How To Get/Apply For Child Support Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) back to main FAQ
Who can apply for IV-D child support services?
Any person who needs assistance in establishing paternity, a child support or medical support order or a parent who needs help in enforcing an order for child support. This person may be a custodial parent, a caretaker with physical custody of a child(ren) or a noncustodial alleged father wanting to establish paternity. If a custodial parent is receiving public assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid or federally-assisted Foster Care, they are automatically referred to the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) for services. If the person wanting services lives out of state, they may apply for services, but in most cases it is more convenient for them to apply in the state in which they reside.
What is the first step in applying for IV-D services?
You must obtain and fill out an application. There are several ways in which to obtain an application: you can call our Interactive Voice System (IVR) at 602-252-4045 or 1-800-882-4151 and request an application which will be sent to you by mail; you can walk into the local child support office closest to you and pick up the forms; or you may download the application and mail it in.
Are there any other costs?
Yes, a custodial parent who has never received public assistance is charged a $25 fee each fiscal year after at least $500 in child support has been issued to them. DCSS keeps $25.00 from your child support payments, but only after it has sent out $500.00 in that case for child support collected. If you have more than one case, DCSS will charge the $25.00 fee to each case per year. If no other support collections are received after DCSS has sent out $500.00 of support, or less than $25.00 is received, DCSS will send you a notice to pay the fee by a specified date.
There is a $5.00 monthly processing fee on cases with an Arizona support order. The parent who is ordered to pay child support is responsible for paying this fee.
If paternity must be established, genetic testing may be needed to prove the identity of the father. The state will pay the cost of the testing. If the alleged father is found to be the biological father, he will be responsible for repaying the state. Arizona’s contracted lab charges $31.75 per person for testing. If he resides in another state, Arizona will have to work with a child support agency in that state, and this may create extra costs. Different states have different rules about fees and costs for their services. If the noncustodial parent is in another state, ask your caseworker about the possible costs involved in working with another state.
What other paperwork will I need to complete besides the Application?
Depending upon the action required on your case, you will be provided with documents that you will be required to complete. Fill out these forms using black ink only and have them notarized where necessary after you have completed them. You may use a notary of your choice or one can be provided for you at any DCSS office.
What information will I need to provide about the alleged father (AF) or noncustodial parent (NCP)?
You will need to provide as much information as possible regarding the AF or NCP. The most important are the following:
- The AF’s or NCP’s full, legal name (including any nicknames and aliases)
- Address, date of birth, and social security number
- Name and address of a current or recent employer
- Make, model and year of car driven by AF or NCP
- Income and assets – pay stubs, bank accounts, tax returns, investments and properties
- Physical description and/or picture
The most important pieces of information that you can provide are the AF’s or NCP’s social security number and date of birth. The more information you provide, the more accurately and timely DCSS can work your case and obtain child support for you.
What documents will I have to provide?
If paternity must be established for your child(ren) you will be asked to provide:
- The child(ren)’s birth certificate(s);
- Any written statements (cards, letters or notes) in which the alleged father has said or implied that the he is the father of the child(ren);
- You will be asked to complete an Affidavit of Paternity naming the alleged father and if there are any other possible alleged fathers.
If paternity has been established and you are seeking a court order for child support you will be asked to provide:
- Your paternity order, divorce decree, legal separation, or any other court orders regarding your case;
- A completed Affidavit of Financial Information, (provided by DCSS) which is information about your income and assets; recent pay stubs and tax returns.
If you have a court order for child support you will be asked to provide:
- A copy of your divorce decree and/or all child support orders in your possession;
- A copy of all child support payments made through a Clerk of the Court;
- A completed Affidavit for Receipt of Direct Payments (provided by DCSS).
Will I be asked any personal questions?
If paternity is an issue, you will be asked some personal questions. Please understand that this is needed for DCSS to pursue your case. Identifying the correct alleged father (AF) is very important so that paternity and a child support order may be established for your child. The information you supply to DCSS is confidential and your file is not open to the public.
Can I apply for services even though the noncustodial parent left my child and me many years ago?
In Arizona, you can apply for services at any time. The only time restriction is if paternity is an issue. Paternity can only be established up to the child's 18 birthday. You must to have a child support order in place before the child(ren) reaches the age of majority for DCSS to open an arrears only case for you.
If the Division of Child Support Services is already enforcing the support obligation, can they also enforce visitation rights that are contained in the order?
No. By law, DCSS has no authority to become involved in visitation issues. Issues concerning visitation and/or custody are independent from the issue of child support.