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Pinal county attorney seeks to remove child support division

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The newly elected Pinal County attorney, Lando Voyles, has just announced some substantial changes he wants to make in the County Attorney's office. According to a recent report, the new county attorney has plans to remove child support responsibilities away from the county and to the state. The county is among only four other counties in the state of Arizona that still control their own child support enforcement.

According to the County Attorney's office, part of the reason for this move is to focus more on criminal rather than civil matters. It also appears that part of the reason may be economics. However, the former County attorney believes that it should remain under the control of the county. He stated that the Pinal County child support division collected around $22 million dollars in child support payments during the last fiscal year and that the funding for the department largely comes from federal grants, so it is not a burden to taxpayers.

Even if child support responsibilities are transferred to the state, however, the laws regarding child support payments in Arizona will not change. Arizona child support guidelines generally determine how much is owed in child support for each parent. There are many factors that are taken into account in order to make this determination including the income and current expenses of the parties. Additionally, the amount of time that each parent spends with his or her child is a critical piece to determining the amount of child support that is owed.

If someone has had a dramatic loss in income due to the loss of a job or health issues, a motion to modify the current child support amount may be filed. There are also legal remedies for parents who are not receiving child support payments as ordered.

Source: Maricopa Monitor, "Voyles pushing child support division to state," Brian Wright, March 15, 2013

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