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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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AZ - Mom and Dad have joint custody, with mom as primary decision

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AZ - Mom and Dad have joint custody, with mom as primary decision maker. Dad has suddenly notified mom that he has joined the National Guard, and will be out of town for 6 months. Dad pays mom spousal support and child support. How will this enlistment affect those payments (considering he'll now, by choice, be making far less than he was)? After fighting tooth and nail to keep mom in a city she doesn't want to live in and in which she can not work her chosen career (causing a situation where she has to live paycheck to paycheck and can barely make ends meet), how can he leave for 6 months, sticking her with the children - what affect does this have on her options for custody and relocating with the children to another state?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

That is a good question pertaining to wages. Typically the other parent can file a petition to modify support based on new wages and request a lower monthly obligation. The other parent, however, could potentially contest and claim that the demotion was voluntary and request that he be compelled to pay the original amount since the loss of income was his own responsibility. It can also permit the other parent to file for sole custodial rights, at least for the 6 months, but it does not affect relocation as it would still require consent from the other parent, even if he may not physically be located in that jurisdiction at that time.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. A quick followup:

When contesting the reduction, could Mom request a higher amount since the original amount was based on Dad having the kids 40% of the time and therefore paying 40% of the daily expenses required to support them? Due to his demanding that she keep the kids full-time in his absence, her expenses would go up commensurately.


Thank you for your follow-up. Simply contesting the reduction is not the same as requesting an increase--the mother could file a petition on her own to modify custody and support based on her having the children full-time, which could then affect calculations. So yes, she could request he pay more if she has the children more than in the past.

Good luck.

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