Shocking number of Arizona parents don’t pay child support

In Arizona, both parents are responsible for the support and well-being of their children. For the non-custodial parent, that includes making regular and consistent child support payments. The child support order is an order of the court. If a non-custodial parent is late in the payment of child support that parent can be found in contempt of court.

According to Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, which mandates that single parents pursue child support to qualify for cash assistance, Arizona had 159,117 cases of unpaid child support at the end of May. The total overdue unpaid child support added up to more than $1.7 billion.

However, many parents don’t pursue child support to qualify for cash assistance. They write off the potential aid for a few reasons. In some cases, they think there is no way their ex-spouse would be able or willing to pay. Some parents also fear their former spouse or believe the help won’t be worth the stress and aggravation of continued contact.

Recent studies in child-support trends by the Health and Human Services Department have found that about 10 percent of debtors owe more than $10,000, and nearly three-quarters of that group report less than $10,000 in income a year. In addition, people who reported less than $10,000 in income a year, were responsible for approximately 70 percent of state debts, which accumulate interest on a regular basis in Arizona.

Arizona residents facing child support issues should not feel overwhelmed. It is important for those facing child support disputes to seek answers and make sure their rights are protected. The court will give a parent’s child support obligation priority over all other financial obligations of the parent. Ultimately, though, a judge must make a decision that is in the best interests of the child, not their parents. The same is true in any Arizona child support case.

Source:, “Arizona parents who don’t pay child support could fill a pro football stadium – or 2 or 3” Carli Brosseau, Aug. 11, 2013 (

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