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Federal and employment remedies for delinquent child support

Arizona parents who are ordered to pay child support are obligated to make their payments on time and in full. This is not a method of punishing the parent, but it is to ensure that the child is cared for. There are, however, methods of punishment that are used when the supporting parent is guilty of being delinquent in payments.

A prior post discussed enforcement remedies that the state will take when the parent has not paid what is owed. Here, the discussion will center around federal enforcement remedies, intergovernmental enforcement actions, and employment enforcement.

With the Federal Administrative Offset (FAO), the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) can ask the federal government to withhold payments and send them to the agency if the non-custodial parent owes a minimum of $150 in past-due child support. The following are subject to FAO: up to 25 percent of federal retirement benefits; 100 percent of vendor payments if the person worked for the federal government as an outside contractor; 60 percent of a federal salary offset if the person worked directly for the government; and up to 100 percent of miscellaneous payments, such as expenses or travel reimbursement. A tax refund can also be seized and a passport can be denied. With the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), the DCSS can move forward with enforcing child support orders from other states and withhold income just as it does in Arizona.

The authorities can also use an order to garnish the parent's wages. The employer will be directed to deduct the necessary amount from the wages of the person, as well as any other income. Enforcement actions can also follow a parent to a new job. Any new hire must be reported to the State Directory of New Hires. DCSS can see this information to find parents who are behind on what they owe and pursue payment. Unemployment Insurance Benefits can be withheld if people are found to have delinquent payments. Also, workers' compensation benefits can be taken to make the payments.

If you are having trouble with child support, whether you are a custodial parent who is not getting the support you need, or a noncustodial parent who is having trouble meeting your obligations, it is important to speak to an attorney experienced in child support.

Source: des.az.gov, "Enforcement Remedies -- Federal Enforcement Remedies; Federal Intergovernmental Enforcement Actions; Employment Enforcement Remedies," accessed on March 13, 2017

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