Navigating the Child Support System
These tips can help every father:
- Establish paternity
- Attend every child support hearing regarding your case
- Pay something even when you can’t pay the full amount
- Document payments and keep receipts of purchases requested by the mother and paid on your child's behalf
- Keep a record of dates and times when you did and did not work, as well as the reasons for not working
- Keep copies of all documents from the Department of Social Services (DSS), family court, a clerk of court, attorney or the mother regarding child support and visitation
- Do not ignore official correspondence
- Contact DSS if you believe you are being harassed by a private child support collection agency
What if you can’t pay your child support?
- Pay something toward your child support commitment to show a good faith effort
- Immediately take steps to address a payment shortfall with Child Support Enforcement (CSE) or family court before payments fall too far behind
Child Support Enforcement or the family court may consider a reduction in child support if a significant change has occurred in a father's life circumstances.