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A technical snafu may have caused a delay in child support payments for as many as 200 Arizona families over the holidays. A spokesman for data company CenturyLink pointed to a flawed computer file that contained errors as having caused the delay.

CenturyLink is the private company authorized by the state to facilitate money withdraws for garnished child support wages. CenturyLink operates by electronically withdrawing money from the paychecks of individuals who are court-ordered to have portions of their income garnished to satisfy their child support payments. Acting as the middleman, CenturyLink is then supposed to forward those retrieved funds to the Arizona Department of Economic Services.

Apparently, the problem occurred when the corrupted file prevented DES from transferring those funds into bank accounts belonging to child support recipients. Unfortunately, many families who were depending on those funds for Christmas did not receive them at the usual disbursement time in early December.

CenturyLink said that they became aware of the issue on Dec. 22 and immediately repaired the file before sending it again over to DES that same day. A parent who had been expecting payment on Dec. 12 informed an Arizona newspaper that they had still not received any money by Dec. 24.

Child support payments are crucial in providing for the care and development of dependent children. Arizona child support officials are armed with powerful tools to ensure that parents meet their child support obligations. Your license can be suspended and you can be jailed for withholding child support payments. Arizona law expects that able-bodied adults should be able to make child support payments based on a full-time minimum-wage job.

The reality is that sometimes, circumstances makes meeting those obligations impossible. For example, a person who suffers an incapacitating injury or illness may be unable to work, and thus, generate income. If this has happened to you, your Arizona family law attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining a modification of your current child support order. If successful, you may be able to substantially reduce your payments.

Source: AZ family.com-Channel 3, “CenturyLink glitch ties up nearly 200 child support payments” Catherine Holland, Dec. 26, 2014


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