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What are the penalties for nonpayment of child support?

Raising a child is expensive in Arizona. From birth until the child is an adult, the child's parents are responsible for the costs associated with that child. As most parents know, these include the child's every day expenses, medical care, educational expenses, child care costs and more. Single parents are often acutely aware of the huge expenses of raising a child.

In order to ensure that both parents financially contribute to the child's upbringing, child support is ordered by the court if the parents are not married. Child support is a monthly payment from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the benefit of the children. If child support is not paid, the children suffer. However, there are also penalties that can be ordered for a parent that does not make ordered child support payments.

According to Arizona Department of Economic Security, there are economic and judicial penalties that you can suffer if you refuse to pay child support. One, the Division of Child Support Services can garnish your wages, bank accounts or intercept your state and federal tax refunds to apply towards your child support payments. The DCSS can also report the nonpayment to credit reporting agencies so that it shows up on your credit report. Liens can also be placed on your property and professional licenses can be suspended.

Judicial action can also be taken when a person doesn't pay child support. This includes contempt of court and criminal prosecution -- at both the state and federal levels. This means that a person could go to jail for refusing to pay child support.

The exact penalties available will depend on the specific facts in each case, and, therefore, this blog post cannot give specific legal advice. An attorney can handle specific child support issues and questions.

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