Child Support FAQ’s

/Child Support FAQ’s
Child Support FAQ’s2019-01-30T19:04:04-05:00

How can I get information about my child support case?

The Maryland Child Support Administration has a toll-free Maryland Child Support Contact Center (1-800-332-6347) to handle all of your general questions and provide payment information. The Maryland Contact Center can accept requests for payment history, address changes, employment changes, and requests for enforcement of a court order.

If the information or assistance you need cannot be provided by the Maryland Contact Center, a work order will be prepared and emailed to your case specialist. After the information is reviewed by your case specialist, appropriate action will be taken, and if necessary, you will be contacted within twenty-one (21) days. If a work order is a priority matter, such as an issue for an upcoming court date, a driver’s license suspension, or an employer with a wage lien question, you will be contacted within 24 hours.

Please allow ten (10) working days after a hearing date for updated information regarding your account to be posted to the case file. Please note: your calls will not be forwarded to the local child support office on a routine basis.

Which office should I go to?

Child support enforcement is a cooperative process involving the Department of Social Services, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Circuit Court, and the Sheriff’s Office. Each agency has a specific role to play. Generally, inquiries about your child support case are best handled through the Maryland Contact Center. You will be redirected to the other agencies if necessary.

ESTABLISHING A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER

How do I get an order for my child’s other parent to pay child support?

The first step is to apply for child support services at the Department of Social Services, 200 Kent Avenue, La Plata, Maryland. There is a $25.00 application fee. You should provide as much information as possible to identify the other parent, including a physical description, birth date, place of work, home address, and phone numbers. You should also provide copies of any court orders regarding custody and/or child support.

What if he says he’s not the father of my child?

If the person you identified as the father denies paternity, he can request that genetic testing be performed. You, your child and the father will be court-ordered to appear for a testing appointment. Currently, this is done by buccal swab, taking a sample from the inside of the cheek on a cotton swab. Blood testing is no longer necessary. If a paternity affidavit was signed in the hospital at the time the child was born or if there is already a court order establishing paternity, it is very difficult to change. If the child was born during the time you were married, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. You may wish to contact an attorney for legal advice.

How long will it take to process my case?

A person must be personally served with the notice of the proceedings to establish child support. Current and accurate information as to the non-custodial parent’s residence and mailing address is essential. The longer it takes to locate and personally serve the person, the longer it will take to establish a child support order. The State’s Attorney’s Office and the Child Support Enforcement Agency are required to follow all deadlines set by federal regulations and Maryland statute for processing your case. When one of the parents lives in another state, the other state’s statutes and regulations also influence how long it takes to complete each step of the process.

I received a summons for Court. What should I do?

You should appear in Court on the date and time stated in the summons. If the attached complaint is for establishing paternity and child support or for modifying child support, you should contact the State’s Attorney’s Office at (301) 932-2355.

Failure to appear for a court proceeding may result in a breach warrant being issued for your arrest.

How do I change my court date?

If you are unable to appear for a scheduled court date, you should submit a written request to postpone your hearing, clearly stating the reason you are not able to come on the court date. You should include copies of any documents that support your request, such as information from a doctor or a letter from your employer. Make sure that your request includes a phone number where you can be contacted during business hours. Your request needs to be filed with the Circuit Court at least three (3) days before your hearing. The Master or Judge will consider your request and you will be contacted if your hearing is postponed.
Do not assume that your request will automatically be granted.

if your request is not granted and you fail to appear, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

I know the other parent received a summons, but he/she has no car.

Anyone who is served with a summons to appear in court must appear on the scheduled date.

Do all states handle cases the same way?

No. While every state has its own child support process and its own methods of calculating child support, all states have the same goals of establishing paternity, setting up a child support order, and enforcing the order.

How long will it take to get my child support payment?

Generally, a child support order will be established within 90-180 days. Several factors may delay the establishment process – for example: the other parent lives out of state; the other parent cannot be located and served with a summons;  one parent is incarcerated; there are problems verifying income; or failure to appear for a settlement conference or a court hearing.

What do you put into the child support guidelines?

Maryland uses an income shares model for its child support guidelines. Both parents’ incomes are included to calculate the amount of child support required under Maryland law. The guidelines also take into account the cost of health insurance for the child, child support being paid for other children, alimony being paid, the cost of daycare, private school tuition, and extraordinary medical expenses for the children.

I am living with/married to someone else now. Does her/his income count?

Generally, no.  However, if you no longer work because you are fully supported by your current partner, the Court may use your income from a previous job to calculate child support. The value of the support you receive from your current partner can also be considered your income.

EMPLOYER WITHOLDING FAQ'S

How do I sign up for the electronic income withholding program (e-IWO)?

Beginning January 2015, Maryland will issue Income Withholding Orders electronically. More information about the e-IWO program, and instructions on signing up are available on the Federal Office of Child Support website.

Is there a maximum amount of money that may be withheld from an employee's paycheck?

Yes, for all income withholdings, the upper limit on what may be withheld is based on the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). The federal withholding limits for child support and alimony are based on the disposable earnings of the employee. The Federal CCPA limit is 50% of the disposable earnings if the employee supports a second family and 60% if the employee does not support a second family. These limits increase to 55% and 65% respectively if the employee owes arrearages that are 12 weeks or more past due. States may choose a lower limit. The amount withheld should be determined based on the employee’s principal state of employment. If the employee works in Maryland, use the limits set forth in the CCPA. (About two-thirds of the states use the federal limits, and about one-third cap the withholding at 50% regardless of second families or arrearage amount.)

How soon must employers send the child support payment that was withheld from an employee's paycheck? Can I remit payment monthly?

Under Maryland Family Law employers must send payment of the withheld wages within seven (7) business days, at the most, of paying wages to the employee. The state where the employer is located may set a shorter time limit for submitting the payment.

What happens if an employer fails to withhold payment or remit payment in a timely manner?

Under Maryland Family Law an employer is liable for damages in an amount equal to the amount of any withholding that the employer failed to deduct or failed to remit within seven (7) business days. The employer’s liability is in addition to any amounts paid directly or indirectly by the employee.

What should the employer do if the employee tells the employer the withholding is for the wrong amount or that income should not be withheld?

The employee should contact the state child support agency or court that issued the order if he/she disputes it. The employer should make it clear that by law, until the employer is otherwise notified, the employer must comply with the terms of the withholding order as issued.

May employers combine the child support payments from several employees into one check?

Yes, employers may send one check each pay period to cover all child support withholdings for that pay period if: They are all being sent to the same State Disbursement Unit (SDU), and the employer itemizes the amount withheld from each employee, the date each amount was withheld, and a required identifier such as the case number.

Must all payments be sent to the SDU?

Yes, all payments withheld by employers/income withholders must be sent to the SDU, except those issued by a Tribal child support agency or those entered before January 1, 1994. This applies to those orders enforced by a child support (CS) agency and those orders resulting from divorces or private court actions. Payments for spousal support only are not generally paid to the SDU although some states do allow it, including Maryland.

How will the employer know when to stop income withholding for an employee?

The employer should continue withholding until the child support (CS) agency or court notifies the employer to change or stop the withholding.

Income withholding requires extra paperwork for the employer. May the employer charge a processing fee to the employee?

Most states allow the employer to charge the employee an administrative fee for processing the income withholding. The limit of the administrative fee in Maryland is $2.00 per deduction. If the employee works in a state outside of Maryland, contact the child support (CS) agency in that state to determine the administrative fee in that state. Note that
the total amount the employer withholds for child support plus fees may not exceed the maximum amount permitted under the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)

What if the fee plus the child support payment exceeds the maximum allowable amount under CCPA?

If the fee plus the child support exceeds the maximum amount allowed to be withheld under the CCPA, the employer may take the entire amount of its administrative fee and make the child support payment less than the amount in the IWO. The amount of support that was not paid (because the employer deducted the administrative fee) becomes part of the arrears owed by the noncustodial parent.

The employer received an IWO from a child support (CS) agency in another state. Must the employer send payments directly to the other state?

Yes. Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), employers are required to honor an IWO from another state as long as the order appears to be “regular on its face.”

What does "regular on its face" mean?

“Regular on its face” means that any reasonable person would think it is valid. The 2011 version of the IWO form clarifies this term by saying that an IWO is regular on its face

  • if it is payable to the SDU
  • if required, a copy of the underlying order containing an income withholding clause is included
  • the amount to withhold is a dollar amount
  • the form has not been altered nor has invalid information been entered, and
  • it contains all of the necessary information to process the IWO. Effective May 31, 2012, the IWO must be on the federal form, OMB 0970-0154, to be “regular on its face”.

How does the employer handle child support withholding when the employee already has garnishments or other income attachments against the paycheck?

Child support withholdings take priority over all other claims against the same wages except federal tax liens that were entered before the child support order was established. When there are garnishments or income attachments other than federal tax liens, the employer may honor the garnishments or income attachments only after satisfying the child support obligation (to the maximum allowed limit of the CCPA). If the allowable limit for the other type of garnishment has been reached, there may be no funds available to apply to the second garnishment.

If I have additional questions, where can I find answers?

For additional questions call the DHS Hotline at 800-332-6347.

What should the employer do if it has received both an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) levy and a child support IWO for an employee?

The employer should notify the Child Support Enforcement Agency that a federal tax (IRS) levy was received in addition to the IWO. The child support enforcement (CSE) agency can inform the employer if the underlying child support order was in fact established prior to the date that the IRS levy was entered. If the underlying order was not established prior to the IRS levy, the child support agency should then contact the IRS to determine if the levy may be modified to allow withholding of any child support.

What should the employer do if it has received an IWO and a National Medical Support Notice which when combined exceed the limits set forth by the CCPA?

Child support withholdings takes priority over withholding for medical support. When there are garnishments or income attachments other than federal tax liens, the employer may honor the garnishments only after satisfying the child support obligation (to the maximum allowed limit of the CCPA). If the allowable limit for the other type of garnishment has been reached, there may be no funds available to apply to the second garnishment.

PAYING SUPPORT FAQ'S

Who is eligible for child support services?

Any custodian of a minor child is eligible for services. This includes parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, court-appointed guardians, or others who are caring for a child. The services available include establishing paternity for their child(ren), establishing a court order for child support and/or medical support or collecting current or past due child support payments. The non-custodial parent may also apply for child support services to determine paternity of a child born out of wedlock, to sign up for voluntary wage withholding of child support, or to request modification of the child support ordered amount.

How can I get information about my child support case?

The Maryland Child Support Administration has a toll-free Maryland Child Support Customer Care Center ( 1-800-332-6347) to handle all of your general questions and provide payment information. The Customer Care Center can accept requests for payment history, address changes, employment changes, and requests for enforcement of a court order. If the information or assistance you need cannot be provided by the Customer Care Center, a work order will be prepared and emailed to your case specialist. After your case specialist reviews your case and takes appropriate action, you will be contacted within 20 days if necessary. If a work order is a priority matter, such as an issue for an upcoming court date, a driver’s license suspension, or an employer with a wage lien question, you will be contacted within 48 hours. Please allow 10 working days after a hearing date for updated information regarding your account to be posted to the case file. Please note: your calls will not be forwarded to the local child support office on a routine basis.

Which office should I go to?

Inquiries about your child support case are best handled through the Customer Care Center. The number is 1-800-332-6347

Do all states handle cases the same way?

Cases are not handled the same way in all states. While all states have the same goals of establishing paternity and child support orders and enforcement of child support orders, each state has its own child support process and its own methods of calculating child support.

How do you determine the amount of child support to be paid?

Maryland uses an income shares model for its child support guidelines. The guidelines also take into account the income of both parents, number of children, cost of health insurance for the child(ren), current child support being paid for other child(ren), alimony being paid, alimony being received, the cost of daycare, and the cost of extraordinary medical expenses for the child(ren).

How are child support payments paid?

If the custodial parent receives TCA, any child support payments collected will be kept by the state as reimbursement for that benefit. If the custodial parent no longer receives Temporary Cash Assistance, the current support as well as any payments made on arrears due will be sent to the custodial parent. If the custodial parent has never received Temporary Cash Assistance payments, all monies collected will be sent to the custodial parent. Payments will be deposited directly into the bank account, or mailed. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 to apply for direct deposit of child support payments.

How do I change my: name, address, telephone number, and employment information?

The order for support requires that the person paying child support notify the court within ten days of any change in address or employment. You must also notify your local child support office by contacting the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347, or by notifying your local office in writing by mail or fax along with a clear copy of your photo ID.. Please include your nine digit case number on all correspondence.

Can I request genetic testing?

If paternity has not been established either the custodial parent or alleged father may request genetic testing. The child support office will schedule genetic testing which is usually done at the child support office. The cost of genetic testing varies across the state. The average cost of the test is $120.

How do I make payments?

Maryland law requires that all new court orders have support payments made by wage attachment. If you change your job you must notify the child support agency of your new employment information immediately so the income withholding order/notice can be redirected. It is your responsibility to make sure that your payments are made on time, even if you become unemployed, disabled or incarcerated. If your circumstances change substantially and you are not going to be able to pay the amount ordered, contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 or your local office to learn about applying for a modification to your order.

How long before my employer starts making deductions?

Once your employer receives the income withholding order/notice, s/he is required to make the deduction the first pay period after the receipt of the wage lien. Until you receive a pay stub which shows that your employer has started deducting the child support payment, you are responsible for sending your support payments to the Maryland Child Support Account. You can speed this process by taking a copy of the order you receive at your court hearing to your employer and asking to start making the deductions immediately. You should monitor your account to make sure you are receiving credit for the income withholding payments.

Where should I make my payments?

Payments, in the form of check or money order, should be mailed to the Maryland Child Support Account, P.O. Box 17396, Baltimore, Maryland 21297-1396. Please include your nine digit case number on all payments.

I have a new employer. How can I get my employer to withhold child support from my wages?

You are required to report any change in employment to the child support agency and to the court within 10 days of any change. You should contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347. The agency will issue an administrative earnings withholding order to your new employer. YOU MUST MAKE THE PAYMENTS YOURSELF UNTIL YOUR NEW EMPLOYER STARTS TO MAKE THE DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY. Send your payments to: Maryland Child Support Account Post Office Box 17396 Baltimore, MD 21297-1396 Make sure that you put your nine digit case number on your check or money order.

Can you attach my worker’s compensation, unemployment or disability checks?

We can attach other forms of income, including these. You should contact the child support agency as soon as your job status changes to make arrangements for paying your support so that you do not fall behind.

How long am I obligated to pay child support?

Under Maryland law, child support continues until the minor child reaches the age of 18. It may be extended to age 19 if the child is still enrolled in high school. If there is past-due child support, the agency will continue to enforce payment until the arrears are paid in full, regardless of the age of the child.

How do I request an increase/decrease in my child support?

You have the right to request a review for a modification if there has been a change in circumstances since the order was entered, or if three years have passed since he order was entered or last reviewed for modification. Examples of changes in circumstances that may be grounds for a modification are: significant changes in income, changes in work-related day care cost, changes in health care costs, a change in custody, or a change in the financial needs of the child. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for additional information.

I lost my job (or I am earning less money). What can I do?

Your child support obligation continues unless and until the order is modified, even if you lose your job. modification of child support may be appropriate if circumstances have changed substantially since the last order was entered. You may download an Application for Services and a Financial Statement from our Forms page and mail the documents to the child support office. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 or your local office to request a modification package. . You may hire an attorney to file a motion for modification, or you may represent yourself and file a motion for modification with the Court.

I have been laid off and can’t pay my court ordered child support. What can I do?

If you receive unemployment benefits during the time that you are laid off you need to make sure that your child support is paid. The child support payments can be deducted automatically from your unemployment benefits. If you are not receiving unemployment benefits and cannot find another job promptly you may qualify for a modification of child support. Your local child support office can refer you to the Noncustodial Parent Employment Program (NPEP), which is an employment services program. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for more information about the NPEP Program.

I am disabled and I can’t work now. Do I still have to pay child support?

Your obligation to pay child support continues until your order is modified by the court. You should contact your child support specialist and provide him/her with medical information, including reports from your doctor about your ability to work. It may be appropriate for your child support order to be modified temporarily until you are healed and able to return to work. If you are receiving worker’s compensation payments or disability payments you must continue to pay your child support. Your case may qualify for closure if you provide medical documentation that you are permanently and totally disabled.

The children are now living with me. Can I get my payments stopped immediately?

If you are paying child support and your child now lives with you, send a written statement to your case specialist stating that the child lives with you and begin the process of filing a motion to suspend your child support payment. A copy of the court order stating that there has been a change in custody or school enrollment information should be provided to show that you now have custody. The local office may investigate the matter and ask for additional information to document the change of custody. Any child support payments that are received after the request for a change is made may be placed in escrow and not distributed until the court makes a decision on the modification.

My child (or one of my children) turned 18. How do I get my child support order reduced or ended?

Send a written statement to your case specialist stating the facts of your case. Note that if the child is still enrolled in high school, the obligation to pay child support and medical support continues until she or he turns 19. If the child support order was established before October 1, 2002, and the child is still in high school, the child support order may need to be modified to extend the child support obligation until the child turns 19.

I am living with or have married someone else since my child support order was entered, or the other parent is now living with or married to someone else. Am I entitled to an increase/decrease in child support?

The incomes that are considered for purposes of calculating the recommended amount of child support according to the Maryland Child Support Guidelines are the income of both parents. The income of spouses or boyfriends or girlfriends usually is not considered.

My girlfriend/boyfriend/new spouse has a child whom I am supporting. Can I get credit for supporting that child since s/he lives in my household?

You may only receive credit for a child whom you are legally obligated to support. If you have legally adopted the child or you have a court order giving you custody or guardianship, then your support of that child may be considered in calculating child support. One or both parents have had another child since the last child support order was entered. How will this effect child support? The child support order will remain in effect unless and until it is modified. If either parent requests a modification, the Court may consider the obligations of each parent to support other children. If there is a support order for other children the amount of support will be considered in the guidelines calculation.

Will my tax refund be intercepted?

A non-custodial parent will be certified for state tax offset if the arrears are $150 or more, and are equal to or greater than two times the monthly support order. Certification for federal tax offset will occur if arrears are $500 or more, and are equal to or greater than two times the monthly support order.

What if I need to stop payment on a check I submitted?

If you discover that you need to stop payment on a child support check, you should immediately call the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 or visit your local child support office. You will receive a Stop Payment form with instructions for submitting it. If you do not report a stop payment you may be responsible for repayment of the transaction.

I have been served with a contempt of court petition and must appear for a hearing. What should I do?

You should appear in court on the date and time stated in the subpoena. Failure to appear for a court proceeding may result in a bench warrant or body attachment being issued for your arrest.

Who do I contact if I have problems with my court date?

Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for assistance

Can the judge put me in jail if I do not pay my child support on time?

If you have the ability to pay, a judge could find that you are in contempt of court and incarcerate you for failing to obey a court order requiring you to pay child support

I missed my court date and a bench warrant/body attachment has been issued for my arrest. Can I just turn myself in at the Sheriff’s Office?

You can turn yourself in at the Sheriff’s Office, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I get someone out of jail who is there for being behind in his/her child support payments?

A purge/bond amount is generally set on the warrant. You can contact the court or your local office for payment information.

I have never missed a payment. Why is there a warrant for my arrest?

If you miss a court date a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Even if you are up to date on your current payments there may be other reasons why you were subpoenaed back to court. For example, a modification may have been requested, or there may be an issue of paying medical expenses for your child.

If my support payments are coming out of my check (income withholding) I won’t have a warrant issued for me, right?

If you fail to appear for Court you should expect that the Court will issue a warrant for your arrest.enses for your child.

My driver’s license is suspended because I got behind on my child support payments. How do I get my license reinstated?

If you fall behind on your child support payments your driver’s license will be suspended automatically. Please visit your local office or contact the Customer Care Center at 800-332-6347 for more information.

I gave the custodial parent money last month for school clothes. Why doesn’t that count against my support?

The court order requires you to pay your support obligation through the child support agency. Any payments you make to the custodian directly or payments you make to someone else on the child’s behalf are gifts given in addition to the support you owe under the court order.

I have a court order to make an additional monthly payment towards the arrearage and I haven’t missed a payment. Why am I receiving notices that my income tax refund will be intercepted and that I will be reported to the credit bureau?

The Child Support Administration is required to use all available enforcement tools to collect support payments that are due. CSEA uses the following automated processes income withholding,federal and state tax refund intercepts, lottery winnings intercept, credit bureau reporting, garnishment of bank accounts, passport denial/suspension, driver’s license suspension, and occupational license suspension. These processes are triggered automatically and may be implemented whether or not you are currently paying. You may avoid these automated enforcement tools by paying your arrears in full.

I missed some payments and now my employer got a new wage withholding notice requiring an additional deduction from my pay for an arrears payment. How can you do this without a court order?

Maryland Family Law authorizes an amount not more than 25% of the current support obligation to be withheld to satisfy any arrearage that accrued since the support order. For example, if your regular child support payment is $400 per month, the amount to be withheld for arrears will be $100 per month.

The custodial parent does not let me see the child. Do I have to pay support?

CSEA recognizes the importance of visitation; however, CSEA does not provide custody or visitation services. The Court views the issues of support and visitation as separate matters. You can contact an attorney to assist you with establishing or enforcing visitation or you can obtain forms from the Clerk of the Circuit Court to file a motion on your own to establish or enforce visitation.

NATIONAL MEDICAL SUPPORT NOTICE FAQ'S

We completed and mailed a NMSN response. The post office returned it. What do we do now?

Thank you for completing the NMSN. Our process changed at the end of April 2014. Please call customer service at 800-332-6347 to obtain the new mailing address.

Are medical support premiums deducted by the employer from the employee’s pay subject to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?

Yes, payments deducted from an employee’s pay for enrollment in medical insurance because of a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) are usually subject to CCPA limits. State law governs whether priority should be given to ongoing cash child support or health care premiums. In Maryland, the priority of withholding is current child support first, then arrears, health insurance premiums, and cash medical support.

We enforced a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) for one of our employees to cover his children. He is now terminated and only elected the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage for himself. Should we require him to elect COBRA for the children as well?

Yes. A child(ren) covered by a group health plan pursuant to a NMSN is a beneficiary under the plan. The child(ren) covered is therefore a “qualified beneficiary” with the right to elect continued coverage under COBRA if the plan is subject to COBRA and if the child loses coverage as a result of a qualifying event.

I received a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) for one of my employees, requesting enrollment in medical care and release of private medical information. Does the release of this information violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)? What should I do?

The Privacy Rule (at 45 CFR 164.512(f)) permits a health plan to respond to a request for information by a child support agency issuing an NMSN. An employee of a child support agency, who is acting in accordance with state or federal law to enforce a medical child support order, meets the definition of a “law official” in the Privacy Rule. The NMSN sent by the agency to the employer and medical plan administrator for completion is considered a written administrative request by a law official. The Privacy Rule allows a medical plan administrator to disclose protected health information in response to the NMSN, which by law provides the written assurances.

Does the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) apply to unions which provide insurance coverage to members, either as a benefit upon payment of union dues or available at a group rate to members who choose to enroll?

Yes. If an employer receives a NMSN for an employee who is a union member, the employer should forward the NMSN to the union. If the employer has multiple.

If the employer has multiple coverage options, and the employee refuses to change his current coverage to provide medical support for a child(ren), can the plan administrator change the employee’s coverage to a different option where family coverage is available or where the premiums are lower and can be deducted within the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits even if it compromises the employee’s coverage?

Yes, the plan administrator may take whatever steps necessary to enroll the child(ren) named in the National Medical Support Notice.

What is the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) and what does it include?

The National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) is a notice sent to employers from a child support agency. Its purpose is to ensure that children receive health care coverage when it is available and required as part of a child support order. It is designed to simplify the work of employers and plan administrators by providing uniform documents requesting health care coverage. The NMSN is divided into Part A and Part B. Part A is a Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage, the Employer’s Response, and Instructions. Part B is a Medical Support Notice to the Plan Administrator, the Plan Administrator’s Response, and Instructions.Medical Support Notice.

What should I do if an employee is no longer eligible for employer-sponsored medical insurance coverage?

If your employee had coverage for the children and then is no longer eligible for coverage (for example, the employee has been terminated or his/her work status has changed to part-time or independent contractor), the employee and the children may be eligible for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage. Any dependents not covered by the original benefits would not be eligible for COBRA coverage. If the provider of medical insurance changes, you should notify the child support agency. If you receive a National Medical Support Notice for an employee who is no longer eligible for medical insurance coverage, you should complete the Employer Response and return it to the child support agency.

What should I do if an employee no longer makes enough money to continue employer-sponsored medical insurance coverage?

If the employer cannot withhold the medical insurance premiums from an employee’s pay, it is the employee’s responsibility to provide medical insurance coverage a different way such as enrolling in a health exchange, obtaining private coverage, enrolling his/her child in a State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), or to notify the child support agency and seek a modification of his/her medical support order.

When is the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) sent to the employer?

The NMSN is sent when a new child support order is issued that requires a parent to provide medical coverage, when an existing order is modified, or when there is a new employer. It may also be sent in an existing case where it is not clear that the parent is complying with an order to provide coverage.

Who can I contact in my state with questions about a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN)?

For additional questions contact the DHS Help Line at 800-332-6347.with an order to provide coverage.

RECEIVING SUPPORT NOTICE FAQ'S

Who is eligible for child support services?

Any custodian of a minor child is eligible for services. This includes parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, court-appointed guardians, or others who are caring for a child. The services available include establishing paternity for their child(ren), establishing a court order for child support and/or medical support or collecting current or past due child support payments. The non-custodial parent may also apply for child support services to determine paternity of a child born out of wedlock, to sign up for voluntary wage withholding of child support, or to request modification of the child support ordered amount.

What services are available through the local office of child support?

  1. Searching for the other parent
  2. Legally establishing paternity
  3. Obtaining a court order for child support and health insurance
  4. Collecting support payments
  5. Enforcing the court order
  6. Reviewing and adjusting the court ordered support amount

The following services are NOT available through your local child support office. Contact private counsel for help with these issues:

  1. Divorce actions
  2. Legal advice
  3. Property settlements
  4. Visitation and custody issues
  5. Collection of private attorney’s fees

How do I apply for child support services?

  1. Searching for the other parent
  2. Legally establishing paternity
  3. Obtaining a court order for child support and health insurance
  4. Collecting support payments
  5. Enforcing the court order
  6. Reviewing and adjusting the court ordered support amount

If you receive Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) or Medical Assistance, child support services will be provided free of charge. If not, you will need to complete an application for child support services with your local child support office and pay an application fee of $15 with the submission of your application. To have an application mailed to you, or for further information, please contact the Child Support Administration at 800-332-6347. A separate application is required for each case. In addition to the $15 application fee, your case will be charged an annual $15, charged after you receive $3,500 in child support collections for that year, assuming your case meets certain conditions.

Do I have to pay for child support services?

Maryland law requires customers who have never received Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) for a related child support case to pay a $15 annual collection fee. You must pay the $15 annual collection fee if:

  • You have received a least $3,500 of child support within a 12 month period beginning October 1st of each year, and
  • You have never received TCA for that child support case.

You do not have to pay the $15 annual collection fee if:

You have not received at least $3,500 of child support within a 12 month period beginning October one of each year, or

You have received TCA for that child support case.ase.

What information will my local office need in order to process my case?

Required information to begin a case:

  1. Full name and last known address of both parents and any other names each person is known by (for example, nicknames, aliases, etc.)
  2. Dates of birth and Social Security numbers for both parents
  3. Marriage license, separation order, divorce decree, protective or restraining order involving either parent, other support order, Affidavit of Parentage, or any other legal documents where paternity has been acknowledged.

Helpful information to process a case:

  1. Children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers
  2. Any other additional information about the other parent which provides information about where he or she lives or works
  3. A physical description with the most current photograph of the other parent
  4. Name and address of the current or most recent employer of both parents

How can I get information about my child support case?

The Maryland Child Support Administration has a toll-free Maryland Child Support Customer Care Center (1-800-332-6347) to handle all of your general questions and provide payment information. The Customer Care Center can accept requests for payment history, address changes, employment changes, and requests for enforcement of a court order. If the information or assistance you need cannot be provided by the Customer Care Center, a work order will be prepared and emailed to your case specialist. After your case specialist reviews your case and takes appropriate action, you will be contacted within 20 days if necessary. If a work order is a priority matter, such as an issue for an upcoming court date, a driver’s license suspension, or an employer with a wage lien question, you will be contacted within 48 hours. Please allow 10 working days after a hearing date for updated information regarding your account to be posted to the case file. Please note: your calls will not be forwarded to the local child support office on a routine basis.

Which office should I go to?

Inquiries about your child support case are best handled through the Customer Care Center. The number is 1-800-332-6347.

What happens if the other parent does not live in Maryland?

Your child support office will work to establish paternity, collect support for the child, or resolve any issues you may have with your case, even if one parent lives in another state or country.

Do all states handle cases the same way?

Your child support office will work to establish paternity, collect support for the child, or resolve any issues you may have with your case, even if one parent lives in another state or country.

How long does it take to establish a child support order?

Generally, a child support order will be established within 90-180 days. Several factors may delay the establishment process: the noncustodial parent lives out of state, cannot be located and served with a summons, is incarcerated, fails to appear for a settlement conference or a court hearing, or if there are problems verifying income. If the parents are willing to cooperate with each other and can provide all necessary and useful information at the beginning of the case, the case can be registered more quickly and proceed to a hearing or agreement quickly.

How long does it take to process a case?

A person must be personally served with the notice of the proceedings to establish child support. Current and accurate information about the non-custodial parent’s residence and mailing address is essential. The longer it takes to locate and personally serve the person, the longer it will take to establish a child support order. The Child Support Administration and your local child support office are required to follow all deadlines set by federal regulations and Maryland statute for processing your case. When one of the parents lives in another state, the other state’s statutes and regulations also affect how long it takes to complete each step in the process.

How can I obtain a court order for child support and health insurance coverage?

Your child support office has lawyers who will take your case to court, so you may not need to hire an attorney. Your local child support office will ask the court to order current child support as well as genetic testing costs, medical support and a provision for an immediate income withholding from the non-custodial parent’s wages.

What if I do not know where the other parent is?

If the location of the non-custodial parent is unknown, the child support office will conduct a search. To do this successfully, we need as much information about that parent as possible. The more information you provide, the easier it will be to find the other parent. The following conditions make it more difficult to locate the non-custodial parent.

  1. Lives out of state
  2. Is not working
  3. Is self-employed
  4. Works under assumed names or multiple Social Security numbers
  5. Changes jobs often
  6. Works for cash In all cases, the child support specialist will try to locate the non-custodial parent by checking federal, state and local sources to find the mailing address, employment or assets of the non-custodial parent. The child support specialist will follow up on information you provide on the application form.

Can you enforce a separation agreement?

In order for the child support agency to collect child support or enforce an obligation, there must be a court order, signed by a judge. If your agreement has been incorporated into a court order or divorce decree, it can be enforced. Otherwise, your separation agreement may be used as a piece of evidence in requesting the court to establish a child support order. You may use private legal counsel to enforce the written contractual agreement between you and the other parent.

How do you determine the amount of child support to be paid?

Maryland uses an income shares model for its child support guidelines. The guidelines take into account the income of both parents, number of children, cost of health insurance for the child(ren), current child support being paid for other children, alimony being paid, alimony being received, the cost of daycare, and extraordinary medical expenses of the child(ren).

How are child support payments disbursed?

If the custodial parent receives Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), any child support payments collected will be kept by the state as reimbursement for that benefit. If the custodial parent no longer receives TCA, the current support as well as any payments made on arrears due will be sent to the custodial parent. If the custodial parent has never received Temporary Cash Assistance payments, all monies collected will be sent to the custodial parent. Payments will be deposited directly into the bank account, or mailed. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 to apply for direct deposit of child support payments. The Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) automatically enrolls customers in the Electronic Payment Issuance Card (EPiC) program. The EPiC card is a VISA debit card. If you have a checking account and would prefer to receive your child support payment via direct deposit you may download the form from our Forms webpage or call 1-800-332-6347 to request a direct deposit form. You may also pick up this form at your local child support office. EPiC provides access to your funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use your EPiC to make purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. You will also have cash access via PIN-based point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs. Here’s how the cards will work:

  • Once you select to receive your child support payments via EPiC, Bank of America will create an account in your name.
  • Whenever you are due to receive a payment, CSEA will send the funds by Electronic Funds Transfer to your EPiC.
  • You can then use EPiC to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are exhausted.
  • You cannot make any additional deposits to the account. Only CSEA can fund the card.
  • This is not a credit card and attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance will result in the transaction being declined.d(ren).

The other parent is paid “under the table”. Can you attach that money by income withholding?

No, that money cannot be attached. The very nature of “under the table” wages means those wages are not subject to payroll taxes or income withholding because the employer is not doing the necessary record keeping or paperwork.

The other parent is self-employed. Can you attach those earnings?

Attaching earnings of a self-employed person requires the cooperation of the self-employed person to arrange for payroll withholding.

How do I change my: name, address, telephone number, and employment information?

The order for support requires that the person paying child support notify the court within 10 days of any change in address or employment. You must also notify your local child support office by contacting the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347, or by notifying your local office in writing by mail or fax along with a clear copy of your photo ID. Please include your nine digit case number on all correspondence.

How can I establish paternity for my child?

If you were not married at the time your child was conceived or born, your child support office will help you establish paternity. Establishing paternity is important for several reasons:

  1. It will establish a father-child relationship, enable your child to benefit from that relationship, and strengthen your child’s sense of identity
  2. It will allow the father’s name to be listed on the child’s birth certificate
  3. It will give the father the right to seek child custody and visitation through a court action and to be consulted about adoption
  4. It will give the child the right to important benefits from both parents; such as financial support, inheritance, social security veteran’s benefits, life insurance and health insurance
  5. It will make it easier for the child to learn the medical histories of both parents and to possibly benefit from medical insurance through a parent’s employer, union or military service
  6. Paternity must be established before the court can order child support If the father acknowledges paternity, it is not always necessary to have a court trial. Either parent may apply for paternity establishment without filing for child support. To have an application mailed to you or for further information, contact Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347. Cance.

Can I request genetic testing?

If paternity has not been established either the custodial parent or alleged father may request genetic testing. The child support office will schedule genetic testing which is usually done at the child support office. The cost of genetic testing varies across the state. The average cost of the test is $120.

What if paternity for the child is denied?

The mother, child and the alleged father will be scheduled for a genetic testing appointment. Currently, this is done by collecting a DNA sample from the inside of the cheek by gently rubbing There is no need to collect a blood sample and needles are not used in this process. If an Affidavit of Parentage was signed in the hospital at the time the child was born, or if there is already a court order establishing paternity, the local child support office cannot disestablish paternity. You may contact an attorney. If the child was born during the time the parents were married, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. You may wish to contact an attorney for legal advice.

Can I get retroactive child support?

The Court has the authority to award support retroactive to the date a complaint is filed with the court. The court may give the non-custodial parent credit for any financial contribution made for the children since the filing date of the case.

How do I request an increase/decrease in my child support?

You have the right to request a review for a modification if there has been a change in circumstances since the order was entered, or if three years have passed since the order was entered or last reviewed for modification. Examples of changes in circumstance that may be grounds for a modification are: significant changes in income, changes in work-related day care cost, changes in health care costs, a change in custody, or a change in the financial needs of the child. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for additional information.

If either parent has had another child since the current child support order was entered, will this affect the amount of child support due?

The child support order will remain in effect unless and until it is modified. If either parent requests a modification, the Court may consider the obligations of each parent to support other children. If there is a support order for other children the amount of support will be considered in the guidelines calculation.

The child is now living with the other parent. Do I need to notify the Child Support Administration?

When custody of the child changes the child support case specialist must be notified in writing about the change, stating who now has custody of the child. A copy of the court order stating that there has been a change in custody or school enrollment information should be provided to show that custody has changed..

I want to close my case. What should I do?

Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for further information..

Whom do I contact if I do not receive child support payments?

Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 if you are not receiving payments as ordered.

The non-custodial parent was arrested, but has now been released. As the custodial parent, how can I find out how much s/he paid and when will we go back to court?

Contact the Customer Care Center at 800-332-6347.ation.

What will happen if the noncustodial parent just won’t pay?

If the noncustodial parent does not pay on time, or does not pay in full, your child support office will initiate the following automated enforcement actions:

  1. Withhold child support from wages and unemployment benefits, Workers’ Compensation claims, etc.
  2. Intercept federal and state tax refunds to pay child support arrears
  3. Report parents owing past-due support to credit bureaus
  4. Refer parents owing past-due support to the Motor Vehicle Administration for driver’s license suspension
  5. Intercept Maryland lottery winnings to pay child support arrears
  6. Garnish accounts at financial institutions
  7. Request the suspension or revocation of a professional or recreational license
  8. Deny the issuance or renewal of a passport The child support office may also initiate contempt of court proceedings against that parent if it appears the parent has the present ability to pay support. Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 for additional information.

Will the non-custodial parent’s tax refund be intercepted?

A non-custodial parent will be certified for state tax offset if the arrears are $150 or more, and are equal to or greater than two times the monthly support order. Certification for federal tax offset will occur if arrears are $500 or more, and are equal to or greater than two times the monthly support order. Certifying a case for tax offset is not a guarantee that a payment will be received.

Why are my payments splitting between my case and the non-custodial parent’s second case?

Federal law states that payments received by income withholding must be divided among all of the non-custodial parent’s cases giving priority first to current support, then to arrears. Payments are divided automatically by the Child Support Computer System (CSES). Even though the amounts received each month may differ, at the end of the year the custodial parent should receive the total court ordered amount of child support provided payments are made as ordered on a regular and consistent basis provided that the noncustodial parent earns enough to satisfy all of the support obligations.

How do I get someone out of jail when s/he is there for being behind in child support payments?

A purge/bond amount is generally set on the warrant. You can contact the court or your local office for payment information.

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