For divorced Arizona parents with child support orders from another state, enforcing those orders was always challenging. This is because the state appellate court previously determined that out of state orders were not enforceable in Arizona. However, the Court ruled differently after a resident tried to enforce a North Carolina child support order. Her ex-husband claimed the Arizona courts couldn't enforce the order, but in reversing itself, the appellate court decided that simply enforcing an out of state order, rather than modifying it, was acceptable.
Many divorcing parents of minor children may wonder about child support in Arizona: how it can be requested, what is the proper amount and for how long it will continue. Usually, child support must be requested by one party during the divorce process. There are forms to complete and submit to the court that trigger the process whereby the court or a county agency will request certain documentation or information from each party. The requested documentation or information includes items such as the income of each parent and whether the parties have other children to support.
In an international dispute with Arizona ties, the ex-wife of an airline pilot is seeking over $774,000 in unpaid child support. Married in 1986, the husband filed for divorce in 2000 in Canada. Two years later, the Canadian Court ordered him to pay start paying child support. He failed to do so and left the jurisdiction. He then failed to appear in subsequent proceedings, resulting in the confiscation of his Canadian passport, pilot license and driver's license.
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.
Arizona parents going through the divorce process may be interested in hearing about an unusual twist concerning child support payments. A couple in Iowa were divorced in 2004 and for years afterward, they fought over the terms of their divorce settlement and custody of their children. In 2011, the ex-wife was convicted of first-degree murder and incarcerated. Despite her conviction and loss of custody of her children, a judge ruled that her ex-husband had to pay her back child support and divorce settlement payments.
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.
Many of us know of or have heard of someone owing back payments of child support. Called arrears, there are many reasons why someone with a support order has not paid all the money owed to date, including unemployment, large medical bills or simple not wanting to adhere to the order. Recently, a man in Chicago took owing child support to a new level: he owes over half a million dollars.
Divorce can bring on a whole host of contested legal issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. Perhaps one of the most disputed aspects of a divorce is child support. Reaching a child support settlement can be difficult, and many times must be argued for or against in front of a judge. Once a final determination is made, issues may arise when payments are incomplete or missing. The child may suffer as a result, and a failure to pay child support may lead to penalties for the owing parent.