Child Support in Delaware

The Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) administer child support. Its goals are to help you find the absent or non-custodial parent, establish who is the legal father of a child, process a legal child support order, collect child support payments, provide services to modify child support orders and to keep records of payments received and distributed.

A child support order cannot be processed until it is calculated. The Family Court determines the amount of support using the Delaware Child Support Formula Calculation. Once it is determined that money is owed then the appropriate enforcement measures are taken to make sure it is collected.

Child Support Enforcement Measures

Non-custodial parents that do not obey a court order may be subjected to various enforcement measures. A warrant might be sent out for the uncooperative parent’s arrest.

The DESS might also report you to the credit agencies as a non-payer, which can affect your ability to get credit or rent a place to live. Your name also goes into the Federal Case Registry, which basically names all dead-beat dads. Licenses such as driver’s, hunting and fishing licenses can also be suspended until the back child support is paid.

Passports are also not given to parents who owe more than $2,500 in child support.

Things You Should Know About Delaware Child Support

There are many ways that paternity is established and you do need some kind of proof of paternity. Usually it is required that the other parent’s name is on the hospital birth certificate. Other documents that can help support this are medical or life insurance from either parent or financial support from both parents. For more information about the establishment of paternity go to the DESS Paternity and Parentage Establishment webpage on the State of Delaware website at

The amount of time it takes to establish child support can vary from office to office. If you live in Delaware, processing the application takes about three months. If the non-custodial parent does not live in Delaware, getting the support due to you and your child can take over a year.

Helpful things to note about the DSCE are that it does have an Automated Assistance Line (AAL) that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The DSCE also does not send out checks. Instead you are paid by direct deposit or by using a First State Family Pre-Paid Visa Card. For more information in general visit the State of Delaware Health and Social Services Davison of Child Support Enforcement website at