Child support offices help establish, modify, and enforce orders related to the support of a child, especially with regard to non-custodial parents or legal guardians. This involves collecting and disbursing child support payments, as well as ensuring the provision of medical care for children.
These offices maintain records regarding child support orders and collections. This helps ensure parental compliance with court orders. In some cases, when lack of payment causes a non-custodial parent or guardian to fall into debt, the child support office may report this information to major credit bureaus as a debt owed.
The state provides child support services at no cost to the custodial parent or guardian.
Do you have to be receiving other state services to receive help from the Child Support Office?
No. Child support offices work to meet the needs of all families within their jurisdiction regardless of current financial status. This means that you don't need to meet financial requirements to access these services.
However, custodial parents or legal guardians receiving certain other benefits, such as TANF, may automatically be offered access to child support services. Other custodial parents may need to apply to the program to receive services.
Do Child Support Offices help with or provide legal advice about divorces, custody disputes, or issues about visitation?
No. A child support office isn't involved in divorce proceedings, custody disputes, or issues regarding visitation. And, this office doesn't offer any legal advice regarding those issues.
What does it mean to establish paternity?
In some cases, if a woman gives birth and isn't legally married, any man initially named as the father is only considered to be the "alleged father." An alleged father isn't legally responsible for the child until or unless paternity is established through DNA testing by court order, or by voluntary agreement.