How Do I Get My License Back If I Owe Child Support in Arizona?


For years, state and county agencies battled to find a way for encouraging parents who were not making their child support payments to get back on the right side of the law. This was quite a battle, especially considering that not every person works for a company where wages can be garnished. The self-employed parents were able to get around the system, collecting money from work they performed but not doing anything to help their children.

How They Resolved This Issue

Fed up with the inability to force these payments, many state legislatures across the country, including in Arizona, implemented laws that enable the state or county agency to take specific actions to deny a person-specific privileges as a result of their failure to pay child support. This has led to the loss of property, professional licensures, and even the loss of a driver’s license.

The loss of a driver’s license can deny a person their ability to work. Many jobs require a person to be able to drive as part of that job or, at the very least, to be able to drive to get to their office or business location.  A person who is failing to pay their child support, finding themselves months behind could easily have their license revoked, making it a crime for them to drive.

This enabled law enforcement officials to not only apprehend persons for noncompliance with their child support, but to also apprehend them for driving with a suspended license.  The laws were intended to “encourage” people to get back on track in making their payments and were quite successful.

What To Do When You Lose Your License for Not Paying Child Support

Unfortunately, many who would have liked to have made their payments found themselves being swept up in this dragnet. Because of the loss of a job or other financial hardship, they simply got behind in their payments and, before they knew it, their licenses were revoked. Now their financial situation became even worse than it was before because of their inability to drive and get to employment opportunities.

To the court system, they are not as concerned with the reason why a person is not making their payments. What is of most concern to them is that they are simply not being made. This was an effective way to get people to catch up on the amounts they owed and to stay current so that they could maintain their ability to drive.

Make Your Child Support Payment

The place to begin is by understanding that you owe money and until that money is paid, it will be unlikely that you can receive your license back. Because you are behind, the court is less likely to cut you a break because, to them, you have been derelict. You have failed to abide by the obligation to care for your children.

That does not mean that you can’t get your license back. If you are able to work out one of two kinds of agreements, you can put yourself into a situation where you could have your license back in a very short period of time.

Ask For Forgiveness from the Custodial Parent

If it was an honest mistake or an avoidable hardship, you can get the custodial parent to forgive the amount of child support that you owe. This is not always possible and may not be accepted by the court, but it is one possibility for you.  If you contact the custodial parent, explain the hardship you have been under, and seek their assistance, you may very well get the court to agree to forgive the debt, and allow you to have your license back.

Make Past Payments

You can also work out an arrangement to pay past money so that you would be caught up with your child support payments. It is to your advantage to have already taken some action to start to pay off this debt so that it looks like you are attempting to abide by the court order.

In other words, don’t simply walk into the court and say you agree that you will increase payments in the future to get caught up if you have made no such payments already. Prove to the court that you can be reliable, and you are more likely to have success in getting your license back much sooner than later.

Seek Out Help from a Family Attorney

If you have found yourself in a situation where you owe back child support and have had your license taken away, this is a time when it makes sense for you to consult an attorney to get some assistance. You need sound legal advice and direction so that you can have the greatest possibility of your license returning to you as quickly as possible.

Understand that if you have not completely paid the amount you owe, the court is under no obligation to restore your license. As mentioned above, they see you as a risk, i.e., a person who simply doesn’t want to make their child support payments. You need an attorney who understands what the court is looking for to demonstrate that a person is willing to make the kind of sacrifices to get caught up, and to battle for you in court so that you can be presented in a much more sympathetic way to the judge.

If you are in the situation, come to JacksonWhite. We can provide you with information and direction that can assist you in getting your license back, and even help you to develop a plan that will help you to get caught up in your child support and prove to the court that you are a person they should be willing to work with.

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

Contact Our Family Law Team

Call (480) 467-4348 or fill out the form to schedule your consultation and discuss your best legal options.