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Technologies improve for child support enforcement

For families in Northern Kentucky dealing with the effects of divorce, unpaid or delinquent child support can be a major concern, especially for single parents struggling to cover their children's everyday expenses. Because of the potential for serious impact on a child's health and well-being, child support enforcement is a priority for agencies at the federal and state levels. One of the most widely used and effective mechanisms to ensure child support payments are collected has been the use of wage garnishment and payroll withholding at a parent's place of employment.

In fact, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) reported that 75 percent of the $33 billion in child support payments it collected in fiscal year 2016 were successfully received through payroll withholding. Despite the success of the program, the OCSE is working with state agencies, employers and payroll companies in order to improve the system.

All employers are required to make a new hire report and follow up with quarterly reports for their employees' wages. However, due to the use of multiple identification numbers on different reports, it can be difficult to verify the employment of a particular person. OCSE is developing a streamlined system that can add to the clarity of the process. In addition, employers with workers in multiple states could face a confusing process. By developing a multistate employer registry, the federal agency can allow employers to file only one report while making the information available to all relevant states.

Improving the technology of child support enforcement can have a real impact on families struggling to make ends meet due to unpaid child support. For families in this difficult situation, working with a family law attorney may help them to take action to seek enforcement of an existing child support court order. Enforcement might include payroll withholding or other actions to help ensure that child support is collected.

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