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Court of appeals approves enforcing out-of-state child support orders

Under a new ruling from an Arizona Court of Appeals gives judges the ability to enforce child support orders from other states, reversing a previous ruling that Arizona law doesn't allow for modification of child support orders from other states.

The case involved a woman who argued that a North Carolina child support order against her former husband should be enforced. Opposing her efforts, he argued that Arizona law would not permit enforcement of the order. The purpose of the Arizona law in question was to ensure there is only one child support order for judges to go by at any given time.

The ruling was based on the argument that enforcing a child support order from another state doesn't present the risk of mix-ups that modifying such an order from another state does. The change will allow custodial parents who are owed child support to receive what is due to them from out-of-state orders.

Getting a child support order enforced is not always easy, as many custodial parents are aware. Fortunately, most parents abide by their child support obligations. When they don't, there are a variety of means for enforcement. These remedies, which can be issued by the Division of Child Support Services, include income withholding, tax refund offsets, asset seizure, and other means.

In our next post, we'll look at the issue of modifying child support orders after divorce, which can be necessary in cases where circumstances have changed for the paying parent such that payments become difficult to make.

Source: Kjzz.org, "Ruling OKs Enforcing Other States' Child Support Orders," September 24, 2014.

Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Enforcement Remedies Used By Child Support Services," Accessed October 8, 2014.

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