Divorce & Annulment Article


How to Make a Spousal Maintenance or Child Support Payment to the Clearinghouse in Arizona

 You were just ordered to pay spousal maintenance or child support through the clearinghouse. The order says an “income withholding order will be issued to your employer.” Until then you are to pay the clearinghouse directly.  

What does that even mean?

When the judge orders you to pay spousal maintenance or child support it can be confusing.  Maybe you aren’t sure where you need to send the check, maybe you don’t’ know what you need to write on the check.  When you find yourself in the position where you need to make a payment to being in arrears for late payments or when you could potentially be held in contempt for failing to make a payment you might understandably be worried.  Surely you will want to make the payment to the correct institution in a timely manner to avoid the consequences.  The judge will generally instruct you to make your payment directly to the Support Payment Clearinghouse.  This instruction is lost on most people since they don’t know where to find the Support Payment Clearinghouse.  If you make a payment directly to your spouse, this payment might be considered a gift and it might not count as the court ordered payment.  This article is designed to help you feel confident that you are making the payment to the correct office so that you can avoid paying arrears or being held in contempt.

Step 1: Determine the Case Number and Amount of the Payment

Find within your court documents the case number and the amount that you will need to pay in spousal maintenance and/or child support, hint this may include an additional arrearage amount.

Step 2: Choose a Payment Method.

Choose a payment method.  You can choose to make your payment in whatever way is most convenient for you.  You may choose to pay by mail, by Internet, over the phone, or in person.

 Mail:
If you choose to make a payment through the mail, you can use either a personal check or a money order to make the payment.  Be sure to include your name and the case number to ensure that you get credit for making the payment. 

Make the check or money order payable to Support Payment Clearinghouse

This check or money order needs to be mailed to this address:
Support Payment Clearinghouse, PO Box 52107, Phoenix, AZ 85072-2107. 

AGAIN, be sure to include your name and the case number to ensure that you will be credited for making the payment.

 Internet:
Child Support payments may be made online.  The payment may be made after you register with the State of Arizona Payment Gateway.  After creating the account, payments can be made to this website. 

 Phone:
You may choose to make a payment over the phone.  To make a payment over the phone you will need a credit card, along with your case number.  You may call one of any of these three numbers to make a payment.

Arizona Payment Gateway: 1-866-562-0140
DCSS Customer Service:  602-252-4045
Toll Free (in Arizona):  1-800-882-4150

 In Person:
Child Support can be paid in person at a number of local offices.  To find the office nearest you, click on this link to find a list of local child support offices.

What if the judge issued an income withholding order in my case?

If the judge issues an income withholding order then the money will automatically be taken from your income and transferred to the other party.  It is possible that the judge may issue a withholding order, but that the withholding order may be delayed.  If the withholding order does not begin immediately, then you will be responsible for making payments to the Support Payment Clearinghouse until the withholding order becomes effective.

Contributing Attorney: Billie Tarascio litigates family law and domestic violence cases at Modern Law.


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My wife kicked me out by threatening to call the cops on me and tell them im violent. I left because she was the one slapping me. How do I get my items? Do I still have to pay rent due on 5th? Kicked out on the 1st.
  • How does property get divided in AZ? In WI. automatically the spouse get half no matter whose name is on the house, car,boat,etc.?
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  • My fiance wants to divorce his wife hes in prison they've been separated for 5 years she's in another state he wants me to get the ball rolling BUT Don't he?
  • In my divorce the Judge issued a Final Ruling months ago, but it seems there is no way to get a Final Decree. My ex keeps requesting delays claiming medical issues, but has provided no proof to the court of any medical issues. In the meantime I keep paying more and more temporary spousal maintenance and attorney fees. The Judge keeps approving my exs requests for more time. My attorney has filed a Final Decree with the Judge. How long can the Judge take to sign a Final Decree (months or years)? What else could my attorny do to push along my case? No one but me wants the divorce to be done
  • Where can I find a court approved parenting class?
  • My wife and I were married in Phoenix a year ago, and now we would like to get a divorce. However, both of us are working abroad. Can we get a divorce or an annulment? Can we have a lawyer represent us and fly back for the court dates?
  • My husband and I are in a covenant marriage and we both agree we want to divorce (. From what I've read this is allowed by the court without stipulation. Which form does the courts need to pursue this? We have both search extensively and short of hiring lawyers (which neither of us want to do) we are unable to find this information out. Please help! (there are no children and no argument regarding property)
  • I got married to someone incarcerated in 2005, at the time I didn't know he had a life sentence. I soon heard that a marriage was not legal if someone had a life sentence or had to be consummated. In AZ there are no conjugal visits allowed. I was not ok with some things he was doing and I asked for a divorce in 2007 and stopped all contact. We do not have anything in common and want to know if I file for annulment or divorce and how to go about that, I would like to be divorced and get my maiden name restored. He stated that he will not give me a divorce or sign papers.
  • If I have not live or been supported by ex-husband who has been living domestically with another woman for over 20 years, does it help in my filing for divorce so I can proceed forward with another man?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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