There are a number of services available through your local child support office:
Keep in mind that you have the right to obtain child support services in a timely manner. You can help by cooperating fully with your child support enforcement office in any effort they make on your behalf.
- Searching for the other parent
- Legally establishing paternity
- Obtaining a court order for child support and health insurance coverage
- Collecting support payments
- Enforcing the court order
- Reviewing and adjusting the court order
Searching for the Other Parent
If you cannot locate your child's other parent, your child support enforcement office will conduct a search. To do this, you should provide as much information about the other parent as you can. The more information you provide, the easier it will be to find the other parent.
If you were not married to your child's father, your child support enforcement office will help you establish paternity. This is important for several reasons:
- The legal father is responsible for paying support
- Your child is entitled to the father's veteran's benefits, social security and retirement benefits and inheritance
- If the father admits paternity, it is not always necessary to have a court trial.
Adjusting the Amount of Child Support
You or the other parent may request a periodic review of your case for a possible change in the court-ordered amount of your child support.
Obtaining a Court Order for Child Support
Your child support enforcement office has lawyers who will take your case to court so you don't need to hire an attorney. If the case is successful, the court will order the other parent to pay regularly to support your child.
The court may also order the other parent to obtain health insurance for your child if it can be obtained through employment or any health insurance organization at a reasonable cost.
Health Insurance Benefits
If the other parent does not provide health insurance coverage, and if he or she is employed, your child support enforcement office can send a copy of the court order to the employer. The employer must enroll your child in any health insurance available to the parent and deduct the premiums from the other parent's pay.
Tax Refund Intercept
If the other parent owes arrears on a child support order, any income tax refund due may be intercepted and applied to the arrears. For instance, if you used to receive Temporary Cash Assistance payments and the other parent's State income tax refund is intercepted. it may be paid to you. If the other parent's Federal income tax refund in intercepted, arrears due to the State must be paid first. If you are currentluy receiving Temporary Cash Assistance payments, the other parent's State income tax refund is also applied to arrears owed to the State. If you never received Temporary Cash Assistance, the intercepted Federal or State income tax refund will be paid to you.
If you receive Temporary Cash Assistance. any child support payments collected will be kept by the State as reimbursement. If you no longer receive Temporary Cash Assistance, your current support as well as any payments made on arrears due you, will be mailed to you. If you never received Temporary Cash Assistance, you will revceive all monies collected. Payments will be sent within 7 days of receipt.
Direct Deposit and CashPay
Direct Deposit and CashPay are forms of electronic payment options. Your child support and spousal support payments are deposited directly into your bank account. Direct Deposit requires you to have a checking account with a financial institution. CashPay is a VISA/ATM debit card issued by Bank of America to individuals who do not have a bank account.
Non-payment of Child Support
If the other parent does not pay on time or does not pay in full, your child support enforcement office will:
- Withhold child support from wages and unemployment benefits
- Intercept Federal and State tax refunds to pay child support arrears
- Report parents owing past-due support to credit bureaus
- Refer parents owing past-due support to the Motor Vehicle Administration for driver's license suspension
- Intercept Maryland Lottery winnings to pay child support arrears
- Bring contempt of court actions against parents who do not comply with their child support court order
- Refer cases for Federal prosecution when a parent moves to another state to avoid paying child support
- Refer cases with past-due support to private collection agencies
- Seizure of Assets
- File a lien against real or personal property
Out-of-State Child Support Cases
Your child support enforcement office will work to collect support for your child even if the other parent lives in another state or country.
Applying for Child Support Services
If you receive Temporary Cash Assistance or Medical Assistance, child support services will be provided free of charge. If not, you will need to fill out an application for child support services with your local child support enforcement office and pay a one-time fee of $25.00 when you file your application.
To have an application mailed to you or for more information, please contact us at 1-800-332-6347 .
You may also visit www.marylandchildsupport.org for additional information.