Modifications of Existing Family Law Orders

Arizona law provides that certain court orders involving family law are subject to modification upon a showing of a “substantial and continuing change of circumstances”. Orders that are modifiable are child custody, visitation, child support and, in most cases, spousal maintenance. A modification of child support also entails a possible modification of the responsibility to provide medical insurance for the minor children, a reallocation of the parents’ rights to claim the tax dependency exemption for minor children and most other financial provisions that are construed as child support. Child custody and visitation are modifiable although there are some restrictions regarding the frequency of requesting a modification.

Spousal maintenance is typically modifiable during the period of time that spousal maintenance was originally ordered unless the decree specifically states that the spousal maintenance award is non-modifiable as to its amount or its duration. Whether you are eligible to request a modification is a complex matter and you should consult one of our family law attorneys for further information. The language in the decree is very important and should be reviewed by a family law attorney before you decide to attempt a modification.

Our family law attorneys can assist you in this analysis.