Basic child support information for AZ parents going through a divorce

Arizona uses an income shares model when calculating child support and utilizes a program to capture parents who are delinquent in their payments.

Divorce is extremely difficult for everyone involved, especially children. In some cases, it may be hard for a child to understand what is going on, as many of them are forced to deal with dramatic differences in their family life, including their financial stability. Child support helps to bridge the financial gap that children may experience as a result of divorce. Whether a child is born to Arizona parents who are married, born out of wedlock or adopted, each child deserves to receive emotional and financial stability in their lives.

Income shares model of child support

According to the National Council of State Legislators, Arizona has adopted the income shares model of child support. Under this model, children of divorced parents deserve to have the same financial support that they would have been given if their parents had stayed together. The Arizona courts state that the amount of child support ordered is dependent on the gross income of each parent, which may include wages, bonuses, pensions, commissions, severance pay, social security benefits, unemployment, worker's compensation benefits and disability.

In addition to the basic child support obligations, non-custodial parents may be required to contribute to the child's cost of health insurance, education, medical expenses and childcare costs. Child support amounts may be adjusted to account for parenting time as well.

Child support enforcement

While some parents diligently make their court-ordered child support payments, others are negligent in issuing the necessary funds to their children. According to the Arizona Department of Child Support Services, the state will withhold wages, intercept state income tax refunds, seize bank account funds or property, place liens on property, collect lottery winnings, revoke professional licenses and report negligent payments to the credit bureau in an attempt to collect unpaid child support funds. The parent may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of time that has elapsed since they have made a child support payment, as well as the amount of child support that is past due.

Parents who have failed to make a payment within the last six months may find themselves on the Arizona Child Support Evaders list. In order to be listed as a child support evader, a parent must meet the following conditions, according to the Arizona Division of Child Support Services:

•· A warrant for the parent's arrest has been issued.

•· The parent owes more than $5,000 in past due child support.

•· The parent's whereabouts are unknown.

•· The delinquent parent is not receiving welfare or involved in the bankruptcy process.

•· The custodial parent provides the department with a photograph of the negligent parent.

If the amount of child support owed exceeds $2,500, the negligent parent may not be eligible for a passport until the entire amount has been repaid. Arizona officials take child support enforcement extremely seriously and will continue seeking an individual until they have been caught.

Find legal assistance

Whether you are currently going through a divorce or legal separation and need assistance in calculating child support payments, or you are seeking unpaid child support funds, it may be helpful to find a family attorney who can help you through the legal process. An attorney can make sure that your child receives the financial support they deserve.

Keywords: Arizona, child support