Sometimes the court making the award for child support or spousal maintenance is only the first step in actually receiving support. Often, the challenging part of being a divorced or single parent is dependence on the other party even though the parties’ marriage is over. The other party may move from job to job, move to another state, or just plain refuse to pay.
Examples of Enforcement Issues
Other orders in a divorce decree may need enforcement action. For example, one parent may might limit or prevent parenting time/visitation in violation of the court’s orders. The other party might not make payments that the court ordered, like mortgage or car loan payments. The other party might not pay insurance premiums ordered by the court, causing the policy to lapse.
Seeking the Best Way to Resolve Your Enforcement Matter
I can help you collect child support and spousal maintenance and enforce your decree by seeking a contempt of court ruling. I know that going to court is expensive and aggravating. I try to resolve the matter through negotiations or mediation, which are less expensive and less stressful, negotiations and mediation might help. However, I do whatever it takes to enforce the court’s orders when the other party refuses to follow the court’s orders.
How I Help
I seek enforcement and contempt by garnishing wages, asking the court to use incarceration, or the threat of incarceration to get compliance, record judgments, attach property, and seek future review hearings to monitor compliance. I also help my clients deal with Child Support Enforcement and even seek an arrest warrant or seek to have the other party’s drivers license or professional licenses suspended.
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.
Thomas A. Morton, P. L. L. C.
2916 N. 7th Avenue, Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85013
If you have a legal issue but aren't sure how to handle it, call Thomas A. Morton, Attorney.
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All information on this website is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation, as each case is different and contains different facts. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and e-mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until you establish an attorney-client relationship with me.
Attorney Thomas A. Morton is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and serves clients throughout Maricopa County, including Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Gilbert, Chandler, Goodyear, Surprise, Avondale, Cave Creek, Carefree, New River, Anthem, Black Canyon City, Sun City, Laveen, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Tolleson, Youngtown, Queen Creek, Guadalupe, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Wickenberg, Apache Junction, and El Mirage.