Every Parent Has an Obligation to Support His or Her Children.
Arizona law provides that every parent has a duty to provide financial support to his or her children until the children reach the age of majority. In most circumstances, the age of majority for child support purposes is 18 years or when the child graduates from high school, whichever is later, up to the age of 19 years. In the case of a disabled child who cannot provide for his or her needs and remains dependant on his or her parents for support, Arizona courts may order a parent to continue to financially support the child past the age of majority.
Arizona Has No Statute of Limitation on Arrears.
Arizona law provides no statute of limitation on child support arrears. Once a court orders a parent to pay child support, and that parent does not pay child support, there is no statute of limitation on collection of the resulting arrears. Similarly, judgments for child support arrears do not expire in Arizona.
However, if a court does not enter an order for child support and the custodial parent seeks child support several years after the child’s birth, Arizona law provides that the court may enter judgment for past child support, but only for the last three years. For example, if a woman gives birth to a baby girl the father never provides financial support to the child, and the mother sues the father for child support when the child is six years old, the court may only grant a judgment for past child support for the time when the child was three to six years old.
Missed Child Support Payments Collect Interest.
Interest on missed child support payments (arrears) in Arizona is ten percent per year. There is no statute of limitation on interest on child support arrears or judgments for interest on child support arrears. However, a judgment for past child support only begins to accrue interest when the court grants the judgment. In other words, a parent can get a judgment for past child support, but not for past interest on past child support.
Do Not Wait to Collect Child Support Arrears.
Although there is no statute of limitation on child support arrears in Arizona, parents should not wait to collect the arrears and enforce the child support order. When large amounts of arrears and interest accumulate, the chances of successfully collecting or successfully collecting in a timely manner on the arrears decrease.
If you have a child support collection problem, Thomas A. Morton can help you.