Child support is not just the practice of providing children with economic assistance; it should also involve parents meeting their moral and ethical obligation to support their child’s emotional and psychological needs. However, on this page we do look at the financial aspect of child support and outline what happens when a parent refuses to meet this demand.
Enforcing Child Support Payments
Once a parent has been court ordered to make child support payments, he/she has a legal obligation to obey. Failure to do this will trigger one of the many enforcement tactics available in the state of Arizona.
The Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) was set up in 1975 and is part of the Social Security Act. When parents meet their child support payments, it reduces taxpayers’ burden and various studies have shown that parents who are financially invested in their children tend to be more active in other areas.
Although there are a host of enforcement options, things get serious when parents reach a limit in terms of how far they are behind on their payments. In this case, a warrant for their arrest gets issued and their photo appears on the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) website’s ‘Wanted’ list. You can avail of the DES’s Child Support Evader Program if the debtor:
- Is at an unknown location.
- Owes more than $5,000.
- Has failed to make payments in 6 months.
- Has an arrest warrant issued for him/her.
How Can You Get Your Child Support Enforced?
Arizona parents have an impressive array of options when it comes to enforcing child support, and we take a look at all of them in this article.
This is an order from a court or government agency that is sent to your employer. This order ensures the employer must withhold the specified amount of money from your paycheck, and the cash is sent directly to the creditor. Continue Reading…
Lien on Personal Property
If you owe child support, it is possible for someone to place a lien on your property. This is an act that alerts people to the fact there are claims against you for money. Typically, a lien is filed in the same office where the property is recorded or registered. Continue Reading…
Lottery Prize Intercept
If you owe past due child support and win more than $600 in the lottery, the amount you owe can be subtracted from the winnings and given to the custodial parent as child support. If you are in this situation, expect to receive a letter that explains the Child Support Program’s intention to take the money. Continue Reading…
The child support office may be able to take from you assets such as money in the bank, stocks, and bonds in order to ensure the child support payments are made. This is especially the case if you are already delinquent. Continue Reading…
Arizona Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) Child Support Evader Program
The DCSS is required by law to come up with a process to publicly identify parents who are in arrears when it comes to their child support payments. The program involves displaying the pictures and profiles of parents who are delinquent in their payment of child support both in private and public locations. Continue Reading…
Credit Bureau Reporting
All support cases are reported to credit reporting agencies by the DCSS on a monthly basis due to federal legislation aligned with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The credit report account will show the amount that must be paid monthly, the amount that is actually received, and any amounts that are past due. Continue Reading…
Federal Tax Refund Offset Program
This is another method of collecting overdue child support payments from non-custodial parents in arrears. It is a cooperative effort between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service, and the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Continue Reading…
DCSS has a partnership with the U.S. State Department to prevent non-custodial parents who are in child support arrears from either obtaining a new passport or renewing an existing one. Continue Reading…
While child support payments need to have been left unpaid for six months or more in order for a license suspension to be implemented in most states, a contempt order may be enough to trigger it in Arizona. Continue Reading…
Going to Court
If the DCSS office is extremely busy, it could take a long time to have your matter sorted out. This is simply unacceptable for some families in real need of cash. A viable solution is to hire a private attorney to go to court and ask a family judge to quickly enforce a child support payment order. Continue Reading…
In the event that the circumstances of the non-custodial parent change, he/she might be able to reduce the amount of child support owed. If there are other children/spouses, Arizona courts can only withhold up to 50% of the debtor’s disposable income; this rises to 60% if there are no other spouses/children.
Additionally, if a debtor has lost their income or becomes disabled and unable to work, their payments may be modified to take these changes into account.
Throughout the United States, it is estimated that only 20 percent of owed child support is collected by all state agencies. Most experts believe people avoid paying child support simply because they don’t want to, not that they don’t have the money available. This suspicion is reinforced by research that concludes most people in child support debt are up-to-date when it comes to car and house payments.
Like almost every other state, Arizona is trying to find new ways to force non-custodial parents to pay their outstanding child support. As you can see above, there are a myriad of different ways to force people to pay, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are owed a sizable amount of child support, contact the DCSS and get what is due to you. To speed things up, consider hiring an attorney who has experience with child support cases.