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Child support in Arizona: collection efforts and modifications

On Behalf of | May 23, 2014 | Child Support

Arizona parents with a child support order may be interested to learn about new efforts states are taking to collect child support payments. Currently, when a parent isn’t paying as ordered, many states will garnish wages, withhold tax returns, deny passports or suspend business licenses. But there are limitations to these efforts. For example, states may not be able to impose the penalties if the paying parent has remarried, as the new spouse cannot be penalized for the parent-spouse’s failure to pay.

To strengthen collection efforts, forty-four states are now allowing the private sector to help. For instance, some states allow the parent owed money to hire a collection agency, while other states allow their own child support services agency to hire an agency. In each instance, the collection agency will take up efforts to gather the money owed from the parent who isn’t paying, much like a bank hires a debt collection agency to recoup unpaid credit card debts.

Traditionally, child support orders take into consideration many factors: the age of the children, their financial needs, their medical needs and extracurricular expenses for example. Other important factors include timeshare, or the amount of time the children spend with each parent and the amount of money each parent earns. Usually, the parent who is with the children more often will naturally pay more for their everyday expenses, such as meals and toiletries, so she or he may receive more in support.

Important to note is that the original support order is not static; it can be modified depending on many factors. For instance, if the financial needs of the children change or if a parent remarries and now has step-children, the order might be modified. In determining the original order and any modifications, courts will look to the best interests of the children. An Arizona attorney experienced in child support orders can answer questions regarding specific situations.

Source:, “States take to private sector to help with child support collection,” Blake Hanson, May 15, 2014