What is a Petition to Enforce Support?

Do you need to enforce your child support? Has your ex failed to pay court ordered spousal maintenance?

If you have support orders that have been entered by the Court directly one party to pay support to the other party and they do not do so, you would file this document.  It is always filed after orders have been entered in a case regarding support.  This may be for actual support payments that the paying party is ordered to pay on a monthly basis or this may be for healthcare expenses for which one party is ordered to pay a portion of and has not done so.  These are primarily used to enforce monetary orders but can be used to enforce other parts of a current order that the other party states you have not followed.
What do you Need?

  • Your current order for support
  • Proof of what payments for regular support have been received since your orders were entered
  • A list of healthcare expenses that were provided to the other party within the time frames stated in your current order and were not  paid.  These amounts are determined based on the percentage that party is required to pay pursuant to your current order.  Our site also provides the list for you to complete regarding uncovered healthcare expenses that have not been paid.

How do I Complete the Petition to Enforce Support?

The Petition will ask you to state when your current order was entered, where it was entered and by whom.  It will request that you outline in the Petition EXACTLY what your current order states as to support.  This will assist the Court when reviewing this Petition and they will not have to take time to search your complete file.

Once you have stated what the current orders state, you need to indicate within the Petition what the paying party has failed to do, how many payments he or she has made since the entry of the orders, if any, and request that a hearing be set by the Court so that you can show evidence of payments of those payments.  The paying party can attempt to show why they have not paid and followed the Court’s orders.  This section must include non-payment of regular support and non-payment of healthcare expenses.

You may request that the Court find the paying party in contempt of court for disobeying the Court’s orders and request sanctions.  If the order for support is for non-payment of child support, you can request that the Court set an amount for the paying party to pay before a certain date to catch them up on their child support or a warrant will be issues for their arrest.  You may request that the paying party be sent to Accountability Court which requires them to check in at hearings at least on a monthly basis to show the Court they are current with their support.  If they are not, the Court may issue a warrant for that person’s arrest.  The Court may simply enter a Judgment against the paying party for the amount owed which can be recorded with the Recorder’s Office and will show on that party’s credit report.

Other Information

It is important to clearly state what your current orders are and explain in detail how the paying person has followed the orders and to what extent if they have at all.  Detail of payments that have been made is important because it proves what has or has not been paid.  If you do not have a case where the State of Arizona is involved, you may obtain proof by requesting a child support payment history form the Clerk of the Court or go to www.familysupportcenter.com and look up your case to show the Court, for the last 3 years, what has been paid and how many payments have been made.  If the State of Arizona is involved, you will need to request an Arrears Calculation Report from the Department of Child Support Enforcement.  These can take several weeks so you want to request this document as soon as you are aware of your hearing.

You must remember that you have to provide healthcare expenses that you incur that are not covered by insurance to the other party within the time frame stated within your current and within 180 days that the expense was received.  It is best to provide invoices (paid or unpaid) so the other party is clear on what their portion is and what you have paid toward the bill thus far.  If the proof of payments are not provided to the other party, it may result in you not receiving the monies you have requested.  Neither party can pay a bill that they do not have proof exists.  You will want to keep track of dates you provided the invoices and follow-ups with that  party so you can show you made your best efforts to follow the Court’s orders.  With your list of uncovered healthcare expenses, provide the documentation you have supporting your position.

If you would like to know more about this Petition, please sign up for an Access Legal account now!  It is free to sign up and you will be permitted a 30 minute consultation with a Certified Legal Document Preparer.