Child Support Enforcement Office Services

Each local office of Child Support Enforcement essentially offers five (5) types of services:

  1. Determination of Paternity
  2. Establishing and Modifying Orders for Child Support
  3. Parental Location
  4. Enforcement of Orders
  5. Collection and Distribution

*In addition, some states offer the custodial parent and non-custodial parent a child access (visitation) program.


Persons most likely to benefit from services available at their local CSE office include:

  • The person having responsibility for and seeing support for the children, such as a:
    • Custodial Parent
    • Grantee relative with care and control of the children
    • A representative of an agency holding custody of the children by order of the court
  • Custodial parents with emancipated children owed payments (arrears) that accrued under a court order while the children were minors.
  • Parental location services to discover the whereabouts of absent non-custodial parents and enforce compliance with an order for child support payments.
  • Location services available to non-custodial parents whose children have been hidden from them in violation of a custody or access (visitation) order.
  • Women wanting to establish paternity.
  • Alleged (unmarried) fathers wanting to establish paternity, that is, a legal relationship with their children.
  • A non-custodial parent whose case is not in the CSE Program, but is in compliance with a child support order, to document a record of payments.
  • Either parent requesting a three (3) year review of their case, or whenever there is substantial change of circumstances, to ensure that the order remains fair.

It is important to note that anyone who receives Medicaid and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other state financial assistance program is automatically enrolled in child support enforcement services with rights of support assigned to that state.  Anyone who does not receive State or Federal financial assistance may apply for and receive the same CSE services, but in some instances may be required to pay a small application fee.

In the event there is a disagreement with a finding by the Child Support Enforcement office, either the custodial parent or non-custodial parent may request an administrative review when there is evidence that an error has occurred or an action should have been taken on the case. The purpose of the review is to determine if the appropriate action was taken in compliance with all applicable Federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.   Although some states allow a request to the office that is handling the case to be made verbally (in person or via telephone), a request for an administrative review should be made in writing to document the not only the date, but also the nature of the error or disagreement.

Enforcement Links by State