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My Ex is Behind on Child Support: What are my Options?

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Navigating Child Support Can Be Challenging

Learn what your options are when your ex spouse is behind on child support. Choose from any of the topics below.

  • Can a Parent Refuse to Pay Child Support?
  • What Should You Do if Your Ex is Not Paying Child Support?
  • Is it Common for People to Miss Child Support Payments?
  • What are the Penalties for Not Paying Child Support in Arizona?
  • What Are Child Support Arrears?
  • How Can a Paralegal Professional Help me Recover Child Support Payments?
  • Speak With a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding a Divorce Trial

Can a Parent Refuse to Pay Child Support?


Yes, a parent can refuse to pay child support.

In most cases, if one parent is not paying their fair share of the financial responsibility for a child, then the other parent can take legal action.

A court may order the non-paying parent to make payments or face jail time. It is important to note that parents cannot use this as an excuse to avoid paying child support; it is their obligation as a parent and should not be taken lightly.

Furthermore, the amount of money owed will not go away even if the non-paying parent refuses to pay it; they will still have to pay what they owe, plus interest and penalties in addition to any court costs associated with enforcing the order.

What Should You Do if Your Ex is Not Paying Child Support?

If your ex is not paying child support in Arizona, it is crucial to take legal action.

You should contact a lawyer or legal paraprofessional specializing in family law who can provide sound advice on how to proceed.

You may also want to contact the Arizona Department of Economic Security Child Support Services Division, which can help you with enforcement efforts such as wage garnishment or interception of income tax refunds.

It’s also important to keep records of payments that have been made and any communications with your ex regarding child support.

Finally, you should regularly review your child support agreement and make sure that all payments are being made according to the terms of the agreement. 

Taking these steps will help ensure that you receive the financial support for your children that is rightfully due.

Is it Common for People to Miss Child Support Payments?

Unfortunately, it is common for people to miss child support payments. This can be due to various factors such as unemployment, illness, or other financial issues.

In addition, some parents do not prioritize paying their child support and may use the money on other things. This can have long-lasting consequences for both the parent and the children involved in the situation.

The parent who fails to make payments can face legal action and/or financial penalties. Meanwhile, not receiving the total amount of child support may cause financial hardship for the custodial parent and/or the children.

Parents must stay current with their payments to ensure their children are financially provided for.

How do I Manage my Finances While I Wait for Child Support Payments?


Waiting for child support payments can be a stressful and overwhelming experience.

The best way to manage your finances while you wait is to create and maintain a budget.

Start by tracking your income and expenses, so you know exactly how much money is coming in and going out each month. Once you have an accurate picture of your finances, set realistic goals for saving money and creating an emergency fund. First, prioritize bills such as rent, utilities, food, and healthcare. Try to pay off any debt or high-interest loans as soon as possible.

Additionally, consider looking into government assistance programs and other forms of financial aid that may be available to help support your family during this time.

What are the Penalties for Not Paying Child Support in Arizona?

In Arizona, the penalties for not paying child support are severe.

The court may take away a person’s driver’s license or professional license, place liens on their property, or order wage garnishment. If a person is found in contempt of court for failure to pay child support, they could face jail time and be fined.

It is essential to understand that the state of Arizona takes non-payment of child support very seriously, and those who do not make their payments can face serious consequences.

What Are Child Support Arrears?

Child support arrears are payments that are owed to a custodial parent from the non-custodial parent for past due child support.

This is usually in the form of money but can also include other items such as medical expenses or reimbursements for daycare costs.

When parents do not make timely payments or fall behind in their obligations, the amount owed accumulates and is called arrearage.

In some cases, this debt can become very significant and even lead to legal action against the non-paying parent. The amount of arrearage should be paid in full before any future payments are made, so parents must stay on top of any money they owe to avoid having a large balance accumulate.

How Can a Paralegal Professional Help me Recover Child Support Payments?


A paralegal professional can assist in recovering child support payments in various ways. They can help to research and locate the non-paying parent and then advise on the best course of action for obtaining payment. This could include negotiating with the other parent or filing a motion with the court to order payment.

Additionally, they can also prepare all necessary legal documents, such as petitions for support, motions for contempt, and garnishment orders. Furthermore, they can advise on managing funds received and ensure that all expenses related to raising children are correctly accounted for.

With their knowledge and experience, paralegal professionals can help families recover unpaid child support payments quickly and efficiently.

Tip: Consulting a paralegal professional is also more cost-efficient compared to hiring an attorney.


Stephanie Villalobos, LP

A step that can be taken if you see yourself facing late child support payments is to contact an experienced paraprofessional at De Novo Law. The team of legal paraprofessionals will be able to concentrate on the case at hand. 

Call us today at (480) 660-4414 to schedule your consultation.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.  De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held.  The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.


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