Court Ruling Permits Enforcement of Out-of-State Child Support Orders in Arizona

Payment of child support can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce.  Enforcing these orders can also become tactically difficult when the parents live in different states. A recent ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals makes enforcing out-of-state child support orders somewhat easier for Arizona residents.

Court Ruling Details

The Court’s decision involved a Maricopa County Superior Court case in which a parent asked the court to force her former husband to comply with a child support order issued in North Carolina.  Her husband argued that Arizona courts could not enforce a North Carolina order.

The Court had previously ruled that Arizona courts could not modify out-of-state child support orders.  It sought to ensure that only one child support order was in effect in a case, and a modification would have created two different orders.  In the more recent case, however, it decided that enforcing a decision was not the same as modifying it, as there would be no risk of conflicting orders.  As a result, the court sided with the Arizona custodial parent who was seeking to have the out-of-court child support order enforced.

Consequences for Non-Payment in Arizona

Parents who are delinquent in paying child support can be subject to a variety of sanctions in Arizona, including arrest.  With the help of Arizona’s Child Support Evader program, a custodial parent may arrange to have a missing delinquent parent who owes more than $5000 placed on a “Most Wanted Child Support Evader” list.  If a delinquent parent’s location is known, authorities may garnish that parent’s wages, seize assets, or impose liens on property.

Get Professional Legal Assistance

Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, if you are involved in a child custody dispute, you need a smart, determined advocate on your side.  Cohen Family Law in Phoenix, Arizona has expertise in helping parents with a wide variety of divorce, domestic relations, and family law issues, including enforcement and modification of child support orders.  Call (602) 714-8898 for a free consultation.