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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. More Information.

 Step 2: Locate the Other Parent
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. More Information.

 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. More Information.

 Step 4: Establish A Child/Medical Support Order
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. More Information.

 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. More Information.

 Step 7: Enforce A Child/Medical Support Order
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. More Information.

 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. More Information.

 Step 9: Provide Service for Interstate Cases
Child support orders can be obtained and enforced even when the other parent lives in another state. More Information.

 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.