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While most parents are content to do what they can to look after their children’s welfare, the reality is that you may find yourself in a situation where you are behind in your child support, maybe even ridiculously so, and the other parent to your child or children has brought the matter before the court.
There are also those parents who don’t agree with the fact that they are forced to pay child support, so they are just not going to do so. They have concluded that no judge is going to tell them what to do. However, it is not really an option to opt out of paying what has been ordered by the court for you to do.
Court Ordered Payments Must Be Made
No matter which group of child custody payer you fall into, if you have gotten yourself behind in your child support payments, the only way the court views you is as a delinquent. You owe money and you are not paying it.
They don’t care why that is, especially considering that most judges and county agencies will feel that if a parent is behind in their child support payments, there are avenues they can take advantage of so that they can have the opportunity to make some kind of arrangement to get caught up on payments. When a parent is found to be delinquent, the court views this as a choice to simply not pay the amount.
That is bad news for you. If you find yourself behind in your child support, especially if it is three or four months or more behind, you are facing an uphill battle. This can actually lead the court to decide to issue a child support warrant against you.
Make no mistakes, this is an order from the court which authorizes law enforcement officials to arrest you and put you in jail should you be stopped by a police officer for any reason. The warrant is to force you to come to court, and if that means it is done with you in handcuffs, then that is the way it will be.
The Consequences You Face For Not Paying Child Support
The statutes in Arizona give judges the lawful authority to enforce child support orders. This includes their ability to issue arrest warrants to ensure that people are paying their child support. The state legislature has made it clear that they believe that children having the ability to grow up in a home where there is the proper amount of support for them to thrive is essential, so the failure of a parent to pay the required child support flies in the face of the importance that the state legislature has placed on this duty.
The process of issuing a child support warrant is as follows:
- It begins with the parent required to pay support being told that they are to appear in court at a specific time and date
- Included in that order will be a notice that failure to appear in court will result in an arrest warrant being issued
- If these first two conditions have been met and the person then refuses to show, then the court will feel obligated to take action by issuing the warrant.
No one wants to live with something like this over their head. You could be stopped for a simple traffic ticket when an arrest warrant could appear and you could be on your way to jail. This is true even if you are in another state. The county in the state where you were apprehended would hold you and tell Arizona was able to extradite you back to the state, which could take some time, leaving you in jail or in some kind of transport until the process is completed. Not a pleasant thought whatsoever.
How to Get a Child Support Warrant Lifted
If there is a child support warrant issued against you, there are some things you can do to help yourself and get this order removed. The place to begin is by consulting an attorney.
That may seem like the standard answer for most situations that people are in, but understand that an attorney is an officer of the court. They are authorized to speak on your behalf and can approach the judge to see if something can be worked out to remove the warrant and allow you to make some kind of accommodation to start making your child support payments.
Understand that the court is not prone to listen to people that disobey the judicial system. To them, you not only were neglecting to pay your child support but, when required to do so, you did not even appear in court. There are two strikes against you that can easily lead to you being in jail.
However, having an attorney can help to advise you on exactly what steps you should take to work with the court to get caught up in your payments and to have that warrant removed. This often includes figuring out a way that you are able to get caught up with your payments. You probably cannot pay the amount in one lump sum, but you may be able to pay 10 additional percent per month to get caught up. This could be acceptable to the court and allow you the ability to move about freely without worrying about being arrested.