How to Make a Child Support or Alimony Payment
If you have minor children, and recently went through the process of a divorce in the state of Arizona, you likely received a court order to either receive or make child support payments. In some cases, the child support will come directly from your paycheck, as you may notice that your court order indicates that an “income withholding order will be issued to your employer.” However, if you are the parent that remains legally obligated to make child support payments, the following will help you understand how to send appropriate child support payments amounts in order to follow the court’s order and provide financially for your children following your divorce.
Additionally, in many divorces, one spouse is ordered to pay alimony payments to the other spouse. Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance payments, are also legally required payments to be made under a court order. Failure to make these payments can lead to serious civil penalties and consequences. The following article will also help you understand how to send appropriate alimony payments in order to stay in compliance with the court’s order.
Child Support Orders in the State of Arizona
The courts in the state of Arizona take child support orders seriously. A child support order is a legal obligation, and even if a parent makes the decision to file for bankruptcy, it will not reduce or eliminate their legal or financial obligation to make these payments to remain financially responsible for their children. If a parent fails to make a child support payment, they may be held in contempt of court and receive civil penalties. Therefore, if you received a court order in the divorce process that you are required to pay child support, you can find the answers you need regarding how to make those payments in a timely manner and avoid all legal penalties and consequences.
Alimony Orders in the State of Arizona
The courts in the state of Arizona also take alimony orders seriously. An order to pay spousal support or spousal maintenance is also a legal obligation. Again, if a person makes the decision to file for bankruptcy, it will not exculpate them from their responsibility to make their alimony payments. The only way that an alimony payment obligation may be terminated or reduced is through another court order that legally establishes such a modification. If a person fails to make their court-ordered alimony payments, they may be held in contempt of court and receive civil penalties. The following article also provides all of the information you need regarding how to make those payments in a timely manner and avoid any potential legal penalties or consequences.
Support Payment Clearinghouse
The judge in your divorce may order or instruct you to make your child support payments or your alimony payments to the Support Payment Clearinghouse. However, parents should take caution as if payments are simply mailed to the Support Payment Clearinghouse they may be considered “gifts” and not counted as part of the legal obligation of a court-ordered child support payment. Make sure that you follow these steps to ensure that you make your child support payments or your alimony payments correctly and ensure that you fulfill your legal and financial obligations to your children or your ex-spouse.
Steps To Make a Child Support Payment in Arizona
The following are the steps you need to take in order to make a child support payment in the state of Arizona.
Step 1: Determine the Case Number and the Amount of the Payment
You will receive several documents at the end of your divorce from the court. Find the ATLAS case number in those documents and you will also find the exact amount that you will need to pay monthly in child support. This number is assigned to your case and may be included in the order from the court regarding your child support. If you are struggling to find this number, you may call (602) 506-3762 and request your ATLAS number.
It is important to remember that you should always include your name and the ATLAS case number on every payment that you make in order to ensure that you receive proper credit for making your child support payment. These payments will be made to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse, which is operated by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
Step 2: Choose a Payment Method
You can make your child support payments by any method that is most convenient to you. For example, you may choose to pay by check sent in the mail, over the phone, over the Internet, or in person.
If you make the choice to mail in your payment, you can use either a money order or a personal check. Remember, always include your name, your case number, and your ATLAS case number to ensure that you receive proper credit in the system for making your child support payment.
Make your money order or check payable to: Support Payment Clearinghouse
Mail your check or money order to: Support Payment Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 52107, Phoenix, AZ 85072-2107
Many people make the choice to make their child support payments online through the Internet in the state of Arizona. You will first need to register online with the State of Arizona Payment Gateway system (please note this is a new website created in 2018, the prior website has been updated to direct to this website). After you create your account online, you can make child support payments according to the instructions given.
You may also make a child support payment over the phone. In order to make a payment over the phone, you will need to have a credit card as they do not take checks over the phone. You will also need to have your case number and your ATLAS case number. You may call any of the following numbers in order to make your child support payments in the state of Arizona:
- Arizona Payment Gateway: 1-866-562-0140
- DCSS Customer Service: 602-252-4045
- Toll Free (in Arizona): 1-800-882-4150
You also have the ability to make your child support payments in person. There are several offices in the state of Arizona in which you can make your child support payments. To find the office nearest to you, click on this link or on the link below to find a list of local child support payment offices.
Steps to Make an Alimony Payment in the State of Arizona
The following are the steps you need to take in order to make alimony payments in the state of Arizona.
Step 1: Determine the Case Number and the Amount of Payment
Just as with child support payments, you will need to determine your case number and the amount of your alimony payment. In most cases, you will find this information in the documentation you receive from the court at the end of your divorce. However, if you are unable to find this information, contact the court as soon as possible. You do not want to make any delinquent alimony payments or you could suffer additional penalties.
Again, it is important to always include your name and your case number on every spousal support payment that you make in order to ensure that you receive proper credit for that alimony payment. Your alimony payments are also made to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse, which is operated by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
Step 2: Make Your Alimony Payment
In most cases, payments can be made directly to the Support Payment Clearinghouse by check or money order. They must be sent to this address: Support Payment Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 52107, Phoenix, AZ 85072-2107. Remember that the check or money order should include your name and your case number to ensure that your spousal support payment is credited to the correct account
In some cases, a judge will issue an income withholding order in a divorce case for either child support or alimony payments. An income withholding order means that the payments a person owes are automatically taken from your income from your employer. Your employer is sent information from the court regarding how to forward a specific amount from your wages or salary directly to the court.
However, it is possible that a withholding order may be delayed after a divorce is over for a specific period of time. It still remains your legal obligation to make your child support or spousal support payment. If your income withholding order does not begin immediately, make sure to follow the steps listed above to make your child support or alimony payments to the Support Payment Clearinghouse until the income withholding order takes effect.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you are considering filing for a divorce in the state of Arizona, you may have to pay child support or alimony payments. In some cases, if you have already obtained a divorce, there are circumstances that cause a person to need to request a modification of child support or alimony payments. Any change of circumstance could be the basis upon which a modification is requested, however, visiting with an experienced family law attorney can help ensure your legal and financial rights remain protected. Contact one of our experienced family law attorneys at My Modern Law in Scottsdale, Mesa, Peoria, or Phoenix, Arizona who can provide you with answers and ensure your legal rights remain protected. Contact us at (480) 470-7731 or online today.