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OCSE seeks to improve child support collection

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement had begun the process of updating and improving procedures for the collection of child support payments through payroll withholding. Child support agencies in North Carolina and around the country typically depend on accurate reporting from employers so that money for children can be deducted from the paychecks of noncustodial parents.

Child support agencies send out requests for verification of employment. These forms ask employers about wages and health insurance availability. This information allows family courts to make decisions about the creation or modification of child support orders.

The reporting of newly hired or rehired workers also falls upon employers. They usually have 20 days to inform state agencies about jobs given to people. The OCSE is looking for ways to improve this process because confusion and duplication of entries can arise. Some employers use one federal employer identification number when recording a new hire but then their quarterly wage reports for the employees might be created under different identification numbers. The federal agency has also developed a form for companies that employ people in multiple states. With this form, employers will designate which state agency that they intend to report payroll information to and provide details about the states where they employ people.

When a parent of young children decides to get a divorce, child support will be an issue that needs to be worked out. An attorney could provide advice about how the law will calculate support obligations. With legal guidance, the parent could attempt to negotiate an overall settlement rather than going to court.

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