Arizona Employer Withholding Child Support But Not Paying: What You Need to Know


Court orders are intended to direct parties to follow the instructions of the court to resolve some issues that the court deems necessary for such an order. That sounds like a cryptic explanation, but court orders are usually put in place to ensure that things are to occur the way they are supposed to.

For example, there are court orders that direct businesses to stop construction of complexes or digging in areas. It is then expected that those businesses will take the order provided by the court and follow the directive. Sounds simple.

Court Ordered Child Support

One kind of order that you frequently hear about is that of the child support. This is a directive of the court for one parent to pay the other or to pay a guardian a certain amount of money each month so that the welfare and safety of the child or children can be provided for.

The judge or other magistrate is looking to ensure that there is an adequate provision that provides the financial resources necessary to care for the children, including such things as medical costs, education, extracurricular activities, food, and housing. All of this is included when an order for child support, often referred to as child maintenance, is ordered.

Child Support Given from Garnished Bank Accounts

There are instances where the court may feel that it is necessary for the child support payment to actually be garnished from the wages of the parent responsible for paying support. This can happen for a number of reasons, but generally occurs because one parent has been unwilling or unable to provide the support ordered by the court.

In response to this, the court provides an order issued to the employer, requiring them to garnish the amount of money required as part of the child support, and then forwarding it on to either the parent who is to receive the support or to the county agency responsible for collecting the support.

Sounds like a pretty simple system if you get down to it. The court creates an order, gives it to the employer, and they garnish wages and pay. What could be simpler than that?

Sometimes Bank Account Garnishments Fail

It sounds simple, but there are issues where the employer does not forward the money to pay for the mandatory support payments. This well-oiled machine becomes bogged down by an employer who is unable or unwilling to pay the money the court has ordered.

As far-fetched as this may seem, such circumstances are actually more common than you may think. This especially occurs when the administrative staff undergoes a rapid turnover. When there is not a consistent group of people working for a business, it is likely that that business can have some challenges in meeting all of its duties, and this can happen with paying the amount that was garnished from the employee.

How To Get Your Payments Flowing Again

This is a circumstance that can be incredibly frustrating for the person required to pay child support. They have done nothing wrong in this situation, going to work each day, earning a wage that enables them to make their payments, and then expecting the employer to remove the money that is to be garnished and sending it to the other parent or guardian.

However, while this may not seem like it is their fault at all, they are the one responsible for paying the child support payment. Regardless of whether the employer was mandated by the court to garnish the wages pay it, if it is not paid the parent not providing the money is responsible.

The problem is that they don’t have the money to pay to the other parent or guardian. It has likely already been garnished but simply not paid. So, what does a person do in a circumstance like this where they can’t pay additional money because they don’t have it, but the money that was supposed to be paid hasn’t left from the employer?

Approach Your Employer

Most of the time this is a simple administrative error. By bringing it to the attention of the manager or owner of the company, the situation can be resolved quite easily.

Having them write a letter to the court informing them of the problem that occurred is also to your benefit. You want to make it clear that this was not your fault, and your employer acknowledging that it was an error on their part really helps you.

But what do you do if this does not resolve the problem? There are instances where the employer may not get around to it right away or may not see a need to resolve your issue. This may require you to take court action to get them to release the money to the other parent or guardian.

Seek the Help of an Attorney

Unfortunately, this happens far too often; a person finds themselves in violation of a court order, which is completely beyond their control and in no way their own fault. This can be incredibly frustrating because it puts them in legal liability.

They also don’t want to do something that endangers their job. Threatening some kind of legal action can be detrimental in keeping your position, and so the person is stuck in limbo hoping the payment will get there while they do all they can to fight for the circumstance without losing their job.

This is where you need sound legal advice. You may have to take legal action against your employer, but you want to make sure you have an attorney protecting your rights and ensuring that there is not retaliation against you. Make an appointment today and we will advise you of what steps you need to take to protect yourself.

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

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