Past due child support isn’t necessarily the definitive, tell-tale sign of a deadbeat parent. More often than not, it’s an indicator that the parent is unable to afford his or her child support payment due to changes in circumstances.
Rather than seek out legal counsel attributed to a vulnerable financial position, the owing parent tends not to take action at all. That’s when problems really begin to mount.
If there is a level of unwillingness or inability to pay for child support, there may be severe consequences on the horizon, including criminal charges, steep fines, wage and tax garnishments, and suspension of professional and occupational licensure.
What You Can Do If You Are Past Due
The absolute worst action you can take is to avoid the situation by ignoring it. It’s an increasing problem that does not go away.
The good news is that you can discuss your options with a Phoenix child support attorney at DeShon Laraye Pullen, PLC. He or she can help you decide your best course of action that considers the needs and legal requirements of everyone involved. Contact a team member of our legal family care team today by calling (602) 252-1968 or sending us a quick note here.
What Happens to Arizona Parents Who Are Past Due on Child Support?
Arizona state law gives authority to the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to enforce the payment of child support from the paying parent to the custodial parent. However, division representatives must provide you with adequate notification before any enforcement actions occur.
DCSS can utilize the following remedies to collect on past-due child support accounts:
Wage and federal and state tax garnishments
Seizure of personal property or assets
Revocation or suspension of professional licenses
Placing a lien on real estate for which you own
Charging you with contempt of court
While the preceding list isn’t exhaustive, it gives you a good idea as to some of the actions that DCSS can take to recuperate past-due child support accounts. If you have received a notice regarding action taken against you, make sure you gather the insight from a Phoenix child support lawyer before responding.
Criminal Prosecution Is on the Table
Perhaps the most worrisome part about being past due on child support payments is the fact that state and federal criminal proceedings are available to the state when going after delinquent accounts. If the above-referenced methodologies don’t work, then the state’s only recourse is criminal action.
After all, they want to send the message that it’s not okay to shirk your familial responsibilities from a financial standpoint. Plus, what good does being in jail do anyway? You aren’t able to work when you’re locked up which only makes the problem worse.
There are options available to parents who are unable to afford their child support payments, but it’s up to you to communicate to a legal professional what is reasonably occurring that prevents you from making any payments whatsoever.
One way the court tries to alleviate unfair financial burden from financially stressed parents is by modifying the child support order currently in effect. Courts can’t make you pay money that doesn’t exist, but they do want to make sure that any changes are well-documented and that they have received approval from a family judge beforehand.
That way, everything stays above-board, and you can continue living your life without undue burden or strain.
Why You Should Discuss Your Options with a Phoenix Child Support Lawyer
It is a frightening and intimidating experience to face your ex, your shared children, and the courtroom when you are already behind on your support payments.
Instead of attending your next hearing with your head down, change your approach by retaining a licensed Arizona family law attorney to protect your interests during child support hearings. It’s your right as an American citizen to retain counsel without the implication of guilty or financial means.
Consider Retaining a Phoenix Child Support Lawyer at DeShon Laraye Pullen, PLC
If you are facing issues related to past due child support payments in Arizona, don’t wait to act any longer. Contact a Phoenix child support lawyer from the legal team at DesShon Laraye Pullen, PLC. We are available to help you through the process for a better tomorrow. Schedule an initial consultation today by calling (602) 252-1968 or sending us a note through our form.