Arizona has no statute of limitation on collection of child support arrears, but it does have a statute of limitation on collecting spousal maintenance ("alimony") arrears. The statute of limitation is three years past the termination date for the spousal maintenance obligation.
For example, if the court ordered Husband to pay Wife spousal maintenance through June, 2015, the deadline to file any petition to collect any arrears would be June 30, 2018. This does not mean that the statute of limitation will bar collection of payments that are more than three years overdue. For example, if the court ordered Husband to pay spousal maintenance through June, 2012, and Husband missed a payment in June, 2005, and Wife filed her petition to enforce spousal maintenance on June 1, 2013, then Wife’s petition is timely.
This means that people can wait to enforce spousal maintenance, but they cannot wait forever, like they can with child support. However, as a practical matter, it does not make sense to wait to enforce either spousal maintenance or child support until the other party owes tens of thousands of dollars. The larger the amount of arrears, the more difficult collecting the entire amount becomes. A better course of action is to petition the court to enforce support orders before the amount of arrears grows too much, so that the other party begins to make regular, consistent payments.