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Understanding different types of child support

Child support payments can be confusing for both non-custodial and custodial parents. Parents in Arizona may be affected by federal laws governing child support. To understand how child support works, it is important for parents to understand the different types.

A child support case established through the Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, is known as an IV-D case. OCSE provides services to parents, such as locating a non-custodial parent, establishing paternity and enforcing existing court orders awarding child support.

When a parent requests public assistance from the state, an IV-A case may be opened. The purpose of this type of case is to help the government recover the costs of family assistance by ordering the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

A third type of child support case involves situations where a child is being cared for by a person other than a biological parent. This type of case is known as an IV-E case. An IV-E case may be opened when a child enters foster care or if the child is being cared for by a relative.

A fourth type of child support case is a non-IV-D case, which is a case that is enforced privately without the involvement of OCSE, such as after a divorce.

An attorney may be able to assist families who are in need of child support as well as non-custodial parents who are seeking a child support modification. In many cases, fathers can file a paternity action through their own counsel to establish paternity and ask a court to consider orders regarding visitation and custody without contacting OCSE first.

An attorney may be able to assist those who have already been ordered to pay child support understand the consequences they may face for not making payments. Non-custodial parents may be able to request modifications if there has been a material change of circumstances in the parent's income since filing of the previous order.

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