Florence, AZ – The Pinal County Attorney’s Office Child Support Division announced a record $21.5 million collected for the benefit of children from non-custodial separated or divorced parents.
“This is one of our most important community projects designed to ensure that children are supported by their parents,” Pinal County Attorney James P. Walsh said. “Parental support fosters family responsibility and reduces the costs of taxpayer-funded welfare.”
The program was adopted by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office 17 years ago. About 2.7 million dollars were collected that first year and the amount collected increased almost every year since then. More than 12,000 single parents are on the Pinal County Child Support system.
In addition to the child support collections, based on existing court orders, the Division has also established about 600 new child support and medical support orders this past fiscal year. This service is significant because Pinal County has one of the highest out of wedlock and teen pregnancy birthrates in the state.
To achieve its mission the division utilizes an arsenal of collection remedies authorized by state and federal law, such as tax intercepts liens, wage garnishment, license suspension, new hire reporting, levy and seizure of real property. The automated case management system provides the office with a wealth of information and is connected with other databanks which assist the office in locating, enforcing and collecting money from parents with delinquencies.
“Child support services are available to anyone who lives in Pinal County,” said Michelle Krstyen, Chief Deputy County Attorney in charge of the Child Support Division. “As a single parent, I appreciate how hard it is to raise children, go to school and work. I can think of no better way to serve the people of this County than by working in the Child Support Division.”
The Pinal County Attorney’s Office is one of only four to administer this program. The rest of the counties rely on the Arizona Department of Economic Security, represented by the Attorney General’s Office, to collect child support payments. The Pinal County Attorney’s Child Support Program has passed both federal and state audit with high scores every year it has been in operation.
“I believe this program is beneficial to Pinal County residents in large part because it is local,” Walsh said. “The majority of our employees have been with us for more than 10 years. There is no substitute for experience.”
Any person with custody of a child who needs assistance in establishing paternity, a child support or medical support order, or a parent who needs help enforcing a child support order, is eligible to apply for services. Please contact the Child Support Division of the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for further information on your eligibility to use our services.
This month the Pinal County Attorney’s Office Child Support Division invites all of Pinal County residents to celebrate “Child Support Awareness Month,” honoring the people that work so hard to provide for children’s needs. The hard work of child support personnel in Pinal County and throughout the state is recognized by Governor Janice Brewer in a proclamation attached to this press release.