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In Arizona, child support and spousal maintenance cases use the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse to process and record all payments made in a case.
The Support Payment Clearinghouse is run by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, and ensures that all support cases are managed successfully. Here’s how the clearinghouse works.
Making Arrangements through the Court
The actual support amount is based on a number of factors, including the income of the parents, which may fluctuate based on court-approved adjustments, and other financial factors.
Child support is determined after custody of a child or children is determined by the court, and once a support amount is finalized, a court order is approved by one of the court’s judicial officers.
Role of the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse
The court order outlines not only how much child support will be paid monthly, but also other details of the payments, including when payments begin.
When the arrangement first begins, it make take a while for an Order of Assignment to become active – this essentially requires an employer to withhold the amount of the support and send it directly to the Clearinghouse.
That means that in the meantime, the parent paying support will have to pay the clearinghouse directly. The address of the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse is:
Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse
PO Box 52107
Phoenix, Arizona 85072-2107
The role of the clearinghouse is to:
- Receive all payments from the paying parent
- Process all payments
- Record and track all payments
Because the clearinghouse handles all aspects of the payment process, all support payments must be made directly to the clearinghouse.
There cannot be informal payments made directly to the other parent – these payments cannot be tracked and may result in legal actions being taken against the paying parent.
Payments Made to the Custodial Parent
Once a support payment is submitted to the clearinghouse, the custodial parent can access the money in one of two ways. He or she can elect to receive a direct deposit into a bank account, or can use a support payment card that’s used just like a credit or debit card.
Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse Fees
In 2010, Governor Jan Brewer passed House Bill 2011, which increased the support payment fees to the clearinghouse from $2.25 to $5.00 per month of support payments. If the support amount is withheld from the paying parent’s income, this will be reflected in the amount withheld.