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Enforcing an order for child support outside of Arizona

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Child Support

Many divorced parents in Arizona who receive child support payments from the other parent face the problem of collecting support payments if the payor parent should leave the state.

This problem, while no doubt stressful, can be resolved through the Arizona Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. A version of this statute has been adopted in most of the 50 states, and it provides important remedies for parents attempting to enforce orders for child support and custody in cases where the other divorced spouse has moved to another state.

Court jurisdiction

The statute gives Arizona courts jurisdiction — that is, the power to act — over persons who have resided in Arizona with one or more of the children in question. An Arizona court has jurisdiction over a child and its parents if the child for whom support is claimed was produced by an act of sexual intercourse in Arizona, or if the person was named as a parent of a child on a birth certificate filed in Arizona, or if the person has been served with legal process issued by an Arizona court.

The person seeking enforcement of an order for child support issued by an Arizona court can either retain an attorney to file a motion with the Arizona court seeking enforcement or contact the Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Child Support Services for assistance. Some former spouses respond well to a contact from the Division of Child Support Service, but other ex-spouses will resist such efforts to enforce a support order. In such cases, a formal motion is required.

Seeking an order of enforcement

If a court order is deemed necessary, the person bringing the motion (and perhaps the person opposing the motion) will require the assistance of an attorney. An experienced family law attorney can evaluate the situation and provide an opinion on the likelihood of the motion succeeding. A knowledgeable lawyer can also suggest methods of enforcing such an order in another state. If the party seeking enforcement obtains a proper court order from an Arizona court, the order can be enforced in any state whose laws permit enforcement of an order issued under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. As noted, almost all the 50 states have enacted such laws.