Wage Garnishment Arizona: Arizona Child Support Garnishment
UPDATED: February 1, 2011
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The process of wage garnishment in Arizona begins when the court issues an Income Withholding Support Order against the noncustodial parent following the custodial proceedings of a divorce. This support order mandates child support garnishment, and is sent to the noncustodial parent’s employers or administrators of income, who in turn are required to garnish the noncustodial parent’s wages. The garnished wages are then sent to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse. The following information is meant to provide a basic understanding of Arizona’s child support garnishment laws.
Arizona Child Support Collection
In Arizona, an Income Withholding Support Order is comprised of expenses for “maintenance” or “subsistence” of the child. Maintenance or subsistence encompasses, but is not limited to, medical coverage and costs, arrearages, past supports, interest on arrearages and past support, and reimbursement for exhausted public assistance. In instances of a Title IV-D case, the support order also includes spousal maintenance.
Who Withholds the Money
The support order is normally sent to an employer, who then deducts the support payment from the disposable earnings of the employee subject to the order. However, other sources of income are subject to the support order as well, such as pension funds, third-party sick pay insurance, workers compensation, and disability insurance. Once they’ve received a support order, the administrators of these sources of income are responsible for withholding support payments.
When is Money Withheld
An employer must begin withholding income for support payments in the first pay period that occurs within fourteen days after the date of the issuance of the Income Withholding Support Order. The Arizona Child Support Division prefers that employers deduct the same amount from the employee’s paycheck each month, rather than using an annualized method. Employers who do use the annualized method place the employee in danger of accruing interest on unpaid monthly amounts, as well as damaging the employee’s credit. The employer must send the deducted payment to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse within two business days after the employee’s payday.
Arizona has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which mandates that an employer comply with an income withholding order issued by another state. Under the UIFSA, the duration and the amount of the order, as well as where the order is to be sent, are governed by the issuing state’s laws. The laws of the employee’s work state govern when to begin and remit withholding, how disposable earnings are defined, and how to apportion withholdings when multiple orders exceed the state’s withholding limits.