Family Court Conference Center: Frequently Asked Questions


The Family Court Conference Center is committed to helping parents find constructive ways to resolve their disputes, so that children may grow up in a healthier climate, and become successful.

In 1987, the Arizona legislature established new procedures to expedite public access to the courts for the enforcement of court orders concerning child support, spousal support (maintenance), and parenting time. Expedited Services was created in 1988 by the Clerk's office to assist the Court, and on July 1, 2004, was transferred to Superior Court. The Family Court Conference Center, a unit within the Family Court Department, was established in October of 2006 to support the Support Enforcement Court, the Parenting Time Enforcement Court, and the Child Support Court for all child support, and enforcement matters.

If support payments are not paid, are late, or parents are interfering with court-ordered parenting time, parties may file a request for enforcement of the orders.

 

On all non-holiday business days, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Court Holidays.

 

201 W. Jefferson Third Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85003

Phone: 602-506-3762 or FAX: 602-506-5711

 

222 E. Javelina Suite 1300, Mesa, Arizona 85210

Phone: 602-506-3762 or FAX: 602-506-3272

 

14264 W. Tierra Buena Lane, Surprise, Arizona 85324

Phone: 602-506-3762 or FAX: 602-506-5711

 

18380 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Phone: 602-506-3762 or FAX: 602-506-5711

Through filing will assist parties with:

  • Establishment of Child Support
  • Modification of Child Support
  • Enforcement of Child Support
  • Enforcement of Child Support Arrears
  • Enforcement of Spousal Support
  • Enforcement of Spousal Support Arrears
  • Enforcement of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • Enforcement of Parenting Time
  • Enforcement of Uncovered Medical and Dental Expenses

The Court may also order the Family Court Conference Center to monitor:

  • Child Support
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Parenting Time
  • Uncovered Medical and Dental Expenses

The Conference Officer is a court employee, who is neutral and does not represent either party.

The Family Court Judicial Officer, this will most likely be a Court Commissioner, a person appointed pursuant to the Arizona Constitution, and Arizona Revised Statues by the Presiding Judge of a county.

You will need three (3) copies of all documents-one set each for the Conference Officer, the other party, and you. Copies must be given to the other party at the same time they are provided to the Court. Mailed or faxed documents must indicate copies have been mailed or faxed to the other party.

A request to attend the conference by telephone must be in writing (mail, fax or hand deliver) and made as soon as possible. A party attending the conference telephonically may not have anyone else, other than their attorney, in the room during the proceeding.

The parties will meet with a Conference Officer. The issues the parties filed with the court will be addressed. The Conference Officer will attempt to mediate an agreement between the parties on the issues.

If the parties do not agree as to all of the issues necessary to resolve the pending petition, the Court will conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine those matters.

It is the goal of the Court to provide the parties with a final resolution of the pending petition on the date of the Conference/Hearing. If good cause is shown that additional discovery or hearing time is needed in order for the Court to reach a just determination, the Court may schedule an additional hearing.

In order to maintain their neutral position, all communication must take place in the presence of all parties. This applies to both written and oral communication.

The Conference and Hearing are each scheduled for one hour. If an agreement is reached during the Conference the Hearing would be subsequently vacated.

Tape recorders, laptops, and cameras, cannot be taken into a Conference or the Courtroom. Phones or pagers need to be turned off during both proceedings.

Documentation provided at the conference will be returned to the parties at the conclusion of the Conference.

Payments should include the Obligor's name, ATLAS number, Court case number, and be mailed to:

Support Payment Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 52107
Phoenix, AZ 85072-2107

Your action will be dismissed after 120 days if you do not have the other party served.

You may wish to seek legal advice from an attorney as to the next step of action to take when you are unable to serve the other party, or if the other party is avoiding service.

Contact the Family Court Conference Center at (602) 506-3762.

Yes, if you had an open case through Expedited Services, it will continue to be opened through the Family Court Conference Center. Contact the Family Court Conference Center at (602) 506-3762.

An employee of the Family Court Conference Center , which is a unit of Family Court Administration. They are appointed by the Presiding Judge or his/her designee, pursuant to Rule 53 Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure and Maricopa County Local Rule 6.9.

A proceeding conducted by Family Court Conference Center conference officer to obtain information and/or agreements related to support and parenting time issues, and to record any agreement of the parties regarding those issues.

An appearance conducted before a judge or commissioner to receive evidence and make findings, recommendations and/or orders relating to support or parenting time.

At the time of filing you will be directed to the Family Court Conference Center to receive an Order to Appear. The conference and subsequent hearing will be scheduled at that time. You will receive a copy of the Order to Appear. You will need to serve the Order to Appear on the responding party no later than two weeks prior to the conference, and in accordance with Rule 4, 4.1 and 4.2, Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.

This is called "ex parte" communication where one party speaks to a court officer outside the other party's presence; this is to ensure fairness to the parties.

Children are not permitted in the Conference or Courtroom since adult issues are discussed, and they may not be left unattended.

Only the parties to the action and their attorneys may attend the Conference. The Courtroom is open to the public.

No, parties may represent themselves; however, attorneys representing the parties are welcome.

Any documentation that pertains to the issues and/or the items listed on the documents that you received at the time of service; or the pink minute entry you received in the mail that informed you of the date, time and location of the Conference and subsequent Hearing.

Contact the Family Court Conference Center at (602) 506-3762.

Family Court Conference Center locations are: 

  • 201 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix
  • 222 E. Javelina Avenue, Mesa
  • 14264 Tierra Buena Lane, Surprise
  • 18380 N. 40th Street, Phoenix

The location of the conference is indicated on the conference notice. If you do not know the location for your Proceedings, contact the Family Court Conference Center at (602) 506-3762.

The Conference and Hearing will not be reset unless there is good cause. You MUST give a copy of your request to reset the hearing to the Judicial Officer assigned to your case and to the other parties in this matter. Your request must also tell the judicial Officer the date you delivered a copy of the request to reset, the address to which the copy was sent and whether the delivery was by mail or by hand.

Immediately put your request in writing to attend the conference by phone. You may mail, fax, or hand deliver your request to the Family Court Conference Center. You must provide a copy of the request to the other party by mail, fax, or hand delivery. The original should state how the copy was provided to the other party. We cannot guarantee that the conference will be conducted telephonically.

The Maricopa County Plan for Expedited Process.

Support Enforcement Court is for parties seeking to enforce a support order (Spousal maintenance, child support, unreimbursed medical, dental, vision coverage). When parties file an expedited petition for enforcement, they will need to obtain an Order to Appear from the Family Court Conference Center for a conference and a subsequent evidentiary hearing before a judicial officer. Litigants will meet with a Conference Officer to try to reach an agreement. If complete agreement is reached during the Conference, it will be memorialized as a written stipulation and, if approved, it will be signed by a Judicial Officer before the parties leave the courthouse.

 

If there is no agreement, or if only some issues are resolved, the parties will appear at an evidentiary hearing immediately after the conference at which they will receive a final order from a judicial officer. Because a judicial officer will enter a final order the same day as the conference and hearing, there will no longer be delays experienced under the former process which required a report and recommendation from a Family Court Conference Center officer, review and adoption by a judicial officer, opportunities for the parties to object, and hearings to resolve the objections.

If you file an expedited petition to enforce parenting time or support, you will need to obtain an order to appear from the family court conference center. The order to appear will tell you when your conference and hearing are scheduled. You must serve the other party with the order to appear, a copy of your petition, and a copy of the other documents you have filed with the court.

If you have a pending petition, of if you or the other side file a cross petition to modify Legal Decision Making, parenting time and child support, all issues, including modification and enforcement, will be heard by the judge assigned to your case. They will not be heard in the enforcement courts. In general, parties will no longer be referred to the Family Court Conference Center (formerly known as "Expedited Services") by their judge for child support calculation or enforcement once the judge has entered a Legal Decision Making or parenting time order. Litigants must be prepared to address child support at the hearing that modifies Legal Decision Making or parenting time.

ezCourtForms has an online child support calculator that will help determine child support obligations. You can access ezCourtForms from most computers and at all Law Library Resource Centers located at each Maricopa County Superior Court.

You may wish to seek legal advice from an attorney. If you have a Maricopa County parenting time order, you may petition the Court for a hearing and request supervised parenting time. Ultimately, the Court makes the decision.


Family Presiding Judge
Bruce R. Cohen

Brian Bledsoe

Brian Bledsoe
Family Department Administrator
Contact the Family Department

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