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Virginia child support website inoperative for almost a year

For those who feel they may need assistance dealing with family law matters such as child support, divorce, or child custody, government programs can be valuable tools, however speaking with an attorney may also be critical.

When the Affordable Care Act became effective in Virginia and elsewhere, individuals began to attempt to access the national and state online health care exchanges.  The difficulties that many of them experienced in accessing the websites, signing up for policies, or making their premium payments became, and to some extent remain, national news.

Something that has received considerably less attention in Virginia has been a similar problem for parents who rely on the state’s online child support payment system, which has evidently been inoperative for about one year.

The website is important for many parents because it was designed to provide them with the ability to track and monitor up to 12 months of child support payments. That, in turn, significantly impacts the ability of parents who rely on child support payments for things like qualifying for consumer financing, renting an apartment, qualifying for daycare or even buying a car.

But even the Virginia Department of Social Services acknowledges that the website has been out of commission since last June. And promises to have it up and running again have resulted in multiple push-backs. The site now has a notice that it will be functional again by July 1.

In the interim, parents receiving child support payments have had to rely on workaround methods to track those payments, including a temporary alternate website that provides only six months of payment tracking, or a VDSS phone number to call to request a hard copy of the records.

Divorce almost always creates stress between parents, arising from issues including child custody, child support and visitation arrangements. When a state service meant to help alleviate at least some of that stress malfunctions, it becomes an added layer of anxiety in itself.

It remains to be seen whether the latest target date for the child support website fix will become a reality or another missed milestone causing frustration.

Source: WHSV, "Parents frustrated over delays on child support payment website," May 30, 2014

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Bowen Ten Cardani, PC

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