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What is child support settlement and is it a good option?

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The process of going through a divorce can be an immensely challenging time. Spouses often have to contend with several issues before their marriage can be dissolved, including emotional connections and disconnections, property division, child support, and child custody. The relationship that was built overtime between the couple and the reasons for their separation often come into conflict. The often resulting anger and frustration sometimes boils over and makes the process extremely difficult to get through.

Unfortunately, the matter is not always resolved once a divorce settlement is reached. Instead, certain issues, like child support, need constant monitoring and, perhaps, modification. In some child support instances, it may become difficult for a parent to pay his or her child support obligation. As time moves on, unpaid support can mount to the point that a custodial parent may have little or no hope of recovering full payment. When this happens, a child support settlement may be best for all parties involved.

In Arizona, those who have a significant amount of child support in arrears can contact the Division of Child Support Services to see if they qualify for the Settlement Program. If a noncustodial parent qualifies, then he or she will make a lump sum payment to the custodial parent. The payment will bring the noncustodial parent up-to-date on his or her obligation and interest and wage garnishment may be halted. On the other hand, a custodial parent can receive money that he or she may not have otherwise been able to recover.

It is important that while the state can help facilitate settlement negotiations, they do not advocate for either party. Therefore, no matter which side of the child support issue a parent is on, he or she may want to obtain the services of a qualified Tucson family law attorney to ensure his or her best interests, as well as those of the child or children involved, are adequately protected.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Arizona Child Support Settlement Program," accessed on Dec. 28, 2014

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