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Child Support Services: Frequently Asked Questions

Tax Information

1. Why is there a child support program?

Child Support Services is part of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). CSS administers the program with in-house staff and through contracts with local district attorneys and non-profit agencies.

In December 1974 the U.S. Congress amended Title IV of the Social Security Act by adding Part D – Child Support and Establishment of Paternity. Title IV-D required each state to designate an organization to administer a plan for enforcing child support. Services provided by CSS to parents under this law are called IV-D cases.

Non IV-D cases refer to all child support cases within Oklahoma other than Title IV-D cases. Generally, these cases are enforced privately by the custodial party (obligee) or noncustodial parent (obligor) or their attorney.


2. What is the purpose of child support?

Child support is based upon the concept that children are entitled to the support of both parents. This recognizes that there are costs associated with raising children. For example, the custodial parent often has to secure larger living quarters than he/she would otherwise need. The custodial parent may need larger or different transportation, in addition to basic food, clothing, school supplies, medical expenses and so forth. The custodial parent is often paying these things directly. Child support is designed to partially offset these expenses and even out the burden based upon the parent's respective incomes.

3. Are there services CSS does not provide?

Yes, CSS does not provide these services:

Property settlements

Visitation or custody issues

Attorney's fees

Spousal support only.

 

Who is eligible for CSS Services?

CSS Provides services to:

Custodians of children receiving TANF, State Medicaid, or Aid to the Blind or Disabled when at least one parent is absent from the home

Noncustodial parents of children receiving assistance from the CSS

Custodians of children not receiving assistance when at least one parent is absent from the home

Any person who is responsible for paying child support.



5. I am applying for assistance under TANF. Do I have to seek child support from the children's noncustodial parent?
Yes.

When your TANF case is opened, CSS will automatically initiate a child support case. Failure to cooperate on the child support case can cause the TANF assistance to be denied.


 

6. When I was a child, the noncustodial parent did not pay the support he/she was ordered to pay. Can I collect the money that is owed?

The former custodial parent, not the now-emancipated child, is the person with standing to enforce the unpaid child support that accrued during the minority of the child.

Authority: Stanton v. Stanton, 421 US 7, 11 (1975); Doak v. Doak, 1940 OK 256; Lowry v. Lowry, 1941 OK 323.



7. My child will turn 18 soon but he is still in high school. What will happen to the child support?
If the order was issued in Oklahoma, and if the child is still in high school at age 19, child support is payable until age 20, or the date of graduation, whichever comes first. For orders issued in other states, the law of that state governs the termination of the child support obligation.


 

8. I live in another state. Can I get help from CSS in Oklahoma?
Yes.

If you have an open case in another state and the other parent or party lives in Oklahoma, your local case worker can submit requests to CSS in Oklahoma. All communication with CSS in Oklahoma should go through your local case worker in your home state.

If you have not already initiated a child support case through another state child support agency, you may make an application for child support services directly with CSS by submitting a completed Application for Child Support Services (Form: 03EN001E) (.pdf, 18 pp, 734 KB) to Child Support Services. You do not have to be an Oklahoma resident to apply for child support services in Oklahoma.



9. Does CSS charge for its services?

Yes, In qualifying cases,  CSS collects an annual $35 fee once $550.00 support has been collected and issued. This fee is required by and sent to the federal government.  CSS also charges the custodial parent a 3% up to $10.00 monthly service fee on all collections distributed

more information regarding eligibility view our

10.How do I apply for CSS services?

To receive an Application for Child Support Services in the mail, call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at 1-800-522-2922 and follow the prompts to request an application.


You may also download a copy of the Application for Child Support Services (Form: 03EN001E) from the Internet.

Mail the completed application with a full copy of all child support orders to the Case Initiation Center address as provided in the application packet. Families applying for TANF, State Medicaid, or Aid to the Blind and Disabled must complete a child support referral form at the local DHS office. The referral is then electronically submitted to CSS.


11. What information is needed to collect child support?
The most important piece of information about the noncustodial parent is his or her:

  • Social Security number
    All other helpful information:

Date of birth

Address

Name of employer

Bank account numbers

Names and contact Information for  relatives and friends who may have information on the non-custodial parent's current whereabouts

Property ownership documents
Not all of this information may be needed in each case. The local CSS office may be requesting other information from you to work your individual case.

12. Where can I find this information?
Good sources of this information include:

State and federal tax returns

Hospital or medical records

Paycheck stubs

Military records

Insurance policies.

13. What if I don't have a social security number for the non-custodial parent?
State and federal tax returns, paycheck stubs, military records, and insurance policies may have the non-custodial parent's social security number on them. Any other information, such as date of birth, address, name of employer, bank account numbers, names and contact information on relatives and friends who may have information on the non-custodial parent's current whereabouts, and property ownership documents, can be helpful as well.

14. How much child support will be ordered?
Child support in Oklahoma is ordered using:

  • The gross income of both parents
  • Along with any medical insurance premium being paid by one parent and
  • Actual child care expenses being paid to the child care provider
    This information plus any other information required under the law is inserted into a calculation called the Child Support Guidelines and computed to determine the monthly child support obligation the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay. Only a judge can order that child support be paid. You can obtain a copy of the Child Support Guidelines Computation application at the following places:

Your local court clerk;

The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network internet site. (Link opens in new window)
There is an instruction page with the form which explains how to use it.

15. Where do I send Child Support payments?
Payments should be sent to the appropriate address below. For further information, please visit the "How to: Make a Payment" page.

Employers
send payments to:
Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry
P. O. Box 268809
Oklahoma City, OK 73126‑8809

Noncustodial Parents
send payments to:
Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry
P. O. Box 268849
Oklahoma City, OK 73126‑8849

Child Support Offices and Interstate Payments
send payments to:
Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry
P. O. Box 268954
Oklahoma City, OK
73126‑8954

16. What can I do to get my support increased if I think it is too low or too high?

If the order was not issued in the past 12 months, and your case has not already been reviewed in that time, you can submit a written request for modification to your case worker. The case worker will send financial affidavits to both parties and use those to determine if the support amount should be modified. If the calculated support amount differs by more than 20 percent from the existing support order, the order may be modified regardless of whether the change is an increase or decrease.

17. If a judge makes a decision I disagree with, what can I do?
After an administrative hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and an administrative order is entered establishing or enforcing a child support order, you may appeal the order to district court within 30 days. You may appeal a district court order to the appellate court within the time frames set out in Oklahoma law.

18. Do I need to tell CSS when I move?

Yes.

If CSS does not have the proper address for you, information such as notification letters, debit cards, and child support payments and information cannot be sent to you.

19If the other parent may cause me or the child physical or emotional harm if my address is disclosed, or if I have a protective order against the other parent, what should I do?

Contact your case worker and request a

 (.pdf, 2 pp, 127 KB). You will need to provide an Address of Record which is a public address where legal and other official papers may be mailed. This address may be a post office box. This Address of Record may be given to the other parent or party, but your home address will not be released once the Family Violence Non-Disclosure Statement has been turned in.

20I have been receiving child support directly for years but I recently went to court and the support is now ordered to be paid through CSS. What do I need to do?

If you have an active case with Child Support Services, you should make sure that you provide written notice to CSS of the address to which your child support payments are to be sent. If CSS is not assisting in the collection of your child support order, you should provide this address to the Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry. If you change your address, you should notify CSS or the Payment Registry in writing of your new address.

If you do not have an active case with the CSS to receive full services, you will need to fill out an

 (.pdf, 18 pp, 734 KB). An application can be found at any child support office where you can go or you can call to ask for one to be mailed, or through this Web site. A copy of your court orders will need to be included with the application.

21What if I am in the military and called to active duty?

If you have been called to active duty, please notify Child Support Services to report the change in address and/or employment status by calling 1-800-522-2922. For further information, please read our Information for

22 Credit Bureau Reporting and the Military

When a customer is called to or is on active duty in the nation's armed services the customer is given an additional two months grace period. This allows DFAS to get the income withholding in place. The automated system determines when a customer has entered active duty.

23What are arrears?

"Arrears," "arrearage," or "past-due support" means the total amount of unpaid support obligations that have accrued under a support order.

24When is my case considered delinquent?

Child support is considered "delinquent" if it is not received on the date the payments are due, according to the court order. If an income assignment is in effect, the schedule for receiving payments may be affected by the terms of the notice to the employer and the payroll dates of the employer. In those cases, if child support is not received in full by CSS by the last day of the month, it is considered "delinquent." However, there are certain criteria that must be met before any enforcement action can be taken.

25Credit Bureau Reporting

The federal law requires credit bureau reporting for all state Child Support agencies. The federal requirements for the automation of child support systems direct states to forward arrearage information to credit reporting agencies. This requirement is found in 42 U.S.C. (a) (7). CSS system should automatically update credit bureau information every 30-35 days. Anyone disputing information on his or her credit report may submit a

(Link opens in new window) form to his or her credit bureau. 

26What  Triggers a Credit Bureau Referral?

Triggers are conditions within the states computer system that begin an automated credit bureau process. The following triggers need to be in place to automate the initial referral process:

  • Case status must be open for processing.
  • Case must be open as a full service case.
  • The obligation must be active and complete.
  • The noncustodial parent must have a valid SSN. (Valid does not always mean verified.)
  • The noncustodial parent's address must be updated and verified. 
  • A hearing on the case cannot be pending.
  • The noncustodial parent's past due amount must be greater than $1000 or be two month in arrears.
  • The case must be posting child support due.
  • One final report to credit bureaus when case is closed (04 status), zero balance.

When all of these triggers exist for a case, a noncustodial parent may be referred to the credit bureaus as owing child support. The credit bureaus will then signify that the obligor is "seriously past due."

Note: When a customer pays by income assignment (IA) the automated system identifies  payments received in the prior month. Those payments have a 15-day "grace period" on either end of the review period. If an IA payment arrives a few days early or, late, the customer is not reported as "seriously past due." The customer continues to be reported as "in good standing."

For customers making "voluntary" payments, to determine if the customer is in good standing the prior three months of payments are reviewed to see if the customer has made payments equal to the posting amounts. For these customers, we add a 15-day grace period on the end of the three months review period. Involuntary payments, including IRS and OTC offsets, FIDM, etc, are not included in the three months review period.

27. How can parents receiving services help CSS efforts?

You can help CSS collect support for your family by:

  • Giving CSS all the information asked for on the application
  • Providing all child support orders related to your case
  • Providing a clear, detailed month-by-month record of child support payments received from the noncustodial parent
  • Telling CSS of any periods the other parent had custody
  • Giving CSS clear and complete child support information
  • Informing CSS of any changes in your address
  • Informing CSS of any changes in the noncustodial parent's address, employment, or assets
  • Providing the noncustodial parent's correct Social Security number
  • Making a list of all of the noncustodial parent's hobbies, (hunting, fishing, etc.), professional organizations, or trade unions which may require a professional license 
  • Responding to any request for additional information as soon as possible

Your failure to cooperate with CSS may require CSS to begin a process to close your child support case. If you are receiving public assistance, your grant can be reduced.

28. Can CSS help with questions or problems about visitation?
CSS does not provide visitation services. If you have visitation issues that you need a judge to resolve, you will have to have those issues enforced by the court that issued your order. However, CSS can refer you to the IV-D mediation service that serves the area where you live. They can help you and the other parent resolve your visitation issues through mediation.

 Mediation services for IV-D cases in Oklahoma

29. Do you have an attorney I can talk to about a question I have related to child support?
No.

CSS cannot provide legal advice. You should seek the advice of a private attorney. Child Support Services does not represent you, we represent the state of Oklahoma. However, you will need to provide us with copies of all legal pleadings in this matter.

30. I see you publish a Most Wanted list. How do you decide what non-custodial parents to include on the list?

CSS starts with the top 100 cases by amount owed in child support, along with a list of other criteria. The local offices review the cases to make sure the non-custodial parents (NCPs) are currently eligible. Then the custodial parents (CPs) are mailed a letter to get their approval to publish the NCPs’ information on the Internet. CPs may request the NCP on their case be on the Most Wanted list, but the NCP must meet all of the criteria to be eligible.

31.How do I know if my tax refund was offset for past-due child support?

If your tax refund is offset, FMS mails you an Offset Notice to inform that all or part of the tax refund will be applied to a past-due child support debt.  The Offset Notice advises you to contact CSS to correct any errors or to answer questions about the offset.

32.I filed a joint tax return but I am not responsible for the past-due child support debt
The injured (non-obligated) spouse on a jointly filed tax return may be entitled to a refund of their share of a jointly filed federal tax return offset by CSS.  CSS holds funds offset from joint returns for at least 180 days to allow time for the injured spouse to file IRS Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation).  Form 8379 is filed with the IRS, not with CSS. For more information about this form, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040.  For best results, the Form 8379 should be filed at the same time you file the joint tax return.
 

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