Does Child Support End at 18 in Arizona?

Marriages may break down, but the duty to support a child does not end with a divorce. A non-custodial parent is obliged to pay child support, according to Arizona family law. The amount is calculated based on the non-custodial parent’s income, supported by records.
However, many parents struggle to collect their child’s legal financial support. In some cases, your child may turn 18 (the age when child support ends automatically) and yet you still have a significant amount of money to collect. An experienced Arizona family law attorney can help you make sure that your ex does not get out of their legal obligation to pay these amounts of money.

When Exactly Does Child Support End?

Arizona family law establishes clear guidelines for the automatic cessation of child support. Thus, according to Arizona Revised Statutes Article 25-320, child support ends on the child’s majority, except of the case when the said child attends high school or a certified equivalent schooling program. In this case, child support ends when the child turns 19 years old.
Alternately, child support ends upon the child’s emancipation, which means:

  • Moving out of the family home
  • Getting married
  • Joining the army.

However, no matter which of the cases is applicable, owed child support amounts are not erased when the child turns 18. They are still due, as arrears, and you have the right to collect them.

The Difficulties of Collecting Child Support

Everyone wants to believe that, even the mutual love and understanding between spouses ended the love for the child they created will remain unaffected. And this is will be shown by paying the due child support amounts on time. However, despite having Arizona family law by their side, many parents have to resort to all recourses to collect child support.

In some instances, the non-paying parent may have some justifications, such as struggling financially or even having to declare bankruptcy. Nonetheless, they still have to pay the amounts established by court upon the dissolution of marriage.

The issue with collecting child support lies in the fact that, as delays increase, so does the interest owed on arrears. Thus, a non-paying parent may look for various subterfuges to avoid payment for as long as they can get away with it.

Your Legal Options for Collecting Overdue Child Support

The Department of Child Support Services is the competent authority that oversees the collection and distribution of amounts owed to custodial parents. As such, it has many instruments available to enforce Arizona family law judgments, including:

Income withholding order – this document allows DCSS to retain child support directly from the non-paying parent’s paycheck, if they are employed
Seizure of assets – bank accounts, savings accounts, bonds and other financial investment instruments may be seized to cover overdue child support amounts
Home lien – if a non-paying parent sells any real estate property, the owed child support amount will be seized from the sale value.
Also, Arizona family law stipulations allow authorities to use the National Hire Directory to locate non-paying parents who moved out of state in the attempt of avoiding the payment of overdue child support.

Speak with an Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney

You are probably frustrated by the fact that you cannot collect the money allowing you to give your child a good life. Arizona family law is by your side, yet you struggle to make ends meet and you are not getting the amounts your ex owes. As your child’s 18th birthday approaches, you fear that you may never collect these amounts.

Do not worry – as long as you rely on the law, you will see the money in your account sooner or later. An experienced family law attorney will explain to you all the legal options you have and assist you in the process of recovering these amounts, plus the interest owed.