Continuing on with the step by step process of child support. Know where you are so you know what you need to do next! Here are the 10 steps again all together.
Step 1 – Open a child support case
Step 2 – Locate the other parent
Step 3 – Establish paternity
Step 4 – Establish a child/medical support order
Step 5 – Collect support
Step 6 – Distribute payment
Step 7 – Enforce a child/medical support order
Step 8 – Modify a support order
Step 9 – Provide service for interstate cases
Step 10 – Close the case
See (Part 1) to read about steps 1-5.
You have made it through getting the payment…now how do you make sure it gets where it needs to go, and what do you do when things change? Change is inevitable!
Step 6 – Collecting and distributing payment go hand in hand. If you want to use the state system they will charge you fees for every step of the process. There are processes set up through the department websites for each state that allow you to login, make payments, and collect payments. In California it is called the SDU (State Distribution Unit) that collects the payment. The custodial parent can get the money in the form of a check, a direct deposit, or a EPC (Electronic Payment Card). Again, these steps will charge fees along the way.
The easiest and most seamless way to get money from non-custodial to custodial parent is to use SupportPay. This system allows each parent to link their bank accounts securely so that money is simply transferred without fees. Not only that, it will keep track of what expenses there are, what categories those expenses fall into, and track all payments for each parent. Communication happens simply because the system lays it all out so clearly. Each parent takes care of their part and the child’s needs are met and recorded because of it.
Step 7 – When parents use SupportPay, enforcement is so much easier. SupportPay users report a much higher rate of payment than parents using other methods. The system makes it easy to communicate the details of expenses and finances, make payments, and record and track history. Of course, there are plenty of situations where parents don’t show up and need drastic measures to get them to be responsible. There are many enforcement tools that state departments use. These include an IWO(Income Withholding Order), license suspension, tax return interception, property liens, passport denial, unemployment insurance benefits, and lottery intercepts, among other things.
Step 8 – When things change such as living situations, jobs, children’s medical needs, or any other number of possibilities, the support orders may need to change. Both parents will need to fill out some paperwork, take it to a judge, and allow the court to make a decision to change the orders. Until a modification is made however, the original order stands.
Step 9 – Enforcing a child support order in another state or from a parent who lives or moves out of state may have some specific rules. See your state’s website or ask your lawyer about this.
Step 10 – The custodial parent may make a request to close the case. The case may also be closed by the state for a number of reasons including, if a child turns 18 and there are no arrears due, if the non-custodial parent dies, if paternity cannot be established, if the non-custodial parent is in jail without parole, or permanently disabled with no assets. If the state initiates a closure process, they will notify the custodial parent before finalizing.