Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz, P.C.

Can settlement for delinquent child support benefit me?

It is an unfortunate reality that some parents do not make their child support payments in full, on time or both, in Arizona. In certain cases, the supporting parent does not make any payments at all. Since delinquent payments of child support is a violation of the support agreement, the parent is likely to face a penalty. These punishments can be long lasting and difficult. Trying to find a way out of this situation can be complicated. Fortunately, there is the Settlement Program through the Arizona Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

When the noncustodial parent cannot make child support payments, there could be a number of viable reasons. But, the support agreement will be in effect unless there is a legal modification made. By the time the parent gets around to seeking that modification, the amount that he or she owes will often spiral out of control.

For parents who are behind on their payments, the Settlement Program is something to consider. It lets the parent have a chance to become current on the payments, give a lump sum payment to clear what is owed, close the case and stop or modify the withholding of wages that were put in place to pay the child support.

There is no specific percentage or amount that is paid through this program. It helps with negotiating an offer that will be acceptable to the state and to the parties involved. This is voluntary and no one -- not the state, the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent -- should be compelled to take part. If a noncustodial parent's wages are being withheld, this can be stopped once it is recorded that the obligation has been cleared and the case was related only to child support being in arrears.

Considering the litany of problems that both parents will deal with when there are delinquent child support payments, the Settlement Program is an option worth exploring. Discussing the matter with an attorney who is skilled and knowledgeable about child support can give information about this alternative and advice on how to move forward.

Source:, "Settlement Program," accessed on April 4, 2017

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