Child Support FAQ

Q: What if I need help getting my ex to pay child support?
A: You should contact your state or tribal child support office.

Q: What information do I need to give to the child support agency?
A: When you are preparing to talk to the child support agency, you should get all of the relevant information together that you can. That includes your name, the name of the child or children, the name of the other parent, addresses and other pertinent information. The more the agency knows, the easier it will be for them to process your request.

Q: What do I have to pay to use child support services?
A: You may have to pay a fee of up to $25 to start a child support request. However, that fee could be lowered or entirely waived if you are receiving cash or assistance from other programs, such as Medicaid.

Q: What if my ex lives in another state? Will I have to pay more to pursue child support?
A: You may have to pay more if the other parent lives in another state. It will depend on how difficult the other parent is to track down and other factors. The more accurate the information you provide is, the less you are likely to have to pay.

Q: What if the other parent can’t be found?
A: You can still receive assistance from the state, as long as you have attempted to find the other parent. Your state or tribal agency can explain the TANF assistance program to you.

Q: What if contacting the other parent could be dangerous?
A: A family violence indicator can be placed on your record and you can talk to your caseworker about how to get assistance without jeopardizing the safety of you or your children.

Q: Can a child support order be changed after it is legally created?
A: Yes, either parent can request that the child support order be changed at any time, if they have a good reason. One good reason would be if the income of either parent recently changed.

Q: What do I do if I have been ordered to pay child support, but I am out of work?
A: Contact your local child support agency. They can connect you with multiple employment resources and help you to find a secure position.

Q: How do I contact my local child support agency?
A: Visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/state-and-tribal-child-support-agency-contacts and click on your state to contact the state’s parent agency. They can connect you with your closest branch office.

Q: What if I still have more questions about paying or receiving child support?
A: Talk to your local child support agency or visit the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css.