ARIZONA -- 2007 Session Law – New Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support
House Bill 2249, Chapter 246 (2007 Legislature)
Signed by Governor, June 13, 2007
PROFESSIONAL LICENSES AND CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS: A state law enacted last year has given the Arizona Department of Economic Security legal authority to suspend or revoke the professional license of someone who has deliberately failed to pay child support for more than six months. House Bill 2249 was passed by the legislature on June 11, 2007, and signed by the Governor on June 13, 2007.
The Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) within the Department of Economic Security (DES) administers Arizona’s child support program. DCSE services include: a) finding noncustodial parents whose whereabouts are unknown; b) legally establishing paternity for children born out of wedlock; c) obtaining a court order indicating the monthly amount the noncustodial parent must pay to help support his or her child; and d) collection enforcement through income withholding, tax offsets, asset seizures and various other remedies.
The Department’s Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is getting the word out to professional groups, including physicians, physician assistants and real estate professionals that the DES will take appropriate action to collect past due payments, and that may include suspending or revoking the professional’s license to practice in Arizona. The obligor will not be issued a new license and cannot renew an existing license until the child support is paid or an arrangement for repayment is made (A.R.S. § 25-518).
Veronica M. Hart Ragland— Assistant Director of the DCSE — notes that about 95% of cases with child support obligations are delinquent. Many of those required to pay child support are self-employed and may hold a state of Arizona professional or occupational license or certificate. Licensing agencies, boards and commissions are participating in an automated reporting system that will enable the DCSE to contact those licenses who are delinquent. Ragland would prefer that those who owe child support fulfill their obligations without her division taking such drastic action. “While it is certainly not our goal to deprive people of the ability to work, we believe that our legal authority to revoke or suspend licenses will encourage compliance with the law to make child support payments,” Ragland says. For further information, or to make child support payment arrangements, individuals may contact DCSE Customer Service at (602) 252-4045, or outside Maricopa County, 1-800-822-4151.
Note: Information as appeared in the MCBA June Newletter