Child Support

questions & answers

Question: Does anyone know how I can turn child support arrearages owed to me into a judgment?

Answer: It's a fairly simply procedure. You simply file a motion and affidavit with the trial court, asking it to convert the arrearage into a civil judgment that can be used to attach the "misbehaving" parent's assets. You should also include a proposed order for the judge to sign that summarizes the total arrearage (including accumulated interest!). There are many certified document preparers in Arizona who could assist you with drafting papers like this. Also, if you can afford it, just about any reputable family law attorney should be able to walk you through the process at relatively minimal expense.
The important thing (as you apparently already realize) is to get the arrearage converted into a judgment, and then get after the ex-spouse, as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for doing so was recently extended by the legislature, but there is no reason to wait. In fact, there are still potential pitfalls if you delay. For following the proper procedure, and understanding some of the risks if you wait too long, I would direct you to A.R.S. § 25-503(J)&(L) as a starting point:  Make sure to read it carefully!

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