Whether celebrated or vilified, most will admit that Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets results. This was once again demonstrated this past Father’s Day, when Sheriff’s Deputies and volunteers went out in search of men and women with outstanding warrants. Specifically, the people they went looking for were all parents who were not paying their child support as ordered. With about 300 outstanding warrants received by the Sheriff’s Office each year, deputies take certain days, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, to focus on executing the warrants.
While most law enforcement offices don’t spend their holidays seeking out those who fail to pay child support, issuing a warrant is a method of trying to ensure support orders are paid. Other methods include wage garnishment, tax liens and suspending driver and professional licenses. Some people who don’t pay as they should do so as a deliberate choice, even if they have the financial means. And some simply fall behind because they don’t have the money.
When a child support order is issued, it is done so thoughtfully. The court, or the parents themselves, look at what each parent earns, the everyday expenses involved in raising a child and all the child’s financial needs. Another factor to consider is how much time the children spend with each parent. The parent who is with the children most often may receive more in child support, depending on other factors.
Oftentimes, financial circumstances change. One parent loses a job or receives a promotion. Maybe a child has increased medical needs or additional extracurricular expenses. If so, either parent may petition the court to modify the order; that is, to increase or decrease the amount that has been ordered to be paid. Consequently, the inability to pay can be taken care of with a modification, even temporarily. Initial child support orders and modifications may require the gathering of documentation and possibly a court hearing.
Source: Azcentral.com, “MCSO celebrates Father’s Day with warrant roundup,” Rebecca Smouse, June 14, 2014