Collecting and Paying Child Support

There are over 40 million parents in this country who are currently involved with a government child support enforcement (CSE) agency, Are you one of them? If so, you are probably frustrated and unhappy with how your case is being handled. Whether or not your local CSE agency operates under the District Attorney's Office, Office of the Attorney General, or through the Department of Health & Human Resources, which are all actually run under the federal government's umbrella of laws.

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What you need to know:
  • Services Provided by Government CSE Agencies: Establishment of paternity, child support, and medical support orders is the first function.
  • Welfare Cases & Welfare Reform: Approximately 40 - 50% of all cases currently handled by government CSE agencies involve custodial parents with children on welfare.
  • Establishment of New Child Support Orders: A noncustodial parent must be personally served with a Summons & Complaint or Petition for child support.
  • Enforcement of Child Support Orders: Federal law requires all child support payments be made by wage assignment and health insurance by Health Insurance Orders.
  • Interstate Cases: Often parents reside in different states which can create problems for both parties in a child support case.
  • Emancipation: Once a child emancipates, child support ceases. However, each state may have a different law regarding exactly when a child emancipates.

Child Support by State

A Few Important Things to Remember

Useful Online Tools

Custody, Visitation & Support Modification
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State Specific - Custody/Visitation/Support Modification Forms with Instructions
This software provides all the forms and instructions to modify child custody, visitation and/or child support through the court. The modification software will help you change your court orders to reflect current conditions.

Suggested Reading
Child Support Handbook
Child Support Handbooks
These download books will explain in detail how child support works in your state. It will focus on the rights each father, mother and child has under certain laws, situations, and circumstances, and how child support is calculated using the official state child support guidelines.

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END OF SUPPORT – Child support normally ends when the child achieves a majority, which is usually 18, marries, or can support herself or himself. At the least it continues through high school graduation, and in some jurisdictions, may continue through college.
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