Child support collection and collection of arrears (back child support) are crucial in meeting the high costs of raising children.

The USDA estimates that a middle-class family will spend $222,360.00 to raise a child born in 2009 to age 18. The estimate is increased from 2008 due to increases in child care, education and health services. Housing accounts for the biggest portion of expenses, averaging 31 percent. Child care and education average 17 percent, with food costs at 16 percent. The cost estimates don't include college expenses or special needs children.

There are a number of different ways to address unpaid child support:

1.Child Support Enforcement:  You can ask DES Child Support Enforcement to assist you in collecting child support . Pro: You do not have to pay them to help you and they have the power to revoke the drivers license and/or passport of the party not paying. Con: It takes weeks or months for them to proceed and they are often satisfied to get very low payments and they give people a lot of chances to comply.

2. Support Judgement and Collections Action for Back Child Support or Maintenance:  You can obtain a judgment for child support and pursue traditional collection remedies such as wage garnishment, bank account garnishment and liens on property. 

3. Contempt of Court:  You can seek quasi-criminal penalties such as jail time and purge amounts (where the person obligated to pay child support is ordered to pay a lump sum towards the back child support obligation before being released from jail.)

4. Motion to Enforce:  You can ask the court to enforce the order and include requests for penalities such as attorney fee payment and a repayment of child support schedule (payment plan). 

If you are owed child support or are having difficulties with child support collection, get immediate legal help from an Arizona child support attorney.   

Source from: Bloomberg Business Week: June 9 (Bloomberg)

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