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Handbook on Child Support Enforcement

Consumer Information Center: Handbook on Child Support Enforcement

Giving Hope and Support to
America's Children

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Washington, D.C. 20447


The success you have in obtaining regular, adequate, and full child support payments depends to a great extent on how well you can make the child support enforcement system work for you. At the same time it is important to remember that not all the solutions to your child support problems are within your control. The legal rights and welfare of all parties must be carefully guarded, and sometimes laws that protect the rights of one parent seem unfair to the other.

Knowledge is power. The more you know about child support enforcement procedures where you and the noncustodial parent live, the better you will be able to exercise your rights and responsibilities under the law, and the more successful you will be in obtaining the support that rightfully belongs to your children. As you proceed with your enforcement case, it is a good idea to keep a written account of the actions taken and the outcomes of those actions. Do not hesitate to ask questions and make suggestions to your enforcement caseworker. If you are not satisfied with the actions taken on your behalf, you have recourse to the head of the local CSE office as well as to the director of the State Child Support Enforcement agency. Keep in mind that it is always best to communicate the problem in writing.

An informed parent can make the child support enforcement system work. This, together with improvements that State enforcement programs, legislatures, and the courts are making, can benefit millions of parents and their children.

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