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Arizona child support enforcement agency targets wrong woman

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Arizona residents know that deadbeat parents must be brought to justice for the benefit of the children of our state and society at large. However, one woman appears to have been the victim of mistaken identity when her paycheck was incorrectly garnished for child support payments that she did not owe to the state of Arizona.

According to the report, the Division of Child Support Enforcement in Arizona served an income withholding order to the employer of the resident. Such an order directs an employer to deduct a certain amount of money from an individual's paycheck in order to meet an ongoing or past child support obligation. However, in this particular case, it appears that the state had the wrong person. The income withholding order referred to three children who are not this woman's children.

Based on the response issued by the state, it appears that the woman has the same name and date of birth as the person who owes outstanding child support. Apparently, the computer system generated a Social Security number based on the name and date of birth and that is how this woman's employer was contacted.

In Arizona, child support payments can either be agreed to by the parties or are calculated according to a specific child support formula established by law. There is a specific formula that must be followed to determine the monthly payments, based on the parties' respective incomes and other factors. Sometimes, the financial circumstances of the parent paying child support change due to loss of a job or an accident or illness. If this happens, that parent is entitled to seek a child support modification in court. One should swiftly ascertain if such a motion is feasible, because the court process can take time and all child support payments must remain current until the time that a modification order goes into effect.

Source: KVOA-TV, "Wrong parent's paycheck garnished for child support," Dec. 4, 2012

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