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General Child Support
   

How do I apply for Child Support Services?

Custodial or non-custodial parents may apply for services at the local agency in their county of residence, or they may obtain an application from the website. A non-refundable processing fee of $25.00 (money order or certified check) is required at the time of application.
   

I submitted an application for services and the $25.00 application fee. How long will it be before I hear from Child Support?

After receiving your completed application packet, signed and notarized required documents and fee, Child Support Services will establish a case for you on the computer system. Child Support Services has 20 calendar days to establish the case. If additional information is not needed from you, your case will be processed through the various case functions. Child Support is required to notify the custodial parent of major events in a case such as court dates and paternity testing appointments.

To check the status of your submitted application click the apply now tab and select 'check my application status' or click here.
   

How are child support amounts decided?

Child Support Services follows guidelines established by State Law in establishing support amounts. You may view a copy of Georgia guidelines (O.C.G.A. 19-6-15) by linking to Georgia Child Support Law.
   

Isn't there a program that will pay the non-custodial parent's support if he/she fails to pay?

There are currently no state or federal programs that will provide support owed by an individual.
   

What does 'due process' mean?

Under the United States Constitution, each individual has the right to 'due process'. This means that each person has the right to be notified of an intended action and must be allowed a time period in which to respond before the action can be taken.
   

Georgia Child Support Law

You can search the Official Code of George Annotated (O.C.G.A.) by title and section on the 19-6-15.
   

Can I take a paternity test?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing is available to alleged fathers if paternity has not been previously established by a court order, marriage, or the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment process. Please discuss this option with an DCSS agent.
   

Why does it take so long to locate the non-custodial parent?

Generally, the more information about the non-custodial parent you can provide, the easier it is to locate him/her. Locate is just one part of the child support process. Same Day Service - Applicants requesting Same Day Service processing must bring the completed application, all required and supporting documents to the local Child Support Office before 3:00 pm.

You also have the option of completing the online application then download completed application to take to the local Child Support Office along with all required and supporting documents.
   

How long will it take before I receive a payment once an Income Deduction Order (IDO) has been put in place?

The paperwork to the employer to begin wage deductions is sent within 2 days of receiving the employment information on obligated (cases with Court ordered child support) cases. The first payment should be sent to Child Support Services 4 to 6 weeks after the non-custodial parent's employer receives the Income Deduction Order (IDO).
   

How can I collect money for unpaid medical bills?

You must obtain a judgment for unpaid medical bills and provide a certified copy of the judgment to your local Child Support office. Child Support will then take action to collect the judgment.
   

What is the status of my case?

Registered customers can review actions taken on their case via the portal by accessing the My Case screen. If a customer does not have access to a computer or internet, the Customer Contact Center can be contacted by calling 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347). Customers can also visit a local child support office.
   

The agent that is working my case doesn't seem to be working my case properly. Is there anyone else I can speak with about this?

You should contact the individuals listed below in the order they are listed:
  • The agent's supervisor     1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347)
  • The supervisor's manager     1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347)
  • The Region Manager   (phone # posted in local office lobby)
  • The Director's Communication Group

The Director's Communication Group
Two Peachtree Street NW 20th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
Email:Information Request Form found at http://ocss.dhr.georgia.gov
Fax:404-463-7351
   

My local office refers me to the hotline, but the lines are always busy or the mailbox is full. How am I supposed to get information on my case?

In efforts to be accessible to our clients, Child Support Services has recently increased the number of representatives working at the hotline, and will be providing increased case information online. The information provided online and from the hotline will be the same information. The hotline 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347) provides the following options:
  • Automated payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (option 1)
  • Connection to ACS for questions relating to debit card (option 3)
  • Questions regarding portal registration and assistance in resetting online passwords (option 4)
  • Connection to a hotline representative (available Monday through Friday from 7 AM until 6 PM excluding week-ends and state holidays).
   

Why can't I serve the non-custodial parent with court papers?

Individuals with the authority to serve legal paperwork must be an employee with a Sheriff's department or have legal authority granted by a court order.
   

How do I get a copy of my court order?

You may get a copy of your court order from the Child Support office that manages your case by:
   

What happens when the non-custodial (NCP) parent quits his job?

Employers are required to send written notice to Child Support Services when a non-custodial parent's employment is terminated. When payments stop coming in or when the employer contacts Child Support Services to notify us that the non-custodial parent is no longer working there (whichever occurs first), the agent assigned to your case will review the case and determine the next enforcement action to take. If you have up to date information about the non-custodial parent such as unemployment compensation, new employer, pending workers compensation claims, etc, please update Child Support Services with this information. You may report this information to:
  • Customer Contact Center at 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347), option 3
  • email using the 'Information Request Form' found at ocss.dhr.georgia.gov
  • Contact your local Child Support office directly.
   

What are the employer withholding limits?

Employers may not withhold more than the lesser of:
  1. The amounts allowed by the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673(b))
  2. The amounts allowed by the State of the employee's/obligor's principal place of employment.

The total of all support order amounts and repayment amounts may not exceed the limitations of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) as noted Procedure 725.4. Although the non-custodial parent's employer is responsible for making sure the CCPA limits are not exceeded, the agent should try to avoid reaching this limitation.

   

My child is still in school. Why has child support stopped?

Any Georgia court order issued after 1993 establishing child support amounts should provide for support to continue until the child turns 18. If the child is still in high school past the age of 18, support will continue until the child finishes high school or reaches the age of 20, whichever occurs first. If your court order was issued prior to 1993 or in a state other than Georgia, support is due as indicated in the court order. Generally, Georgia court orders entered prior to 1993 cannot be modified to extend support past the child's 18th birthday.
   

What are child support guidelines?

Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 19-6-15) provides guidelines for establishing child support amounts. You may view this law by linking to Georgia Child Support Law.
   

Will I be charged a fee for actions taken in my case?

Child Support Services has legal authority to charge fees for services provided. http://ocse.dhr.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHS-OCSE/menuitem.fdaf90bdfb488bd18e738510da1010a0/?vgnextoid=fa594856c8b65110VgnVCM100000bf01010aRCRD
 
Name and Address Updates
   

How may I update my mailing and email addresses, employer, telephone number and fax numbers?

Registered Custodial Parents and Non-custodial parents may update their information via the portal by accessing the Provide Information screen.
   

If I make online changes to my mailing and email addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and employer information, will this information be updated immediately on my case?

Custodial Parent information will update immediately. Non-custodial parent information will generate a message to the case agent who will review the information prior to updating case information.
   

How do I change the name on my case?

Requests for name changes should be sent to your local office along with legal verification.
 
Enforcement Actions
   

When is my case considered delinquent?

A case is considered delinquent when unpaid support is equal to or greater than the monthly support ordered amount. A 30-day delinquency notice is automatically mailed to the non-custodial parent (NCP) by the Child Support Services computer system.
   

Why do I have to wait 30 days for enforcement?

The Georgia DCSS system is programmed to automatically mail a delinquency notice to the NCP when the case is 30 days delinquent. This 30 day delinquency notice complies with standards mandated by federal law.

Many enforcement actions are taken automatically by the computer system such as: Referrals for tax and lottery intercepts, Referrals to credit bureaus and reporting agencies, Revocation/denial of passports, Denial of recreational licenses, Suspension/denial of driver's licenses, and Delinquency notices.
   

What type of enforcement actions can be taken against the non-custodial parent for not paying support?

DCSS has many administrative enforcement actions available including: Automatic wage withholding, Driver's and professional license suspensions, Tax refund and lottery intercepts and Referrals to credit bureaus. Other actions include: Liens and Tag registration and passport denials or suspensions. Judicial 'Contempt of Court' actions are usually taken when administrative enforcement actions have failed. The agent assigned to your case determines which enforcement action is most appropriate.
   

Why can't Child Support file an abandonment warrant for me?

The Abandonment of a minor child is criminal in nature and requires action to be taken by the custodian of the minor child(ren). DCSS does not have the legal authority or jurisdiction to initiate criminal actions.
   

My child's father lives in another state. Why does it take so long for your office to take enforcement action when he doesn't pay?

NCPs that live outside the state of Georgia are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and laws of the state in which they reside. Accordingly, Child Support Services must rely on authorities in the NCP's state of residence to take enforcement action on your case.
   

When is my case eligible for Driver's License suspension?

A case is eligible for driver's license suspension when the NCP has not paid the current and/or arrears support ordered amounts for the previous 60 days. The arrears balance must be equal to or greater than two times the monthly support ordered amounts. The Notice of Intent to Deny or Suspend Driver's License is automatically mailed to the NCP when it is determined that the case is delinquent.

DCSS has enhanced its computer system to allow an electronic interface with the Department of Drivers Services' computer system. All notices of suspension are sent to DDS electronically.
   

My license was suspended by Child Support. How can I get my license back?

Contact with your local office is the key to working out a manageable agreement to get a release of a driver's or professional license.
   

How long does it take to process a license suspension?

The license suspension process begins when a case is 60 days delinquent. A Notice of Intent must be sent to the NCP informing him/her of the intended action and allowing an opportunity to request an audit or an administrative hearing. The NCP must respond to the notice within 30 calendar days of mailing in order for the agent to take the appropriate action on the case. The license cannot be suspended unless the NCP fails to respond to the notice within 30 days.
 
Modification of Support
   

How can I receive an increase or decrease in child support payments?

You must submit a written request for a modification review to the local office that manages your case. An objective evaluation will be conducted to determine whether the amount of child support will increase, decrease, or remain unchanged. Request Review of Support Order
   

Why isn't a modification review automatically done every 2 to 3 years for an increase since the standard of living increases nearly every year?

A modification review does not always result in an increase in the support amount. Many factors of both the custodial and non-custodial parents are considered in a review which can result in an increase, a decrease, or a no change decision. At the present time no modification reviews are conducted unless the custodial or non-custodial parent makes a request for the review. Request Review of Support Order
 
Other
   

What is the Fatherhood Program?

The Fatherhood Program offers vocational training; job counseling and placement assistance; and classes on parenting, job interviewing and financial management to non-custodial parents who are unemployed or underemployed.
   

What is the Access and Visitation Program?

The Child Access and Visitation Program addresses the needs of non-custodial parents who want visitation with their children. Research has shown that parental contact is related to the payment of child support and the father's involvement in the lives of his child(ren) improves the child's development and self-esteem. To qualify for this program, the non-custodial parent must have an active case with DCSS.

Please check with your local DCSS office for the availability of this program in your area.
   

Federal Child Support Services

Links to the Home Page for the Federal DCSS Program.
   

Other State Sites

A map of the United States allows you to click on a state and connect to that state's DCSS home page. The map includes options for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam; however, links to these three sites are not available at this time. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.html
   

Georgia Family Support Registry (FSR)

Effective July 1, 2000, Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 19-6-33.1(c) requires that the Georgia Family Support Registry (FSR) collect and process all child support payments.

Employers or Private Attorneys should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1800
Carrollton, GA 30112-1800

NCP's should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1600
Carrollton, GA 30112-1600

Out of State Child Support Agencies should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1700
Carrollton, GA 30112-1700
 
Payments
   

How do I get a copy of my payment history?

Non-custodial parents may get a copy of their payment history by:
   

How do I get a copy of my payment history?

Custodial parents may get a copy of their payment history by:
  • Printing the information from the Case Payments screen via this site.
  • Contacting local office:
  • Emailing us using the 'Information Request Form' found at
    ocss.dhr.georgia.gov
  • Contacting the Card Vendor for printout of activity on the card.
   

How should I make emergency payments?

For immediate receipt of a payment, go to your local Western Union location. Contact the local child support office for the code needed to make this payment.Other payment options include - Bank Account Credit/Debit Cards, setting up bank account for automatic payment, and Visa or Mastercard Credit/Debit Card online payments.Family Support Registry
   

Where should I mail my payments?

Employers and Private Attorneys should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1800
Carrollton, GA 30112-1800

NCP's should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1600
Carrollton, GA 30112-1600

Out of State Child Support Agencies should mail payments to:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1700
Carrollton, GA 30112-1700
   

Has a payment been collected for my children?


Automated information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm except on state holidays.
If payments are not showing from the above sources, a payment has not been received.
   

My check summary shows checks that have cleared the bank that I did not cash. How do I go about getting that investigated?

The first thing you should do is request a copy of the check. You may do this online on the check detail screen. If the endorsement signature is not yours, you should file a police report and provide a copy of the report to your local Child Support office. Click on the check number to view the information. When the check information is displayed, and if the system is showing a date when it cleared the bank, you will see the link to request a check copy.

The local office will contact you when the check copy is received. You will have to review the signature and if you determine it is not your signature you will be required to file a police report for a stolen check. You will need to provide a copy of the report to the local office and they will complete a request for a bank investigation. The bank will determine based on its investigation whether or not a credit is issued to replace the stolen check. (NOTE: The bank will not investigate claims on check over 1 year old.)
   

What should I do if I lost my check?

You may request a stop payment online on the check detail screen.Click on the check number to view the information. If there is no cleared date shown you will see a link to request a stop payment on the check. (Note: The system will not process stop payment requests on checks less than 25 days old.) Once the stop payment is confirmed at the bank the check will be cancelled on the system and a new check issued and mailed.

If you have lost your Epic card or it has been stolen you will need to contact their customer service at 800-656-1347. There will be a $5.00 charge for the replacement card.
   

What should I do if I believe my check was stolen?

You must obtain a police report and then provide a copy of the report to your local Child Support office.This would apply to a refund check sent to the NCP.
   

How long will it be before a replacement check is issued to me?

The length of time for a replacement check to be issued depends on the response time from the bank. This would apply to a NCP.
   

A payment has been made on my case but is being held due to a bad address. What should I do?

You should update your address online in the Provide Case Information section. A check will be mailed to your updated address within 48 business hours.
   

A check was mailed to me but was returned to Child Support Services. What should I do?

You should update your address online in the Provide Case Information section. A check will be mailed to your updated address within 5 business days.
   

An involuntary payment is being held by Child Support. Why is Child Support holding my child's money?

Involuntary payments are held in escrow a minimum of 180 days to allow the non-custodial parent time to request a hearing if he/she disagrees with the collection. This 'due process' right is required by federal and state laws.
   

A payment was mailed to Child Support in my state, but I haven't received it yet. What should I do?

You should contact the Child Support Services office in your state for details.
   

I am not receiving the full amount of child support paid in my case because there's a balance due to the state. Why is the state keeping my child's money?

A debt to the state is created when public assistance in the form of cash is provided to a minor child. If you disagree with the balance due, you should contact your child support agent.
   

Payment frequencies?

The payment frequency calculator allows constituents to convert child support obligations to weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly and monthly amounts.
   

Why can't non-custodial parents view checks made to custodial parents?

Due to confidentiality regulations, individuals may not view payments issued to another individual.
   

Will I be charged a fee if I request a copy of a check?

A $5.00 fee per copy will be required prior to processing your request for check copies for all copies beyond the first 5 copies per client per calendar year. Fees are required to be paid via money order or certified check.

Contact the Card Vendor for printout.
   

If my payment history shows a payment was made to me, will the money be in my bank account on the payment date?

Child Support Services' bank transfers funds to your banking institution within 48 hours of the payment date (excluding week-ends and holidays). You should check with your banking institution to see how long it takes for the funds to credit to your account.
 
Direct Deposit
   

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

If you are a registered user, you may apply for Direct Deposit on this website by clicking on the Site Map link in the left column. When the Site Map page displays, click on the Direct Deposit link under the heading Case Payments. From the Direct Deposit link, you can follow the directions on each page to complete your request for Direct Deposit. If you are not a registered user, you will first need to register by clicking the Register link in the left column.

To sign up offline, you must complete an application and provide a voided check or deposit slip for your bank account to your local Child Support office. You may download an application form online or request a form to be mailed to you by calling your local Child Support office.
   

Is direct deposit available for checking and savings accounts?

Yes.
   

After I sign up for direct deposit, how long will it be before payments are deposited into my bank account?

Direct Deposit will begin on the next child support payment made to you. DCSS transfers funds to your bank within 48 hours of the payment date (excluding weekends and holidays). You should check with your bank to see how long it takes for the funds to credit to your account.
   

Can I sign up for direct deposit if I live outside Georgia?

You may sign up for direct deposit if you live outside Georgia if payments are sent directly to you. The bank must be housed in the State of Georgia. If payments are sent to a Child Support office in another state and then sent to you, you should contact Child Support in your state to sign up for direct deposit there. DCSS transfers funds to your bank within 48 hours of the payment date (excluding weekends and holidays) after you have signed up for Direct Deposit.
 
Tax Money
   

My child support payments are being deducted from my wages. I am paying an extra amount toward my arrears. Why has my tax refund money been offset?

Regulations require that if you owe more than $150.00 in total arrears your case must be submitted for tax offset.
   

Can the non-custodial parent's taxes be offset or intercepted?

Federal Law 303.72 gives Child Support Services the authority to intercept non-custodial parent's taxes if the case meets established criteria. Involuntary payments are held in escrow a minimum of 180 days to allow the non-custodial parent time to request a hearing if he/she disagrees with the collection. This 'due process' right is required by federal and state laws
   

I received a notice from the Department of Treasury or the Department of Revenue telling me my tax refund was sent to Child Support. Why isn't the payment showing on my case?

Notices from the Department of Treasury and Department of Revenue are mailed to the non-custodial parent when his/her tax return is processed. Intercepted funds are transferred electronically to Child Support Services(CSS) one time each month, and usually include several hundred payments. Payments usually reach CSS within 60-90 days after you receive your notice of the tax offset.
   

An involuntary payment is being held by Child Support. Why is Child Support holding my child's money?

Involuntary payments are held in escrow a minimum of 180 days to allow the non-custodial parent time to request a hearing if he/she disagrees with the collection. This "due process" right is required by federal and state laws.
 
TANF/GAP
   

What is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a public assistance cash grant that is provided to households with qualifying minor children.
   

How do I apply for TANF?

To apply for TANF, go to the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in the county where you live.
   

Will I be able to receive a TANF grant and my full child support payments?

If you receive a monthly TANF grant, you will receive the full amount of child support paid each month up to the GAP amount. Any child support paid that goes over the GAP amount will be retained by the state as payment toward the public assistance you are receiving.
   

What is GAP?

The maximum amount of income allowed to a household minus the TANF grant amount is the GAP amount.
   

Who determines household ceiling amounts and GAP amounts?

The Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
 
Arrears
   

How will the arrears be collected?

The most common method of collecting arrears is to deduct current support plus an additional amount from the non-custodial parent's wages. Other methods used to collect arrears include tax refund intercepts, license suspensions, lottery intercepts, passport suspensions and contempt actions.
   

What are arrears?

Arrears are past due child support amounts. If you disagree with your case arrears, you may request an audit by contacting your case agent.
 
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