Starting the Collections Process
Whether the process of receiving financial child support is started with establishing paternity, issuing or enforcing a support order, requesting an administrative review to verify the correct calculation of child support payments, or even finding a non-custodial parent, the CSE office must have enough information to effectively work the case. The more complete and accurate details that are provided, the easier it will be to process the case and the sooner support payments for the children may be received.
How Do You Get Help? Give Help.
One of the best ways to get quick, responsive help with collection efforts when a state or county agency is handling a case is to offer assistance. Knowing the necessary information in advance to complete required forms is a big help before visiting a local CSE office. A list detailing the various forms available from the Administration for Children & Families to apply for child support are at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/forms/.
Also, government staff are often desk bound, and having the applicant do some of the necessary “legwork” can help immensely. Staff don’t know the relatives and who is the best person to contact for vital information; and government business hours operate between 9am to 5pm, often outside the schedules and routines of others who may be of greatest help.
When Visiting CSE
When visiting the CSE office, remember there are many important details that must be provided to move the case along as quickly as possible. The following is a list of information and documentation that will help the CSE office more quickly determine paternity, establish and/or enforce a child support order, and locate the other parent(s). All information provided to the CSE office will be held in confidence.
A. Information about Parent Applying for Child Support Payments
- Appropriate identification to establish validity and legal relationship to the children.
- Birth certificate(s) of all children.
- Copy of child support order, divorce decree, or separation agreement (if issued by a court).
- Verification of income and assets (paystubs, bank statements, tax returns, etc.)
- Documentation of extraordinary child support expenses (health care, daycare, education, special needs, etc.
B. Information about Parent to Make Child Support Payments
- l Full name, current or last known address, and Social Security number
- l Name and address of current or most recent employer
- l Complete names of immediate family members, relatives, close friends or business associates.
- l Names of church, professional, educational, community, fraternal, or other membership organizations.
- l Financial records of income and assets (paystubs, bank accounts, tax returns, securities/ investments, real or tangible property, etc.)
- l Recent clear photograph (portrait and profile if available) and complete physical description.
- l Records and unofficial documentation of any child support payments received in the past (checks, letters, parenting plans, etc.)
- l If attempting to establish paternity, include written correspondence in which the alleged father has acknowledged or implied he is the father of the children.
Withholding, Generally Speaking
In general up to 65% of the aggregate disposable weekly earnings may be withheld. Federal law under 15 USC Section 1673(b) dictates certain factual tests to be made before withholding an amount above fifty percent (50%).