LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Stephen Ross King | Apr 26, 2011

FAQ regarding Hamilton County, Ohio CSEA

When will I begin receiving payments?

Once the court or CSEA has set and finalized a support order, it generally takes two to six weeks to implement an income withholding to the non-custodial parent’s employer or set up a bank deduction order. This can vary between employers and the circumstances of each case. However, the non-custodial parent is still responsible for making payments until the income withholding or bank deduction order begins. Once the CSEA receives a support payment, it must process the support payment within 48 hours.

How do I receive payments?

Custodial parents have two options for receiving child support:

e-QuickPay card or Direct Deposit.

· E-QuickPay is a Mastercard debit card designed specifically for Ohio child support recipients. Parents can access their money at banks, ATMs and at stores across the state, nation and world. The card is accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted. To receive a card, parents must fill out an enrollment form. You can download the form by visiting the website for the county in which your case is in.

· Direct Deposit into the parent’s bank account is also available. Parents interested in this option must fill out an enrollment form and send it to Child Support Payment Central, PO Box 182812, Columbus, OH 43218-2812 or fax the form to 614-895-0728. You can download the form on the CSEA website.

What services does the CSEA provide?

Prior to contacting CSEA in the following areas, we recommend that you speak to an experienced family law attorney. A child support enforcement agency follows administrative rules, which are often different than the rules that courts must follow. In addition to the differences between administrative and legal processes, CSEA representatives are not permitted to provide legal advice, and do not represent you in these matters. Please contact King, Koligian & Associates at (513) 793-2353 if you would like assistance in any of the following areas. On many occasions, our advice to our clients is to utilize the services of the county, if the specific circumstances of their case warrant doing so. If you have dealt with CSEA in any of the following areas, and are dissatisfied with the results, please contact our office immediately. In some cases, the decisions of CSEA can be modified, or even set aside. The time limits for doing are very short, so IT IS IMPORTANT that you contact an attorney immediately if you wish to challenge the decisions of the child support enforcement agency.

· Paternity establishment for children born out-of-wedlock

· Support order establishment

· Modification of support orders

· Enforcement of support and health insurance orders

· Collection of child support by attachment and withholding from wages, financial institution accounts, unemployment benefits, workers compensation benefits, social security disability benefits, retirement benefits, federal and state income tax refunds and other benefits.

· Location of parents responsible for support

What types of issues will the CSEA NOT handle?

Please contact King, Koligian & Associates at (513) 793-2353 to speak with a family law attorney for assistance with the following issues:

· Visitation issues, including requests for enforcing or establishing visitation rights.

· Determination of a child(ren)’s custody, including requests for changes and/or modifying custody or a change in residential parent.

· Property settlement issues

· Arresting or physically detaining anyone

· Obtaining documents for a case, such as a birth certificate, divorce decree, tax return, or other necessary paperwork – Individuals may obtain these by contacting the appropriate court, health department or taxing entity.

· Legal representation for either the custodial or non-custodial parent.

· Domestic Violence

NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS

How do I make a payment?

If the CSEA or court has ordered you to pay child support, you have several different options for making payments. Please remember, you should NOT make payments directly to the custodial parent. The CSEA deems direct payments as a gift that will not count toward your child support obligation.

Payment options are:

· Income withholding order – If you are employed at the time the order is set, the court or CSEA will automatically issue an income withholding order to your employer. The order will direct them to deduct your child support from your paycheck.

· Cash or credit card payments– Cash and credit card payments cannot be sent to CSPC in Columbus. Contact your local CSEA to determine whether they accept cash or credit cards in person.

· Financial institution deduction – The CSEA can issue a deduction order to a parent’s financial institution. The institution will then deduct the court ordered amount directly from the parent’s account.

· Check or money order payments – Parents should send all check or money order payment to Child Support Payment Central (CSPC), PO Box 182372, Columbus, OH 43218. Write your SETS number (the 10-digit number beginning with a “7") and your court order number on the check or money order.

· Online options – Parents can pay online by credit card at e-childspay.com or sign up for a bank deduction at expertpay.com. There is a fee associated with both of these services, in addition to the CSEA 2% processing fee.

What happens if I miss a payment?

The agency will take action to enforce an order when the support is one month or more in default. We will make inquires to determine why the parent is no paying their support (illness, loss of employment, change of employment, etc.) and then work with all parties concerned to see that support is paid.

If the parent refuses to pay his/her support, the agency may take a number of actions depending on the nature of the case. These actions include:

· Withholding wages from earnings, unemployment benefits, workers compensation benefits, social security benefits and disability benefits

· Suspending driver’s, professional and recreational licenses

· Placing liens on real and/or personal property

· Freezing/seizing bank account funds

· Reporting party to the Credit Bureau

· Featuring parent on wanted poster

· Denying/seizing passports

· Requesting a finding of contempt of court

· Pursuing criminal non-support charges

Can I request an adjustment to my support order?

Please contact King, Koligian & Associates at (513) 793-2353 to speak with a family law attorney regarding adjustments in your child support order, prior to contacting the Child Support Enforcement Agency. The rules for administrative changes vary greatly from the rules applied to courts when changes are being requested. Information provided to you by county employees is not legal advice, and in all likelihood, will not be consistent with the advice received from an experienced family law attorney. In some cases, it is not in your best interest to contact CSEA to request a modification to your support order, and that is information that you would want to know before filing a request that you regret at a later time. In many instances, following a consultation with a family law attorney, our advice to our clients is to utilize the agency’s services to modify their child support. When we make that recommendation, we also instruct our clients in how to challenge the decision the agency makes, in those cases where it is unreasonable or against their interest. If you have met with one of our attorneys, and we have recommended that you utilize the CSEA to modify your support order, the following guidelines will apply in administrative actions.

Administrative Procedures for Modification of Support Orders

If your income or the income of the other party has changed, either upward or downward by at least 30%, you may request a review of your case for a possible modification of the order. Your case must meet the criteria for a review before the agency can being the process for a possible modification of your order. To determine the criteria, please contact your CSEA representative in person or via their website and request an “administrative request form" and “other party questionnaire".

If the CSEA finds that your case is eligible for a review according to Ohio law, the CSEA will contact both parties within 15 days or less from the time of the request. The CSEA will ask that the parties submit information to the CSEA within 45 days (sooner if both parties waive the 45-day period via an enclosed waiver form). Based on that information, the CSEA will then determine if the agency ca modify the support order. If the agency makes no modification, you may file a motion with the court requesting that the court modify your order.

If you disagree with the recommendation of the CSEA, you may request an administrative hearing. A request form will be included with the agency’s recommendation. An attorney who acts as a hearing officer for the CSEA will conduct this hearing. The CSEA will usually schedule a hearing within 15 days from the time we receive the request for an administrative hearing. The hearing officer will consider the information previously submitted, plus any other evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing officer will then issue an administrative order and mail his/her decision to each party within 10 days or less from the time of the administrative hearing.

If you disagree with the hearing officer, you may request a court hearing. The court will then schedule a court date in accordance with its calendar and docket time.

CONTACTING HAMILTON COUNTY CSEA

ADDRESS:

Hamilton County Job & Family Services

222 E. Central Parkway, 1st Floor

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

PHONE NUMBERS

Hamilton County CSEA: (513) 946-SETS (946-7387)

24-hour automated information line: 1-800-860-2555

Additional resources provided by the author

www.knkfamilylaw.com

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