Arizona Child Support Enforcement Laws

Child support is thoroughly and consistently enforced in the state of Arizona. A parent required to make child support payments as detailed by a child support order issued by the court must make all payments on time and in full all the way up until the end date. In the state of Arizona, the child support obligation typically ends when the child turns 19-years-old. Let’s take a look at the enforcement of child support in Arizona.

Failure to Make a Child Support Payment

If a parent fails to make his or her obligatory child support payment, the parent who receives the payment on behalf of the offspring is legally empowered to ensure the order is enforced. The custodial parent typically starts the child support enforcement process by reaching out to the Arizona Department of Child Support Services or DCSS for short. The DCSS communicates the lack of payment to the parent who owes child support. This delinquent parent is also notified that the DCSS has commenced a collection action.

It is at this point when the parent who owes child support can request a hearing. If the hearing ends with a ruling in favor of the parent owed child support or if the delinquent parent fails to appear in court for the scheduled hearing, the DCSS will take action.

Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support

There are several different penalties for failing to pay child support in Arizona. The delinquent parent’s income can be withheld through a DCSS income withholding order or IWO for short. This order allows for money to be taken directly out of the income of the delinquent parent, be it in the form of a work paycheck, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation indemnity, retirement benefits or another source.

The money withheld is paid to DCSS. In turn, DCSS forwards the money to the custodial parent. This approach to obtaining unpaid child support can be used to collect child support currently due as well as that owed in previous months.

It is also possible for the DCSS to place a lien on the delinquent parent’s property such as a house or automobile. This lien prevents the liquidation of the asset until child support is paid in full. If the delinquent parent is 12 months or more behind in child support payments, the DCSS is empowered to seize that individual’s bank accounts, stocks or other forms of property. There is even the potential for the delinquent parent’s Arizona state income tax refund to be intercepted by DCSS so the funds can be transmitted to the custodial parent in need of child support. Federal income tax refunds can also be intercepted with the assistance of the court.

Your Arizona Family Attorney Will Pursue Justice on Your Behalf

What matters most is that you proactively make life difficult for your delinquent former spouse while remaining firmly within the confines of the law. Your Arizona divorce attorney will do everything legally possible to obtain the child support money you need. This means the delinquent parent’s professional license can be revoked or suspended without going to court if he or she is six months or more behind on payments. It is also possible for the delinquent parent’s driver’s license to be suspended as a result of your divorce attorney requesting such from the court.

Your Arizona divorce attorney can also insist that the DCSS use the National new hire federal directory to pluck data from all state agencies to identify the exact location of the delinquent parent. If necessary, your attorney will move forward with a contempt proceeding that has the potential to result in financial compensation and also spur jail time and/or fines for the delinquent parent.