Child Support

Payments made by one parent to the other for the needs of the child. A parent who has physical custody of a child more than 50% of the time may receive support from the other parent for the support of the child.

Source: Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County.


Financial support paid by a parent to help support a child or children of whom they do not have custody. Child support can be entered into voluntarily or ordered by a court or a properly empowered administrative agency, depending on each State’s laws. Child support can involve cases where:

  • IV-D cases, where the custodial party (CP) is receiving child support services offered by State and local agencies; (such services include locating a non-custodial parent (NCP) or putative father (PF); establishing paternity; establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support orders; collecting distributing, and disbursing child support payments).
  • IV-A cases, where the CP is receiving public assistance benefits and the case is automatically referred to the State Child Support Enforcement CSE) Agency so the State can recoup the cost of the benefits from the non-custodial parent (NCP) or defray future costs.
  • IV-E cases, where the child(ren) is being raised not by one of their own parents but in the foster care system by a person, family, or institution and the case is also automatically referred to the CSE to recoup or defray the costs of foster care.
  • Non IV-D orders, where the case or legal order is privately entered into and the CSE is not providing locate, enforcement, or collection services (called); often entered into during divorce proceedings.

The support can come in different forms, including:

  • Medical support, where the child(ren) are provided with health coverage, through private insurance from the non-custodial parent (NCP) or public assistance that is reimbursed whole or in part by the NCP, or a combination thereof.
  • Monetary payments, in the form of a one-time payment, installments, or regular automatic withholdings from the NCP’s income, or the offset of State and/or Federal tax refunds and/or administrative payments made to the NCP, such as Federal retirement benefits.

There are many tools available to enforce an NCP's obligation.

(See also: IV-D; IV-D Case; Non IV-D orders; IV-A; IV-A Case; IV-E; Enforcement)

Source: Administration for Children & Families.


Money paid by a parent to help support a child or children.

Source: California Courts.