Even if the non-custodial parent lives in another state, Federal law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is legally required to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.
If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures to collect regular and past-due payments.
The official child support enforcement agency for the State of Arizona is the Division of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Economic Security. The Division of Child Support is required by federal law to provide free services and is funded by the federal government and the State of Arizona.
|ARIZONA DIVISION OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT CASELOAD STATISTICS1|
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1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005
Arizona allows for interest on missed child support payments, retroactive support, and adjudicated arrears at a rate of 10% simple interest per annum.
The statute of limitations for collection of child support was eliminated effective September 21, 2006. In cases prior to September 21, 2006 where the youngest child had emancipated and three years have passed: If a final judgment on arrears was not obtained, then the arrears cannot be collected. If a final judgment on arrears was obtained, then those arrears can be collected. If a judgment was obtained for any time period within the duration of the current child support and there is a balance still due, then those arrears can be collected.
Arizona requires that paternity be established before the child's 18th birthday.
Arizona law defines the age of emancipation as 18 years old.
If child turns 18 while in high school or in a high school equivalency program, support will continue while attending high school or a certified high school equivalency program. Child support will continue until the child graduates high school, completes a certified high school equivalency program, or turns 19, whichever comes first.
The Arizona child support guidelines use a formula that takes into account the gross income of both parents, child support for children of other relationships (court-ordered support), spousal maintenance paid or received, medical/dental/vision insurance costs (for children only), childcare costs, extra education expenses, extraordinary child expenses, number of children age 12 or over, month and year of youngest child's birthday, number of parenting time days per year.
The Arizona Supreme Court provides a PDF calculator on its website based on the Arizona Child Support Guidelines that took effect January 1, 2005.
Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.
The custodial parent has a duty to obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce its orders against either parent.