Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Case Law Development: Retroactive Modification of Child Support to Account for Emancipation

The Arizona Court of Appeals holds that a trial court may not retroactively modify a child support order to alter the amount of arrearages accrued before notice of the petition to modify was given to the obligee parent. Moreover, while the court can modify an existing child support obligation to account for one child's emancipation, the earliest authorized effective date of the modification order is the filing date for the petition.  The court distinguished a prior decision in which a child had married and the trial court termined support retroactive to the marriage as involving termination of the support obligation, which occurs automatically upon a child's marriage, rather than modification of child support.  Here, while one child had become emancipated, there was another child owed support and an action to modify was necessary to determine the total support amount.

Guerra v. Bejarano, 2006 Ariz. App. LEXIS 58 (April 27, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited April 30, 2006 bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/05/case_law_develo_2.html

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