Available Child Support Services
Location Services: In order to provide services, the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) must know where the custodial parent lives and/or works. The CSEU will search for the non-custodial parent using the Child Support Management System computer (CSMS). This system continuously and automatically searches various databases of both federal and state agencies in an effort to locate the NCP. You can help locate the NCP and speed up the process by providing the CSEU with as much information as possible about the NCP.
Paternity Services: Establishing paternity means obtaining a legal order identifying the father of the child(ren). Some of the reasons it is important to have paternity established include providing the child(ren) with a sense of identity. All kids know they have a mother and father. Later in life, knowing the father was doing the right thing by providing child support, a future relationship has a much better chance of surviving. Paternity should be established immediately after the birth of the child. As time goes on, locating the father may become more difficult and less likely to admit paternity causing a delay in the establishment.
Paternity must be established to:
- Get an order of support for the child(ren)
- Get private health insurance for the child(ren), if it’s available to the NCP.
- Protect you child(ren)’s rights to survivor benefits; Veterans Benefits, Social Security Benefits, Military Allowance, Workman’s Compensation and inheritance
- Provide a legal record of identity of the child(ren)’s parents
- Allows the fathers name to be entered on the Birth Certificate
- Provide emotional benefits to the child by knowing the identity of both parents
Paternity can be established in two ways:
- A father can acknowledge paternity voluntarily if both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, which can be obtained at the hospital at the time the child is born or at the CSEU. This is a document that legally establishes paternity without the need to go to Family Court.
- A paternity petition filed with the Family Court asks the court to determine if a particular man is the child’s father. If, at the paternity hearing, the man continues to deny paternity, the Support Magistrate will order a genetic marker test that will help determine paternity.