact the department or its agent within fifteen days after the date of mailing of the second notice, the obligor's license shall be suspended.

2. This is the final notice the obligor will receive.

C. If an obligor requests an administrative review pursuant to this section, the issues at the review shall be limited to whether the obligor is required to pay child support and is in arrears or whether the obligor has failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant. The department or its agent shall not refer the obligor to court unless the department or its agent determines that the obligor is at least two months in arrears or has failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant. The department or its agent shall make this decision in writing and shall provide a copy to the obligor.

D. If the department or its agent determines that the obligor is either at least two months in arrears, has failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant or has failed to respond to the second notice, the department shall refer the obligor to court for license suspension pursuant to section 25-518.

25-518. Child support arrearage; license suspension; hearing; definition

A. A court shall send a certificate of noncompliance to the board or agency ordering the suspension or denial of a license if the court finds from the evidence presented at a hearing to enforce a child support order that the obligor:

1. Wilfully failed to pay child support and after notice pursuant to section 25-517, subsection A continues to wilfully fail to pay child support and is at least two months in arrears.

2. Failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support subpoena.

3. Failed without reasonable cause to comply with a child support arrest warrant.

B. On petition or motion the court shall hold a review hearing to determine if the obligor has come into compliance with the support order, a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant. If the obligor establishes at the review hearing that the obligor is in compliance with the support order, a court ordered plan for payment of arrearages, a child support subpoena or a child support arrest warrant, the court shall send a certificate of compliance to the board or agency. Except for licenses issued under title 17, the obligor may then apply for license reinstatement and shall pay all applicable fees.

C. In a title IV-D case, the department or its agent may file with the clerk of the superior court an affidavit indicating that the obligor is in compliance with the support order or the child support obligation. Within five business days after the affidavit is filed, the clerk shall send a notice of compliance to the obligor by first class mail. The clerk shall send a copy of the notice of compliance to the department and the licensing board or agency.

D. An obligee may petition the court for an order to suspend the driver, professional, occupational or recreational license of an obligor who is at least two months in arrears on a child support obligation if the obligee complies with the notice requirements of this section. The court may act on this petition in the same manner it acts on other petitions filed under this section.

E. The obligee shall provide notice to the obligor as provided in subsection F of this section. The notice shall state the following:

1. The obligee is entitled to receive child support payments and the monthly amount.

2. The obligor is in arrears in making child support payments and the amount of the arrearages.

3. The obligee intends to petition the court for a license suspension hearing.

4. The driver, professional, occupational or recreational license of the obligor may be suspended or denied if the court finds that the obligor is at least two months in arrears and has wilfully failed to pay child support.

F. The obligee shall attach a copy of the order of support to the notice. The obligee shall serve the notice by first class mail.

G. Except for licenses issued under title 17, the board or agency shall suspend or deny the license of the licensee within thirty days after receiving the notice of noncompliance from the court. The board or agency shall not lift the suspension until the board or agency receives a certificate of compliance from the court. Notwithstanding section 41-1064, subsection C and section 41-1092.11, subsection B, the board or agency is not required to conduct a hearing. The board or agency shall notify the department in writing or by any other means prescribed by the department of all suspensions within ten days after the suspension. The information shall include the name, address, date of birth and social security number of the licensee and the license category.

H. A certificate of noncompliance without further action invalidates a license to take wildlife in this state and prohibits the obligor from applying for a license issued by an automated drawing system under title 17. The court shall send a copy of the certificate of noncompliance to the department of economic security, and the department of economic security shall notify the Arizona game and fish department of all obligors against whom a notice of noncompliance has been issued and who have applied for a license issued by an automated drawing system.

I. For the purposes of this section, " license" means any license, certificate, registration or other authorization that:

1. Is issued by a board or agency.

2. Is subject before expiration to suspension, revocation, forfeiture or termination by the issuing board or agency.

3. A person must obtain to:

(a) Practice or engage in a particular business, occupation or profession.

(b) Operate a motor vehicle.

(c) Engage in activities requiring a license pursuant to title 17.

25-520. Child support enforcement; administrative subpoena; civil penalty

A. In a title IV-D case the department or its agent may issue a subpoena to a person or entity believed to have information needed for the establishment of paternity or the establishment, modification or enforcement of a child support order, requiring appearance before the department or its agent and the production of all records or documents related to an investigation or child support proceeding.

B. The subpoena shall be served in the manner provided under applicable law or rules of procedure for the service of subpoenas in a civil action.

C. A person or entity that, without reasonable cause, fails to comply with the subpoena or that wilfully gives false information is subject to a civil penalty of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation.

D. A civil penalty imposed by the department pursuant to subsection C of this section is subject to court review if the person or entity requests a review within fifteen business days after the department imposes the penalty.

E. A civil penalty imposed by the department on an obligor pursuant to this section may be referred to credit reporting agencies for up to seven years after the date of the order that imposed the penalty or until collected. The department shall not take this action until the time for a court review pursuant to subsection D of this section has elapsed.

F. A civil penalty imposed by the department operates as a final judgment without further action by the department. The department may collect the penalty through all available civil remedies. A civil judgment accrues interest pursuant to section 44-1201.

G. The department shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, monies collected under this section in the state general fund.

25-521. Levy; seizure of property for collection of support debt; definitions

A. If there is a court ordered judgment or if the obligor is in arrears in an amount equal to twelve months of support, the department may issue a levy and collect the amount owed by the obligor by levy on all property and rights to property not exempt under federal or state law.

B. The levy extends only to property possessed and obligations existing at the time of service or within twenty-one days thereafter, except as to an account held in a financial institution in which case the levy extends only to property possessed and obligations existing at the time of service. On receipt of a notice of levy, a person in possession of property or an interest in property subject to levy shall seize and hold nonexempt property until that person receives from the department a notice of surrender of property or a notice of release of levy. Within three days after receipt, the person served with the notice of levy shall notify the obligor and any other individual or entity known or believed to have an interest in the property that a levy has occurred. The notice shall specify the amount demanded and shall contain, in the case of a seizure of personal property, an account of the property levied on, and in the case of real property, a description with reasonable certainty of the property levied on. The person served with the levy, the obligor or other persons known or believed to have an interest in the property may make a written request for an administrative review to contest the levy within fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice. The administrative review shall be conducted pursuant to section 25-522, subsection D. The administrative review shall include a determination of the interest of the obligor in the property subject to levy, including the obligor's contributions to any property held by the community. If the request for administrative review is based on a mistake in identity, the department shall conduct the review within two business days. The administrative review shall be conducted pursuant to section 25-522, subsection E.

C. Any person in possession of property, or obligated with respect to property or rights to property subject to levy, on which a levy has been made, on demand by the department shall surrender the property or right to property to the department.

D. A person who fails or refuses to surrender any property or rights to property, subject to levy, on demand by the department, is liable in an amount equal to the value of the property or rights to property not surrendered, but not exceeding the amount of the past due support for which the levy has been made.

E. If any property or right to property on which a levy has been made under subsection A of this section is not sufficient to satisfy the claim of the department, the department, as often as necessary, may proceed to levy in like manner on any other property subject to levy of the obligor owing support, until the amount due is paid in full.

F. In any case in which the department may levy on property or rights to property, the department may seize and sell the property or rights to the property whether real or personal, tangible or intangible in the manner prescribed by law. Except as otherwise provided by this section, the notice of sale and sale of property seized by the department shall be conducted in the manner and the time provided in title 12, chapter 9, article 7, relating to the sale of property under execution. Real property may be redeemed in the manner provided by title 12, chapter 8, article 11. The department shall notify the obligor of the date, time and location of the sale. The notice shall be given in person, left at the dwelling or usual place of business of the obligor or sent by first class mail to the obligor's last known address, at least ten days before the day of the sale. If the property or right to property is perishable, the department shall give notice of the sale to the obligor in the manner and within the time limits that are reasonable considering the character and condition of the property.

G. A person who is in possession of or obligated with respect to property or rights to property subject to levy on which a levy has been made and who, on demand by the department, surrenders the property or rights to property to the department is discharged from any obligation or liability to the obligor with respect to the property or rights to property from the surrender on payment.

H. A levy issued pursuant to this section has the same force and effect as a writ of garnishment, execution or attachment issued by the superior court.

I. For purposes of this section:

1. " Account" means a demand deposit account, checking or negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account or money market mutual fund account.

2. " Levy" includes the power to restrain and seize by any legal means.

3. " Person" includes an individual or an officer, employee or agent of a corporation, an officer, employee or elected official of this state or its political subdivisions, or any agency or instrumentality of this state or the federal government or its political subdivisions, or a member or employee of a partnership, who as such officer, employee, agent, elected official or member is under a duty to surrender the property or rights to property, or to discharge the obligation.

Article 2. Child Medical Support

 

25-535. Enforcement of health insurance coverage; medical support notice; administrative review

A. In a title IV-D case, a parent who is required by an administrative or court order to provide health insurance coverage for a child shall provide the department or its agent with the name of the health insurance coverage plan under which the child is covered, the effective date of the coverage, a description of the coverage, the name of the employer and any other necessary information, forms or documents related to the health insurance coverage as provided to all new members within thirty days after the support order is established.

B. If an administrative or court order requires a parent to obtain health insurance coverage for the parent's child, the department or its agent may deliver by first class mail to the obligated parent's employer a medical support notice to enroll the child in an insurance program as prescribed by that order. The department or its agent shall use the medical support notice to enroll prescribed by the United States secretary of health and human services pursuant to 42 United States Code section 651. The employer shall deliver or mail by first class mail or by electronic means a copy of the medical support notice to enroll to the obligated parent within ten days after the employer receives the notice. The notice serves to enroll the child in the obligated parent's health insurance coverage plan. That parent may contest the notice by filing a written request for an administrative review within ten days after the parent receives a copy of the notice from the employer. The department shall conduct an administrative review pursuant to section 25-522. If a parent contests the notice, the department or its agent shall notify the employer by first class mail or electronic means that the parent has contested the medical support notice to enroll. The employer shall send the employee contributions until the department notifies the employer to cease withholding. An administrative review is limited to determining if:

1. Medical support is unlawful or inconsistent with an administrative or court order.

2. A mistaken identity exists.

3. The responsible party pursuant to the order provides alternative coverage.

C. If an employee on whom an income withholding order or order of assignment and notice is served is a new employee who is entered into the state directory of new hires pursuant to section 23-722.01, the department or its agent shall provide the medical support notice to enroll to the obligated parent's employer within two days after the date of entry in the state directory of new hires unless the responsible party pursuant to the order provides alternative coverage.

D. If the obligated parent who is required by a court or an administrative order to obtain health insurance coverage changes employment and the new employer is known to the department or its agent, the department or its agent shall use the medical support notice to enroll to transfer notice to the new employer. Within thirty days after the obligated parent changes employment the obligated parent shall provide the department or its agent with the name of the health insurance coverage plan under which the child is covered, the effective date of the coverage, a description of the coverage, the name of the employer and any other necessary information, forms or documents related to the health insurance coverage as provided to all new members. Within twenty business days after it receives the medical support notice to enroll the employer shall transfer the notice to the appropriate health insurance plan that provides coverage for which the child is eligible.

E. A medical support notice to enroll has the same effect as an enrollment application that is signed by the parent.

F. If the employer does not have existing dependent coverage when it receives the medical support notice to enroll, the employer is not required to create this coverage. The employer shall notify the department or its agent of this fact within ten days after receiving the medical support notice to enroll.

Article 3. Spousal Maintenance Enforcement

25-553. Request for arrearages; deadline

A. The person to whom the spousal maintenance obligation is owed may file a request for judgment for spousal maintenance arrearages not later than three years after the date the spousal maintenance order terminates. In that proceeding there is no bar to establishing a money judgment for all of the unpaid spousal maintenance arrearages.

B. Notwithstanding any other law, formal written judgments for spousal maintenance and for associated costs and attorney fees are exempt from renewal and are enforceable until paid in full.

C. If termination of the spousal maintenance order is disputed, this section shall be liberally construed to effect its intention of diminishing the limitation on the collection of spousal maintenance arrearages.

Article 5. Child Support Arrest Warrants

 

25-681. Child support arrest warrant; definition

A. In any action or proceeding pursuant to section 25-502, on motion of a party or on its own motion the court may issue a child support arrest warrant if the court finds that all of the following apply to the person for whom the warrant is sought:

1. The person was ordered by the court to appear personally at a specific time and location.

2. The person received actual notice of the order, including a warning that the failure to appear might result in the issuance of a child support arrest warrant.

3. The person failed to appear as ordered.

B. The judicial officer shall order the child support arrest warrant and the clerk shall issue the warrant. The warrant shall contain the name of the person to be arrested and other information required to enter the warrant in the Arizona criminal justice information system. The warrant shall command that the named person be arrested and either remanded to the custody of the sheriff or brought before the judicial officer or, if the judicial officer is absent or unable to act, the nearest or most accessible judicial officer of the superior court in the same county. A warrant that is issued pursuant to this section remains in effect until it is executed or extinguished by the court.

C. The court shall determine and the warrant shall state the amount the arrested person shall pay in order to be released from custody.

D. A facsimile of the judicial officer's signature that is applied to the warrant at the direction and under the supervision of the judicial officer is deemed to be the authorized signature of the judicial officer.

E. For the purposes of this article, " child support arrest warrant" means an order that is issued by a judicial officer in a noncriminal child support matter and that directs a peace officer in this state to arrest the person named in the warrant and bring the person before the court.

25-682. Time and manner of execution; information

A. A child support arrest warrant is executed by the arrest of the person named in the warrant. The warrant may be executed at any time.

B. When making an arrest pursuant to a child support arrest warrant, the arresting officer shall inform the person named in the warrant that the arresting officer has a child support arrest warrant unless:

1. The named person flees or forcibly resists before the arresting officer has an opportunity to inform the named person.

2. Providing this information will imperil the arrest.

C. In order to execute a child support arrest warrant, the arresting officer may use reasonable force to enter any building in which the person named in the warrant is or is reasonably believed to be.

D. The arresting officer does not have to possess the warrant at the time of the arrest. If after the arrest the arrested person requests to see the warrant, the arresting officer shall show the arrested person a copy of the warrant as soon as practicable.

E. The arrested person shall be brought before the issuing judicial officer as soon as possible or, if that judicial officer is absent or unable to act, the nearest or most accessible judicial officer of the superior court in the same county. In any event, the arrested person shall be brought before a judicial officer of the superior court in the issuing county or the county of arrest within twenty-four judicial business hours of the execution of the warrant. If the person is arrested in a county other than the county in which the warrant was issued, the arresting officer shall notify the sheriff and the local title IV-D agency, if applicable, in the county in which the warrant was issued that the person has been arrested. As soon as practicable, the sheriff of the county in which the warrant was issued shall take custody of and transport the arrested person to the issuing judicial officer or a judicial officer of the superior court in the county in which the warrant was issued. If the arrested person is not taken into custody and transported within seventy-two hours after arrest, the arrested person shall be released and issued a written notice directing the arrested person to appear at a specified date and time in the superior court in the county in which the warrant was issued. The notice shall have the same force and effect as an order of the superior court. The notice shall state that if the arrested person fails to appear as directed a child support arrest warrant may be issued. A copy of this notice shall be sent to the court and the local title IV-D agency, if applicable, in the county in which the warrant was issued.

25-683. Procedure after arrest; payment for release from custody

A. When a person who is arrested pursuant to a child support arrest warrant is brought before the court, the judicial officer shall advise the arrested person of the nature of the proceedings and shall set a date for the next court appearance. The arrested person may be released from custody pending the hearing if the arrested person pays the amount set by the court pursuant to section 25-681 or a larger amount as the court determines. The court shall not reduce the amount ordered to be paid. The arrested person shall not be released from custody without paying the amount unless the court finds in writing or on the record that a compelling reason exists to release the arrested person. Monies received pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited and credited pursuant to section 25-502, subsection I.

B. If the arrested person pays the full amount set forth in the warrant before the arrested person is brought before a judicial officer, the arrested person may be released after receiving a notice to appear in the superior court in the county in which the warrant was issued pursuant to the procedure prescribed in section 25-682, subsection E. If the arrested person fails to appear as directed, a child support arrest warrant may be issued.

C. The arresting agency shall forward all amounts that are paid by the arrested person for release pursuant to this subsection to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the warrant was issued or the support payment clearinghouse for deposit and credit pursuant to section 25-502, subsection I.