How the Child Support Process Works
Step 1: Open A Child Support Case
If you would like to open a child support case, you must start by completing a Child
Support Statewide Online Application. When opening your case, gather as much information
as possible so that it will be easier to establish paternity and collect support.
Step 2: Locate the Non-Custodial
If you don't know the other parent's address, we will try to obtain it. Any information
you can give us to help find the other parent, like current or past jobs, addresses
and earnings, will be helpful.
Step 3: Establish Paternity (Fatherhood)
The local child support agency can help you establish paternity with a Paternity
Opportunity Program Declaration or a court order. The Declaration is a form you
can fill out that must be signed by both parents to establish the paternity without
going to court.
Step 4: Establish A Child/Medical
Legal action will be taken to get child support from a non-custodial parent. The
amount of child support is determined by the income of each parent and the amount
of time each parent spends with the child, among other issues. More Information.
Step 5: Collect Support
Federal and State law requires all Child Support Orders include a mandatory Income
Withholding Order (IWO). If the non-custodial parent does not pay child support
through IWO, payments should be made through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) to
ensure there is an accurate record of the payment.
Step 6: Distribute Payment
The State Disbursement Unit provides child support payments through Direct Deposit,
an Electronic Payment Card (EPC) or a standard Bank Check.
Step 7: Enforce A Child/Medical
The local child support agency has a number of ways to collect child support for
children. The most common way is by withholding part of the non-custodial parent's
wages from his or her paycheck.
Step 8: Modify A Support Order
You can modify your court-ordered child support amount whether you are the custodial
or non-custodial party. To be eligible for a modification, the monthly child support
must change by at least $50 or 20%, whichever is less.
Step 9: Provide Service for Interstate
Child support orders can be obtained and enforced even when the other parent lives
in another state.
Step 10: Close the Case
Child support cases can be closed when an order no longer exists and for other additional
reasons. If closure of the case is initiated by our office, we will notify the custodial
party in writing before we actually close the case. Additionally, we will review
the case upon request of the custodial party prior to closing. More Information.