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Garnishment assistance for Guard, Reserve

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AFPN) -- The Defense Finance and Accounting Service's directorate of garnishment operations is working with the Federal Office of Child Support to address issues relating to activated reservists and the payment of child support.

Rod Winn, director of garnishment operations, identified one scenario that is a concern for a significant number of activated reservists.

"A civilian (who is a reservist) who works for a private company is called up or activated. That reservist has a child support order requiring payment of child support based on the income the member makes working at the private company. Upon activation, the reservist experiences a reduction in the amount of income he makes. If the reservist does not ask for a review and modification of the child support obligation, from the child support agency, the member can incur a large child support arrearage while serving in the reserves," Winn said.

To address this concern, officials have developed the following guidelines for reservists and ask that reservists contact their state child support agency if:

-- Their income level has changed or will change. They may be eligible for the agency to review and adjust the amount of the support order.

-- Their support payments are being withheld from their paycheck. The state agency can ensure the withholding is transferred to DFAS on a timely basis to prevent or minimize missed payments. Also, they can ask their current employer to notify the state agency of their deployment and to provide all needed information.

-- They have a child support hearing scheduled. The agency can try to move it up or let the court or hearing officer know their service status.

-- Their child support order includes healthcare coverage for a child (medical support). The child is eligible for the military health coverage Tricare. The agency may be able to assist with registering.

For more information visit Web sites http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.htm#exta for state child support enforcement agencies, or the Defense Department at https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/Legal and check "Family Law Matters."

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