Superior Court >Family Court

Post Decree: Frequently Asked Questions
What are post-decree petitions? "Post-decree" petitions are those filed after a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation or Annulment, or Judgment of Paternity is entered, and are usually filed to modify or enforce existing orders of the Court
How do I start a post-decree action? You must file the appropriate paperwork with the court if you want the court to change or enforce a current court order. Consult with an attorney for legal advice. Forms are located at:

To Make Someone Obey a Court Order (Enforcement of a Court Order that Already Exists)

To Change a Court Order (Modification of a Court Order that Already Exists)

For additional information see the Arizona State Bar Web site. return to top

I need to modify Legal Decision Making or parenting time. What do I do? Your divorce decree or paternity judgment may require you to participate in mediation before you can ask for a modification of Legal Decision Making or parenting time. Check your paperwork. You can participate in mediation at the court or through a private provider. See information about court mediation at Conciliation Services.

To request mediation with Conciliation Services you must complete paperwork. See information and forms.

See information about private mediators.

If you need to go to court you must file paperwork to modify Legal Decision Making and parenting time. See information and forms.
Can I change the amount of child support that I am paying/receiving? Yes, if the amount you pay will increase or decrease by 15%. You can also ask for a modification of child support every 3 years, regardless of the amount of increase or decrease. See information and forms to modify child support. My child is over 18 and I am still paying child support. How can I have it stopped? Unless a child is disabled, the obligation to pay child support stops once a child turns 18 and is out of high school. If the child is still in high school after the age of 18, the child support stops when the child turns 19. If no other current support payments are owed for support of younger children, for spousal maintenance (alimony), or for arrears (back support or back alimony), the child support order stops by itself by operation of law or according to the terms of the child support order. However, there is usually an "Order of Assignment" that orders your employer to deduct the support payments from your pay and to send the money directly to the state. Check the court file or with your employer's payroll office to determine whether there is a "stop-date" on the current Order of Assignment and whether that date is correct. If there is a stop date and the date is correct, you do not need to do anything. If either piece of information is missing or incorrect, you will need to ask the Court to issue an "Order Stopping Order of Assignment".

If the other parent is willing to provide his or her notarized signature along with yours on an "Agreement to Stop Order of Assignment", there is no filing fee for filing to stop the order by agreement. If one of the parties never filed a response to the original decree ordering child support, then a response fee must be paid by the party who did not file a response. If you do not want to ask the other parent to provide their notarized signature on an agreement or the other parent is unwilling to provide the signature, you may file a Petition to stop the Order of Assignment. There will be a filing fee for this petition which may include the response fee if not previously paid as mentioned above.

How can I enforce a Court Order about Legal Decision Making or Parenting Time Issues? You can seek advice from a lawyer.

You can ask a Document Preparer to assist you in completing documents.

You can get the required forms at the Superior Court Self-Service Center at a nominal fee. See information and forms.
How can I enforce a Court Order about Child Support or Child Support Arrears? There are several options for you. You can file an Expedited Request to Enforce with Family Court Conference Center.

You can ask The Department of Economic Security, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to assist you. The DCSS Customer Service Hot Line number is: 602-252-4045.

You can seek advice from a lawyer.

You can ask a Document Preparer to assist you in completing documents.

You can get the required forms at the Superior Court Self-Service Center at a nominal fee. The information and forms can be downloaded at no cost from the Superior Court Self-Service Center web site.
What is Paternity? Paternity is the term used to describe a court matter when children are born of parents who are not married to each other. return to top

How do I establish paternity? There are several ways to establish paternity. To establish paternity a judge or other official may enter a court order or the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) may establish paternity without going to court. Also, an Acknowledgment of Paternity may be signed by both parents at the hospital when the child is born or anytime thereafter and filed with the court.

For more information visit the following web sites:
Where can I get forms to assist me in establishing paternity? Forms are available from the Self-Service Center, DES, DHS or at hospitals. In Maricopa County, forms are available through the Self-Service Center located at the downtown, the southeast and northwest courthouses. Forms also may be obtained on the Internet. I am supposed to take a class on parenting skills. Who do I contact? The Self-Service Center has a list of providers who offer classes on parenting skills. See a listing of resources. return to top

The other parent is mistreating the children. How can I protect them? If you believe the children are in harm contact Child Protective Services at 1-888-SOS-CHILD and your local police department.

You can ask for an Order of Protection that includes the children or request Legal Decision Making and ask for an emergency hearing. If you are married, you cannot ask for Legal Decision Making unless you have a divorce, annulment or legal separation filed with the court. You can contact an attorney for legal advice, or go to the Self-Service Center for emergency paperwork.
How do I apply for Title IV-D services? You must contact the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). DCSS is a Division of DES that is charged with the statewide administration and operation of the Child Support Enforcement Program as established by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. The web site is: https://www.azdes.gov/ASPNew/default.asp. return to top

What are IV-D services? Title IV-D services are for any person with Legal Decision Making of a child who needs help to establish a child support or medical support order, any parent who already has a support order who needs help to collect support payments, or any noncustodial parent can apply for IV-D child support.

If you are receiving public assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid or federally-assisted Foster Care programs, you have been automatically referred to the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) for services. See the DCSS web site for more information.
How do I add a Father's name to the birth certificate? There are several ways to add the Father's name to the birth certificate.

If both parents agree who the biological father is, you can sign a statement called an Acknowledgment of Paternity. These forms are available at all birthing hospitals, the Office of Vital Records, the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Child Support Enforcement offices and many of the county registrar's offices.

You can also establish court ordered paternity by competing paperwork and filing it with the court. A court order to change a birth certificate must have the child's birthday on it. If you have a court order for paternity, the order may be filed with the Office of Vital Records directly by the Court, the agency that petitioned the Court for the order, or one of the parents may deliver it in person. If you decide to bring a court order to the Office of Vital Records in person, you must bring a certified copy of the court order with you.

See the Office of Vital Records web site for more information.return to top

The father of my children agrees that he is the father. How can we get an order from the court? If the Father's name is on the birth certificate you may not need a court order. If you need a court order you can establish paternity voluntarily by completing paperwork. The father may also sign a notarized affidavit, which declares that he is the father. This form must then be filed with the Court. The information and forms can be downloaded at no cost from the Superior Court Self-Service Center web site.

For more information regarding Paternity, see the Arizona Supreme Court web site.return to top

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