Enforcing Child Support Payments in Arizona

If a parent fails to keep up on child support payments, Arizona law offers options to help enforce the terms of the support agreement.

Parents in Arizona have some power under The Child Support Enforcement Program to help enforce and collect agreed upon child support payments.

The Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) in Arizona was established in 1975 as part of the Social Security Act. Its goals are to foster parent responsibility and to reduce welfare costs. Not only does child support provided by the paternal parent remove the burden on the taxpayer, studies have also shown that a parent who is financially invested in their child will usually be more active in other areas of their life as well.

Enforcement Options

Ideally child support payments will be made in a timely manner and paid in full. However this is not always the case and if you have not received payment from the noncustodial parent then you may wish to aggressively enforce the agreement on child support payments.

For parents who are delinquent in their payments in excess of $5,000 a warrant for arrest will be issued and their photo can be placed on the "Wanted" list on Arizona's Department of Economic Security's website. The court is willing to help you enforce divorce decrees to both reduce cost on the taxpayer and to see that parents are supporting their children and familial bonds are maintained. Arizona's DCSE Child Support Evader program will assist you if:

  • An arrest warrant has been issued
  • The location of the debtor is unknown
  • No payments were made in 6 months
  • Amount in arrear is in excess of $5,000

To contact the DCSE and request that the offender is listed on the website and to provide them with a photo, you can reach them toll-free at (800) 882-4151. For a less aggressive route, you may wish to contact a family law attorney in your area- especially if you are already aware of the parent's whereabouts. In the case the parent has the ability to pay but has failed to send child support local authorities may enforce payments through wage garnishment, asset seizure or by placing a lien against their property.

The Payment Amounts Can be Modified

If the non-custodial parent's financial situation has changed, they may be eligible to reduce the amount of child support payment owed. Arizona courts can only withhold up to 60% of disposable income if there are no other spouses or children, and only 50% if there are other children or spouses. If the parent has become disabled or has lost their income, then their child support payment may be adjusted to reflect this change.

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