Child Support Enforcement Arizona
A child support order is a legal obligation of the noncustodial party or the party in which the child resides with the least. Once the amount has been ordered by the court it is the responsibility of the parent ordered to pay the support to make sure it is paid on a monthly basis and on time. The lack of timely payment could result in consequences.
Penalties for Non-Compliance of a Child Support Order
- A repeat occurrence in court for not paying support could land in the parent not paying support incarceration time
- Liens could be placed on personal property and vehicles
- All licenses could be suspended
- Tax checks could be intercepted to pay the obligation
- Bank accounts seized to recover the funds
- Denial of passport
- Reported to the credit bureau
- Interception of lottery winnings
- Interception of unemployment benefits
- Interception of worker’s compensation benefits
If the court decides that the non-custodial party could and should be paying their obligation it is quite possible that they could find the non-custodial party in contempt of court. Contempt of court can bring forth jail time and fines as well as other penalties like license suspension.
Ways to Enforce A Child Support Order
To collect on unpaid amounts of support or to enforce an existing order there are a few things that you can do. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in family law cases and child support can help you bring the case before a judge to enforce the order.
You could bring a petition to the court yourself and legally represent yourself in court. This could be a bad idea if you are not familiar with the laws and all the rights affiliated with child support cases.
You can request that the Division of Child Support Services help you enforce your case. The Division of Child Support Services helps not only parents and caretakers who are receiving support but the parents who are paying it as well. Some of the services that they offer are initiating child support orders, collecting child support, collecting medical support, collecting spousal support, and helping with establishing paternity.
Child Support Modification
If the parent who is ordered to pay support finds themselves in a rough spot and they are having trouble making their child support payments, they can go back to the courts and request a child support modification.
This will involve the parties going back to court and in front of a judge for the parent to explain the situation and why they are unable to pay what has been ordered. The judge will be the only one who can modify this order. The judge may grant it if the parent ordered to pay can show that there has been a change in their circumstances.
A change in circumstances generally means that their income has changed significantly, or the custody agreement has been modified as well.
Something to Think About When Handling Child Support
Child support is important for raising a child. If the parents were in a situation where they were together, there wouldn’t even be an issue in determining finances for the child. In child support situations though, the parents are not together but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have to cooperate.
Receiving something from the non-custodial party is better than nothing and if it means going to court and the order being modified while they are having a rough time then that might be the best answer for everyone involved.
The state of Arizona allows for interest to accrue on missed child support payments at a rate of 10% per year. This might create a hole that the non-custodial party can never get out of. Working together is what is in the best interest of the child.
Click here to find out the procedure for terminating parental rights in Arizona.