Federal Agency Seeks to Collect Unpaid Child Support

For parents in North Carolina struggling to get by and pay even everyday expenses due to unpaid child support, improving the child support enforcement process can be particularly important. Delinquent support might mean that important expenses for the children go uncovered, including educational expenses, extracurricular fees and even medical and dental costs. For this reason, enforcing unpaid support obligations is a significant priority for federal and state government agencies. In particular, the use of wage garnishment and payroll deductions can be a successful mechanism to collect unpaid support.

While child support is handled like many family matters at a state level, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, works to streamline and improve multi-state collection efforts. In 2016, over $33 billion in child support payments was collected through its efforts, and 75 percent of the payments were through payroll withholdings at the workplace. In order to further improve on this record of success, the OCSE is working with state agencies as well as employers and payroll professionals to determine next steps for the system.

Identification of a worker who owes unpaid child support can be one of the most important steps in helping to secure those payments. To this end, employers are required to submit new hire reports as well as quarterly wage reports. However, the use of differing identification numbers can sometimes mean that it is difficult to fully identify a specific worker and enforce a payroll collection order. The OCSE is helping to develop a system that enhances the ease and clarity of reporting.

A divorced or separated parent might feel all alone when they are facing mounting bills and unpaid¬†child support. However, a family law attorney may help to protect the rights of a client’s children, including going back to court to enforce an existing child support order or seeking any necessary post-divorce modifications.

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