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Federal government aims to improve child support collection

| Apr 4, 2018 | Divorce |

Child support enforcement efforts can be critically important for families in New Jersey trying to get by while a delinquent parent fails to pay their court-mandated child support. Because child support funds are so important to the health and well-being of children, enforcing child support orders is a significant public priority at both the state and federal levels. A number of support orders have been successfully enforced through the use of payroll withholding, when the child support payments due are directly deducted from the parent’s paycheck at the workplace.

While child support is generally handled as a state matter, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) works to coordinate state efforts and ensure that multi-state enforcement can take place seamlessly. The OCSE is currently developing a plan in conjunction with payroll professionals, employers and state agencies in order to improve upon its already-effective program. In 2016, $33 billion in child support payments were collected through the federal system, and of those, 75 percent came in through payroll deductions on the job.

One of the key issues in ensuring that enforcement can happen successfully is correctly identifying the workplaces of parents who have failed to pay their child support. All employers are required to file new hire information within 20 days of an employee’s start and follow up with quarterly wage reports. However, the use of different identification numbers can make it difficult to identify a specific employee. OCSE efforts are working to streamline this process for easier identification.

People who are struggling because of unpaid child support don’t need to wait for their ex-partner to decide to pay. By contacting a family law attorney, families may be able to go to court to seek implementation and enforcement of an existing child support order after a divorce. Enforcement actions can include pursuing the use of payroll deductions in order to collect unpaid support.

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