If you have been ordered to pay child support:
DSER may sometimes refer to the parent who is ordered to pay child support to the other parent as the "Non-Custodial Parent" (or "NCP" for short). The role of the Child Support Agent is to establish and collect child support orders. She or he will work with you to be sure that your order is something that you can afford to pay. However, your Agent can't do this without your help
Here are some tips to help you keep current on your obligation to pay support:
- 1. Respond promptly to all requests for paperwork and information, including the Statement of Income, any information about your employer and your wages, and your correct address. This will prevent us having to "impute" income or use state average wage guides to set your support amount, which may not accurately reflect your ability to pay.
- 2. If you are ordered to pay support but do not believe that you are the father of the child (if you were not married to the other parent at the time of your child's birth), it's best to request genetic testing as soon as possible. Find out more about paternity testing.
- 3. If DSER is involved in your child support case, send or bring all payments to DSER. Once we begin collection efforts, you will no longer be given credit for payments made directly to the other parent. There are three easy ways to make your child support payments: check or money order, electronic payments, and wage withholding (the simplest and most hassle-free method). Click for more information about each of these payment methods.
- 4. If you are having trouble paying your support due to the loss of your job, incarceration, or any other reason, contact your agent as soon as possible. Your agent will work with you to help you get caught up as soon as possible. A substantial change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job, disabling injury, incarceration, etc., or the change in residency of your child, may require going back to Court to request a change ("modification") in your support order. Taking care of the change right away will prevent an arrearage from becoming overwhelming. Resist putting your head in the sand and ignoring the issue. Timely action will prevent serious enforcement measures such as license revocation or seizure of property, or even incarceration for being in contempt of your Court Ordered support. Learn about the Review and Modification process.
A note about the special responsibilities of the person who owes support
If you are the NCP, you have a very important role in your child's life! You are ensuring that your child receives all the financial support he or she needs for growth and development, despite the fact that your children are not primarily living with you. In addition to your love and emotional support, physical presence and assurance that you will always be there when your children need you, knowing that you care enough to ensure their financial needs in their primary home will help ease the stress of divorce. Paying your support on time is critical to their well-being, and keeping the lines of communication open with the other parent will go a long way toward keeping harmony in your family. Remember to put your kids' needs and feelings first, even if you are angry, frustrated or hurt over the actions of the other parent. Your kids will thank you for your unselfish devotion to their needs during what is a difficult time for the entire family, and for keeping them out of the middle of an adult dispute.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a parent afraid that the other parent of your child will harm you or your child, there is help available. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7.