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An international pursuit of child support leads to Arizona

In an international dispute with Arizona ties, the ex-wife of an airline pilot is seeking over $774,000 in unpaid child support. Married in 1986, the husband filed for divorce in 2000 in Canada. Two years later, the Canadian Court ordered him to pay start paying child support. He failed to do so and left the jurisdiction. He then failed to appear in subsequent proceedings, resulting in the confiscation of his Canadian passport, pilot license and driver's license.

Over the years, the ex-wife has tried to enforce the order, receiving a worldwide injunction and petitioning a court in Hong Kong, where the ex-husband then resided. In 2010 the ex-wife discovered her ex had moved to California and she sued him there. He fled again. He is now said to have remarried and has bought a home in Arizona. We don't yet know if the ex-wife has filed suit here.

Luckily, not many parents ordered to pay support go to such lengths to avoid the requirement. And many who fail to pay are persuaded to do so by the remedies mentioned here, such as suspension of a driver's and professional license. If they aren't, the Court may also order wages garnished or may place a lien on tax returns. However, an easier solution for those who are not able to pay the amount ordered is to ask for a modification of the amount owed.

Child support payments are calculated taking into consideration such financial needs as the children's every day expenses, extracurricular expenses, and medical needs. The income of each parent is factored in, as are the needs of other children that may be living with each parent. But if the needs of the children change, or if the income of the parents change, either party may ask for an upward or downward modification of the support amount. An Arizona attorney with family law experience can provide advice as to specific factors used in calculating support and when a modification might be recommended.

Source: South China Morning Post, "Ex-wife in fresh bid to make former husband pay HK$6m child support," Julie Chu, July 12, 2014

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