Centuori & Associates, PC

Arizona's new approach to child support

Arizona is changing the way they handle issues of child support. In an effort to better help children, the Division of Child Support Services, a branch of the La Paz County Attorney's Office, has focused on actively assisting children and parents in positive ways. This change began with the division's name that went from being the Department of Child Support Enforcement, which harbored negative connotations, to DCSS's current title. DCSS is also raising public awareness declaring August Arizona's Child Support Awareness month.

The Division of Child Support Services has partnered with a number of agencies to more efficiently help parents and children. DCSS and the Arizona Department of Economic Security have an established computer interface to support parents seeking medical and financial assistance that also prevents fraud. Since about 40 percent of paternity cases involve tribal members, the Division of Child Support Services has an intergovernmental agreement with the Colorado River Indian Tribes, and if a parent is not paying child support, DCSS works with the courts to issue a Child Support Arrest Warrant. This cooperative relationship also extends to the federal level when DCSS and the Internal Revenue Service partner to withhold child support payments from tax refunds.

In addition to widespread cooperation between agencies, the DCSS has partnered with non-governmental organizations, such as the La Paz Career Center, to help parents with continuing education and job placement. As a result of these changes, the DCSS collected $1.12 million in child support in 2013-2014.

In cases of child support, an attorney with family law experience working with the Division of Child Support Services may make the process more efficient. People facing unpaid child support may want to consult with a family law attorney to understand what their options are in seeking to collect any money owed them.

Source: ParkerPioneer.net, "Child Support Division seeks to help kids", John Gutekunst , August 19, 2014

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Centuori & Associates PC

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