Because of the days of the week the holidays hit this past year, there were more child support problems than usual.
Bailey is a mother of three in a military family. She asks for us not to use her last name due to her job. She receives child support checks every month from her ex-husband.
“They kept telling me that there’s nothing we can do, the money is already to the state, they’re not going to give it back.”
But Bailey says, the last few months have been different.
“Whenever the first lands on a Sunday or a holiday the military will cut their checks the Friday before which causes their child support system to basically it says that there’s an extra payment the prior months support. Which it’s not true. So since it comes in as an extra payment it goes towards his arrears that he owes to the state instead of going toward the current months support.”
State officials like Trisha Thomas, Director of Child Support Services says, this is an unusual case. Throughout the year, 95 percent of the payments go through without trouble but it’s the remaining five percent that have problems.
“We’re going to make some changes in regard to our system and our processes to ensure that payments get out a little quicker. We do send out over 15 million a month in payments and we have a hundred and 32 thousand cases so there’s a lot of folks that we’re trying to help.”
Thomas says as soon as the state is made aware of the problem, it works with families to get that money to them in the next month’s check.
As for Bailey, she dreams of a day she gets all the her money minus the wait.
“I will get my kids clothes, make sure they have food or anything like that hey need first and rely on that child support to come in and make up the difference, for instance to pay my rent so when it comes in late I end up having to pay a late fee.”
A kink in the system the state is trying to fix.
Thomas says, just like the past few months, people at the end of January will see this issue come up again with their checks.
As of now the state has no timeline for when it will be fixed.