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

  • If a husband moves out unexpectedly while you are at work and takes your car that is in your name can you call police and report it stolen?
  • I was a 20 yrs Navy veteran, I was also married 16 yrs on active duty. I divorced following my retirement. The courts granted my ex-spouse 50% of my retirement. Will my ex continue to receive alimony for life?
  • I cannot seem to find the forms for a covenant marriage divorce.
  • My ex wife moved to another state with our children, she does not work, and I ssupport their household financially, however it is all considered child support as it is writen in the decree. I ensured the decree stated I could claim the children on my taxes so long as I am up-to-date with my payments. Due to the condition, there is a form she is required to sign. I am up-to-date but she refuses to sign. What are my options to enforce the decree?
  • location of child support office in phoenix
  • Can I use legal aid even if my ex-wife used it for our divore 7 years ago?
  • i don't have the money for an attorney to complete my divorce. I have been living seperately from my husband for 4 years. I don't qualify for living at or near poverty level but only have about $40.00 a month in disposable income. Is there anywhere that i can get help?
  • My wife and I are currently separated, and I am residing in Pennsylvania at the current time. I was able to attend only the first half of the parenting class before I moved out of state. Is it necessary to complete the course if I am no longer residing in Arizona? If so, is it offered as a "correspondence course"?
  • I got a divorce about 7 years ago and it stated that my ex owes me some money but he has yet to pay in full. He had since moved to NC and gotten remarried. Can I go after them for the money? The decree doesn't state an expiration for the money to be paid but he refuses to make further payments to me. I also learned that he has recently bought a house. Can I put a lien out and file a document with the court to hold him in contempt for not paying me?
  • I am retired military and was retired medically in 2013. I was active duty 91-94 and national guard time the remainder of the time. I was injured in combat in 2007 and later received an active medical retirement. I do receive some of my compensation from va with the remainder coming from DOD. My spouse who i married in 1999 is wanting my military retirement but it seems im the one with medical issues for life and just doesnt seem to be right. I havent found anything specific to medical retirements and am looking for guidance. Thank you

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