Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support


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Establishing Support

Q. I didn’t ask for child support. Why does it have to be established?

A. State and federal laws require the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) to pursue child support for any child who receives medical or cash assistance from the State of Ohio.

Q. I am married, but my husband is not the father. What can I do?

A. If there is no court order naming a father, you, your husband or the alleged father may ask the CSEA to conduct genetic testing to determine paternity.

Q. Does it cost to have genetic testing done?

A. No, unless ordered by the courts.

Q. How long does it take to get genetic testing results?

A. About four to six weeks. Results are sent by mail to each party.

Q. Is there a charge for applying for CSEA services?

A. No

Q. What can be done if an individual signs an affidavit claiming to be the father, but is not the father?

A. Parties have 60 days from the date an affidavit is signed to sign a rescission to cancel it. If after 60 days a rescission has not been signed, either party has one year to file a motion with the court for paternity testing.

Q. I am under 18 and have a baby. Can I apply for services?

A. A parent under 18 may apply but will need a legal guardian present to receive services.

Q. Can the CSEA help change the baby’s last name?

A. If both parties agree, the child’s last name may be changed in an administrative hearing.

Q. When children are in foster care, who pays support?

A. Both parents are typically ordered to pay.

Q. Does child support for a foster child go directly to the foster parents?

A. No. It goes through the CSEA or the State of Ohio.

Q. Does the CSEA provide notary services?

A. Yes, the CSEA will notarize your support documents at no cost.


Q. How can I get my share of out-of-pocket medical expenses?

A. The CSEA cannot, under state law, assist in this matter. The issue must be addressed in the court system.

Q. Can the CSEA assist with custody or visitation issues?

A. No.

Q. What is a processing fee?

A. It is a 2% fee charged on court-ordered payments, as established by Ohio law.

Q. Can I be denied a passport?

A. Yes, if you owe more than $2,500 in past due child support, the U.S. State Department will refuse to issue a passport. In addition, it may revoke, restrict or limit a previously issued passport.

Q. Can my driver’s license be suspended?

A. Yes, if you fail to respond within 10 days of receiving a warning letter about noncompliance with a support order.

Q. How are income tax refunds intercepted for support payment?

A. Our computer system generates information to the IRS.

Q. Why isn’t the tax refund credited to my support account after the CSEA received it?

A. Tax monies may be on hold for a variety of reasons. Please contact the CSEA in person. We cannot discuss IRS information over the phone.



Q. Once money has been withheld from the obligor’s paycheck, when will I, as the obligee, receive the money?

A. Employer have seven business days to send in payments. After a payment is received, it is processed within two business days.

Q. What if I need my E-QuickPay Card replaced?

A. Call 888-965-2676

Interstate Actions

Q. What if I have a case with orders in different states?

A. Contact your local CSEA. A review of all orders will be conducted and a controlling order will be determined.

Q. Can I get a child support order modified when one or both parties no longer live in the state that issued the order?

A. Either party may seek a modification of an order issued in another state. Procedures vary by case. Contact the CSEA for more information.

Q. How do I get my child support order enforced if one or both parties no longer live in the state that issued the order?

A. When an income source is located for an obligor who lives in another state, the state that issued the support order may send a direct income withholding order to this source. If it becomes necessary to take administrative or legal action against the obligor, the obligee may either work directly with the state that issued the support order or contact his or her local CSEA to initiate action with the CSEA in the obligor’s state of residence.

Q. Do I have to work through the CSEA that issued my order?

A. An obligee may work with his or her local CSEA or the state that issued the order. To avoid confusion, the obligee should choose one or the other. Some states will only communicate directly with the initiating state if the obligee chooses to apply for child support services with the local CSEA.

Q. How long will services take if we work with another state?

A. This varies depending on the action needed. An interstate request for enforcement could take several months to reach court. Your local CSEA will closely monitor the status to assure timely action is taken.

Q. I have been served to appear at a hearing in another state. Am I required to appear in person?

A. Some states allow testimony by telephone. This pertains to administrative hearings held at the CSEA as well. If you are scheduled to appear at an out-of-state hearing, please contact the CSEA as to whether telephone testimony is permitted.

Q. If I disagree with the outcome of hearing results from another state, how do I object?

A. An appeal may be possible, but you must communicate your concerns immediately to the CSEA as there are time limits for filing an objection.

Q. My out-of-state order permits standard visitation. I have now moved to Ohio and am being denied visitation. Can the CSEA help me?

A. The CSEA cannot address visitation issues in interstate actions. These issues cannot be used as a defense for non-payment of support.

Modifying Orders

Q. I am the custodial parent. Why is my income used to help determine support?

A. According to the Ohio Guidelines Calculations (ORC 3119.05), both parties’ incomes must be used to calculate child support.

Q. Is my current spouse/significant other’s income used to determine support?

A. No. Only the incomes of the mother and the father are used.

Q. My child is receiving Social Security benefits from a parent’s disability. Do I still have to pay child support?

A. First, ask for a review and adjustment. If the review finds that the child is receiving more in Social Security benefits than what the court would order, you would not be ordered to pay support. You would, however, be required to pay arrears. If it is found the child is receiving less in Social Security than what the court would order, you would be ordered to pay support.

Q. How long does the review and adjustment process take?

A. About three to six months.

Terminating Orders

Q. How long does the termination process take?

A. About three to six months.

Q. I now have custody. Will my support order stop?

A. No. A court order is required for a legal custody change. Otherwise, support will continue. Take a copy of the custody order to the CSEA.

Q. Why did my support payments stop when the child is still in my home?

A. This is to prevent overpayment. A motion to impound (hold) payments is filed with the court. Once the termination process is completed, any held money will be distributed.

Q. My support order has been terminated and there is no balance. Why is money still deducted?

A. Until a final order is filed with the court, the deduction must continue.

Q. Why is my current arrears payment larger than it was before support ended?

A. If an individual was paying on arrears prior to terminating support, the amount paid on that arrearage is added to the amount that was paid monthly for support. This process is mandated by the State of Ohio and provides for a quicker repayment of the money that is owed.

Q. How can emancipation/termination affect my wage withholding?

A. If an arrearage exists at the time of emancipation, the deduction will remain the same until all arrears are paid in full.  The CSEA will end the wage withholding when all monies owed have been paid.