Arizona Child Support

by Ed Lawson
(Colorado)

My ex and I divorced 24 years ago. The mother was granted custody, I received visitation we share 1 surviving child now 24. She/ they left AZ in 1990 what court order (oh well). I left AZ in 1992. AZ is the custodial state. Each of us now reside in different states.


I have almost always held a state job. I worked for AZ until 1992. Now I have been with my new state Dept. for 15 years. Before I started working for my new state Dept., almost 2 years had past. You know I fell into arrears. But I got back on track. However I did not pay those arrears. I had a wage assignment through my payroll Dept. and DCSE always intercepted my income tax, at a pretty good clip too. Because the Wage assignment worked so well I had an unblemished support payment record in my new state.

In 2004 our son turned 20 years old. He was out of the mother’s home and he was not continuing his education. I thought for sure any arrears should surly have been received. I asked AZ DCSE for the “Administrative review” DCSE would close this case.

The review took 4 months. I was stunned when I read the close out amount. This is not exact.. AZ said I now owed the custodial parent more than $18,000.00. I established arrears to this account in 1991, 92 and 93 these arrears have not been paid. DCSE said I owed nearly $800.00 in arrears at that time and the balance was interest on the arrears. In 2004 From my state and over the phone we had a hearing. I could not convince the court how I felt there was a misunderstanding. The numbers did not add up and AZ never implied they would apply interest in the first place. I was not hiding. The new order said I owed this money.

That the arrears were subject to compounded interest and there could be no interest on interest. A wage assignment would be modified to a lower amount to help satisfy the principal arrears AZ returned an income tax intercept; they said an intercept was not a vehicle they could use to collect interest.

My feeling is this was very likely one of the first cases in AZ that used the DCSE system. I have all the payment records over the years. Arizona has adapted or upgraded their payment record system four times between 1983 and 2004. I can see where a new system is not consistent to the previous record, money that is not accounted fore and where one record showed application to arrears and another showed the same payment to the principal support order. This will effect how interest is calculated. When I worked for AZ. the State Dept paid its employees every two weeks. There were a couple of months in the year we received three pay periods. DCSE received additional payments in those months and then shorted the following month each time this occurred. I believe this could also have an impact on how interest is calculated.

I would have to go to AZ and hire an attorney at great expense and time away from my family and my position to try to clear this up. I anticipate the monetary cost would be equivalent to what AZ says I owe. The money is to be paid. I could do it to spite her, but she is already on the payment plan.

I’m interested in any Arizona Davison of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) cases that ring a bell.

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Possibility to have arrears dismissed
by: Anonymous

I know this is a little late to post. But in regards to the situation, the mother can have the arrears waived. My fiance owed about $1500 in arrears. He ended up with the child and the mother agreed in court to waive the money owed to her. If you could get the mother to agree this is one option. Just like a bank or lender can settle, so can the person owed child support. You guys could work it out among yourself outside of court. For example, agree to give her the $800 owed to her.

Of course, I know there are some people out there that aren't able to see the logic of resolving the issue and moving on in life. But, based on your post, it seems like you paid what you needed to. That hopefully means something - arrears go on your credit report and keep you from being able to get car loan, home loan, ect. That is what we explained to the mother. It worked for us ... maybe it might help someone else out there.

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The State does not reicve the interest
by: Anonymous

I have worked closely with DCSE for over 11yrs. I myself have a case with them because my son's father refused to stay current on our arrangement. For those of you who are interested DCSE doesn't recieve the interest that is collected. As a matter of fact they recieve very little from the money that comes in. They recieve a $25 a year fee and a $5 a month fee for processing any child support. The interest that is collected goes to the Custodial parent, where it should go. If you take out a loan a car and don't pay for 3 months you loose the car and have to pay the balance, interest included. A family court judge once told me "look at it this way, when you & a partner have a child it is an 18yr loan if you or the other parent decides to leave the home." That loan will continue to accure interest. So realistically that child could be 40 and if you haven't paid consistently on the loan you for the first 18 yrs you will continue to pay until the loan is paid in full. INTEREST included.


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why dont we take them to court?
by: Anonymous

I am a custodal mother. whom has been ripped off by the az division child support. Arrears??? what arrears??? They say its for the child. Arrears !!! Is that not intrest to be added to the child support which is not being paid. This would mean it is like a spank on the hand. shame on you now you have to pay the... Well its not the child and parent whom went through hell due to the non payment of child support. I know this to be a fact! They took aprox 27000.00 which was our arrears. for years of non payment. everytime I want an explaination...you got it!! I got no where. I have proof but they wont look at it. thery are no better then the dead beat dads. they just have a way to pull this off.Im waiting to see when they get their day in court.

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AZ DCSE & MATCHING FED.FUNDS!!
by: Anonymous

Do Not Ever Kid Yourself ITS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY!Case In Point I Divorced In 88 , One Child!Emancipated NOW 26 WITH 3 KIDS!.Clerk Of Superior Court Certifies Payments In Excess Of $47,000 Have Been Recorded/Certified.
BUT THE STATE DOES NOT RECORD THE VALID PMT's. SO THEY CAN CLAIM MATCHING FED FUNDS!! DCSE WON'T ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF PAY RECORDS EITHER!! IN ADDITION DCSE DIRECTOR RAGLAND FINALLY ISSUED A ZERO OWED ORDER 5/1/2008 ONLY TO HAVE MY RESIDENT STATE OF NV SUSPEND DR LICENSE & STILL TRYING TO COLLECT & HOLD ME IN CONTEMT OF COURT ONLY TO COMPEL WITH THREATS OF JAIL!! HEARING TOMORROW 4/13/2011 WE WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES! THE INSATIABLE GREED OF THE SYSTEM IS UTTERLY AMAZING!! I now Understand What "Obsfucation" Is.............JR

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Yet more stories like ours
by: Anonymous

My husband's ex wife move her case to Arizona because she was collecting state aid. It originated in California and my husband paid CA about 38k within a month or so he recieved notice that he owed AZ DCSE 40K!!! So evidently they didn't do their due diligence and process the transfer correctly. Years later he still owes 40k and has requested audit after audit. He has had and shown proof of his payments. They have collected his Federal taxes for nearly 15 years now. They are negligent in every aspect. To me this is THEFT IN EVERY WAY! They prey upon people who are already broke because of the payments and they continue to kick em' when they are down. What pisses me off is that she left him because for another guy, NICE! He is screwed from here to eternity, and I see it as they are now taking MY money.

Kim

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Arizona Child Support Office
by: Anonymous

The Arizona Child Support office is the worst. Fathers who take care of their children get screwed by this current system.

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how did it work out
by: Anonymous

How did it work out. My husband has arrears of over 47,000 and he has had no luck getting anything done. When we do the calculations over 38,000 is interest. After over 20,000 in arrears payments over the last 3 years the balance continues to go UP. If anyone has had any success I would love to know how.

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Mother was granted custodial parent but child lived with me
by: Anonymous

One month after the judges ruling, my son moved in with me (father) and lived with me for 2.5 years in Cal. Once mother kicked her abusive father out my son returned to Arizona. I wanted him to have a couple years with his sister in the same high school. My son wanted me to keep the courts out and not modify custody and to keep everything neutral, I listed. Unfortunately, now that he lives back with mom, she has filed with DCSE that I have never paid her child support and is seeking support for when my son lived with me. Although I have most all receipts of expenses, school, clothes etc...do I even have a chance of getting credit for when he resided with me? After all, he's a teenager and they're expensive. DCSE is all over me!!! I fired my last attorney because he didn't show up for a hearing. He was to handle this as well as other things and I was left to handle a simplified modification on my own for future child support. His name is Merrill Robbins by the way. I would not recommend him at all. Is this something you think I can handle myself with the courts to get credit?

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Arrearage
by: Anonymous

I agree with everything you all said about DCSE, I also believe that child support has become a cash cow for the State of Arizona. I have been paying child support since 1991. I didn't pay my child support for the first 5 years because I was mad and not very smart and then I paid at least something for the next 7 years and then in 2003 I started paying the full amount and extra. But what I didn't realize was that the State of Arizona was charging me interest the whole time. I don't know about you but as far as I know there isn't anywhere I know of that you can get 10% interst paid to you in a bank account or even in the stock market.
When I findly did try to get it taken care of I found out that my balance in interest alone was over $35000.00 dollars. I couldn't believe what I had found out.There has to be something we the non-custodial parents can do to get this fixed. If anyone out there can help please let me know because I'm at the end of my rope per say.

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arizona arrears
by: Anonymous

my divorce took place in arizona. I moved home to ohio and opened my child support case there. they collected all child support arrears for me and now tell me that my x has paid his arrears to me in full. However, my case says he still holds a balance of ver 13000.00. ohio tells me this money is owed to the state of arizona for processing fees and is not due to me. Im confused...how can he owe this much in processing fees? thats an insane amt. anyone else have this happen to them?

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back together and trying to dismiss DCSE case
by: Anonymous

I am a mother of 2 small children, twins. When they were 15 months old their father and I split up and he moved to another state. We tried to work out a regular payment plan, which did not work out so well and i had to go through AZ DCSE to have his paychecks garnished. A year after he left, we had resolved the majority of our issues, and decided that we should get back together and try again. Another year and a halh later, we realized that we were comfortable in our relationship, made plans to get married and wipe the state clean. when i went to DCSE to begin case closure on the child support they were extreamly UNHELPFUL. I had to take time off work and go back to their office at least 6 times, each time getting more frusturated and then they would dribble a bit of helpful information to me. FINALLY i had the case signed off and notorized by the Attorney General, and filed the papers MTSELF at Maricopa County Court. This process has been going on for 8 months now, and the case is STILL open and he STILL owes $6900????? in back child support to me, even though I waived the arrears in late October 2008!!!!! Plus he is now in collections for that amount! They have made things VERY difficult for us and have been extreamly unhelpful, and it has caused tension between him and I. All we want is to have the case dropped and to move on with our lives together. the time we spent apart has passed, we are good parents to our children, however DCSE is making it very difficult by REMINDING us BOTH of a time we would much rather bury and forget! unbeliveable!

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arrears
by: Anonymous

I had no choice but to send my son to live with his dad after he had gotten into trouble with the law the second time. I had a minor accidental fall that caused me to be 5% disabled and to be in much pain 24/7, which with time, had gotten that much worse to deal with. I took an early retirement for that reason, thinking i was probably no longer able to hold a full time job. He lived with him for 2 years until be became of age to leave the home. My ex-husband did not and does not care about my disability and limited mobility due to long term affect from this fall. He had a choice--he could have asked Arizona to close the case. I was made to pay arrears and because i could not hold down a full time job year round, interest grew and continued to grow. I finally landed a grand opportunity--Federal employment while i continued my schooling to be gainfully employed for students with disabilties. I got a surprise letter this week. I'm all paid up!!! It took 8 years to pay off arrears for 2 years of living with his dad!!

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Our arrearages are dependent on how they feel that day...
by: Anonymous

Brother, Im with ya on this. If the caseworker is in a bad mood that day, your gonna have a HELL of an arrearage! I think the formulas for determining penalties and interest are a very closely held secret in DCSE. I also think that DCSE has been vested with too much power and that child support enforcement has become a cash cow for the government. Lets just say, I would LOVE to have what they collect in interest, poundage, etc per day.

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