Failure to pay child support in Arizona is a serious moral and legal issue. State law empowers the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) with enforcement authority. There are a variety of remedies that DCSS can take to collect back child support, including the placement of property liens.

DCSS must notify both parents before taking action. DCSS notification of enforcement action includes information about how to register a dispute against the actions being taken. Contact an attorney who specializes in child support, child custody, and family law matters now.

Past-Due Child Support in Arizona

There are a series of steps DCSS takes to obtain past-due child support. Obviously, DCSS will search for cash assets first.

If the parent works within the state of Arizona, DCSS must issue an order to withhold income to collect back-due support from his or her paycheck. An administrative income withholding or order of assignment to the parent’s employer to order the withholding of monthly child support payments occurs. Unfortunately, additional costs to perform these actions may also be assessed to the parent in arrears.

Department of Revenue State Tax Refund Access

Arizona and federal laws provide DCSS with authority needed to access funds due to the parent from state tax refunds if he or she owes child support. This action may be taken even if the parent is currently making payments but is behind in the total amount of child support owed.

The state allows DCSS to seize tax refunds from the Arizona Department of Revenue when the parent owes past-due child support of $50 or more. DCSS is authorized to take tax refund money up to the full amount of back support owed.

DCSS can also request that the U.S. Treasury or other agencies withhold payments due to the parent in arrears when the non-custodial parent owes a minimum of $150 in back child support. Social security payments, VA or Railroad Retirement benefits may be wholly or entirely seized.

Money owed to the individual from IRS as a tax refund can be offset by DCSS. This action is especially likely if the child’s custodian parent receives welfare checks of at least $500 when the non-custodial parent owes a minimum of $150 in unpaid support.

Seizure of Assets and Property Liens

Bank accounts and property may be seized to obtain back child support of at least twelve months or when the custodial parent obtains a court-ordered judgment. Assets held at banks, trust companies, mutual funds, credit unions, and others may be seized.

A lien on property, such as a home owned by the parent in arrears, is likely if DCSS as a next step. It is very easy for DCSS to obtain a lien from the court. When DCSS places a lien for child support owed, any potential buyers, lenders, or title registration companies learn about the lien. This fact can deter prospective buyers or second-mortgage lenders from helping the individual to liquidate equity.

Until the owner pays the child support he or she owes, the lien remains. If he or she purchases new property, DCSS’ lien will apply to that property as well.

Contact a Child Support Attorney

Child support and custody matters are complex but DCSS’ ability to seize cash and income or place property liens are relatively straightforward. Still, it’s important to get legal assistance and counsel when handling these situations. Contact experienced child support attorney Ronald Kossack at 480-345-2652 for a free consultation now.