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Pinal gets child-support results

The prosecutor's office intercepts tax returns and unemployment checks from non-custodial parents who refuse to pay, while a judge nearly every week sentences at least one person to jail for not providing support.

That hard-line approach has produced results: For 17 consecutive years, the child-support division of the Pinal County Attorney's Office has increased collections from non-custodial parents, with double-digit growth coming in nine of those years.

"You would be amazed at how irate people can get in child-support court when they realize they can go to jail," said Family Law Commissioner Theresa Ratliff, who deals with child-support issues three days a week. "I don't think you want to be a deadbeat anywhere, but we are very proud of our service in Pinal County, and we are extremely aggressive about enforcement."

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