Collection of Child Support

How is child support usually collected? The CSEA normally sends an income withholding order to the employer of the person (payer) ordered to pay the support and 2% processing charge to be deducted directly from their wages. The CSEA or court may also issue income orders to a variety of other sources, including Workers' Compensation, certain Social Security benefits, pensions and annuities. The CSEA or court can also direct the parent to set up an account at a financial institution (such as a bank or credit union) to which a financial institution withholding order can be sent.

When will the caretaker parent receive the support amount? Once an order for support is set and finalized, i.e., the order has been issued and the objection period has passed, it generally takes two to six weeks to fully implement an income withholding. This can vary between employers and the circumstances of each case. Once a support payment is received, it must be processed within 48 hours.

Why is the date that the employer's records reflect the support was withheld different from the date the CSEA's records reflect receiving this support?At least two days must be included for the transmittal of the withheld wages from the employer to the OCSPC. Factors to consider are mailing time, non-business days such as weekends and holidays, and the fact that not every employer sends in the support withheld on the same day the same is withheld from the parent's check.

Why do the amounts of my support check vary even though the order has not been changed?The CSEA adds onto the support amount a 2% processing charge, as set forth under Ohio law. Under Ohio law, however, the payee is to receive any current support received until the monthly amount is satisfied. Only then can the CSEA collect the processing charge. For example, let us say that the payer has an order to pay child support to the payee in the amount of $100.00 per month plus the additional 2% processing charge. Let us further say that the support will be collected every week as the payer is paid on a weekly basis. The person ordered to pay must therefore pay a total of $102.00 every month ($100.00 in current plus $2 for the 2% processing charge). If this is collected on a weekly basis, the order sent to the employer would direct them to withhold $23.54 every week ($102.00 x 12 months divided by 52 weeks). The payee would get the full $23.54 per week until the current month support of $100.00 was paid in full. The remainder would then go to the CSEA up to the amount of processing charge due or owed.

How long can I collect child support? Child support usually ends when the child turns 18 years old unless the child is a full-time student at an accredited high school. In this case, support can continue for as long as the child retains that student status up to the age of 19. Child support could continue beyond this period of time if the child is disabled and dependent or if otherwise ordered by the court.

What if the non-residential parent pays the caretaker parent directly?Any support ordered by the CSEA or court should be paid through the CSEA or be deemed a gift.

What if the caretaker parent marries another party? The caretaker's marriage has no impact on the payer's child support obligation.

What if the child is adopted by another party?Proof of adoption should be sent to the CSEA in a timely manner. While an adoption will in all likelihood terminate the current support obligation, it does not automatically wipe out any delinquent child support payments.

What if the person ordered to pay has died?While the current support obligation terminates upon the death of the payer, delinquent payments may be collected from the payer's estate. The payee may also wish to explore for Social Security death benefits for the child of the deceased.

Can support be stopped if both parents begin to reside together?Yes. If the support was set through the Trumbull County Juvenile Court, the Trumbull County Domestic Relations Court or through the Trumbull County CSEA, the parties may request that the Administrative Hearing Unit conduct a review to see if the support order should be suspended. The order can be terminated if the parties are married. If the parties are married, they should bring a copy of the marriage certificate. All parties should also bring in photo ID in both suspension and termination cases.

You are responsible for your case. If your employer is not deducting your child support money from your paycheck, you must send the money to child support yourself.

Payment Information

  • The Obligor is responsible for making payments to the Ohio Child Support Payment Central until the income source (usually your employer) begins deducting support.
  • In Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court, support orders are effective and payments are due on the day the order is filed, unless otherwise noted in the divorce decree or the separation agreement.
  • Support orders issued by the Trumbull County Child Support Enforcement Agency are effective on the date listed in your support order.
  • Failure to make timely payments will cause you to fall behind on your child support order. The CSEA may initiate any of the following to collect any and all arrearages that may add up, including, but not limited to:
    - Additional wage withholding to satisfy any arrearages
    - Revoke your driver's or professional license
    - Put a lien on your house or personal property
    - Filing a contempt action with the court
    - Interception of federal and state income tax refunds
    - Referral to consumer credit reporting agencies
    - Freeze and/or seize your bank account
  • All payments MUST include:
    1. the 2% assessment fee as required by law; and
    2. the obligor's name, social security number, SETS case number, and order number
  • Payment by check or money order can be mailed. Do Not Send Cash in the Mail
  • Payments are posted upon receipt. Checks are sent to the obligee within 48 hours. If the obligee is receiving public assistance, payments will be forwared to the State of Ohio.