When it comes to making child support payments, the first thing you should know is where your local child support office is. You should also be aware of the services that it offers. So, here is a brief explanation of the types of child support offices, how to find the closest one to you, and what your nearest child support office can do for you.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement
The Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, is the federal branch of what might be called a child support agency tree. The OCSE website, which is http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css, can direct you to all sorts of child support information. In fact, you can use the OCSE website to research court information, find resources for obtaining new employment, and learn about access and visitation programs, among other things.
Tribal Child Support Offices
There are over 50 Native American tribes that have their own child support offices and programs. Those programs are designed to uphold the cultural beliefs of the tribe members, while still holding parents responsible for child care. Some of the tasks performed by those offices include:
- Finding Biological Parents
- Administering DNA Testing to Prove Family Relationships
- Creating and Enforcing Child Support Agreements
- Providing Other Related Services to Families
State Child Support Offices
Each state in the United States has main child support offices. They also have local branch offices. However, those offices are called by different names in different states. For example, in California it is called the Department of Child Support Services, while in Michigan it is part of the Department of Human Services.
Regardless of the name of the office, the goals and services are more or less the same. Each of the child support offices is there to:
- Help Establish Paternity
- Locate Missing Parents
- Set Up and Enforce Child Support Services
- Help Out of work Parents Get Jobs in Order to Pay Child Support
- Provide other supportive Services for Families
Finding and Contacting Your Local Child Support Office
If you are ordered by the court to pay child support, the court should refer you to your local child support office for further assistance. If not, you can easily find your local child support agency by visiting http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/state-and-tribal-child-support-agency-contacts-map. Click on your state on the map that you find on that page to find the main child support agency in that state. From the main office’s website, you should be able to see a listing of all child support offices in your state. If not, simply call the main branch of your state and talk to a customer service representative, who should be able to put you in touch with the closest office to you.