Georgia Department of Human Services

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FAQ

 

Child Support Services, Divison FAQ's

How do I apply for Child Support Services?
How is my child support amount decided?
I’ve submitted my application, how long will it take to establish a child support order?
I’ve completed an Income Deduction Order (IDO). How long will it take before I receive a payment?
How can I collect money for unpaid medical bills?
My payment is being held. Why is child support holding this money?
How can I find out if a payment has been collected for my children?
How do I get a copy of my payment history?
Is direct deposit available for checking and savings accounts?
How do I sign up for direct deposit?
If my payment history shows a payment was made, will the money be in my bank account the same day?
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?
I am dissatisfied with the agent that is working my case. Is there anyone else I can speak with?
Can the non-custodial parent's tax returns be offset or intercepted?
How long does it take to process a license suspension?
How are arrears collected?
What type of enforcement actions can be taken against the non-custodial parent for not paying support?
How can I receive an increase or decrease in child support payments?
How do I get a copy of my court order?
Is there a program that will pay the non-custodial parent's support if he/she fails to pay?
My child is still in school. Why has child support stopped?
What happens when the non-custodial parent quits his/her job?
What is the Access and Visitation Program?
What is the Fatherhood Program?
Will I be able to receive a TANF grant and my full child support payments?
What should I do if my worker says he/she did not get my request for a fair hearing?
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?
Do you perform DNA testing?
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?
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?
My license was suspended by Child Support. How can I get my license back?
Where should I mail my regular payments?
When is my case considered delinquent?
Can I sign up for direct deposit if I live outside Georgia?
A payment was mailed to Child Support in my state, but I haven't received it yet. What should I do?
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?
What is a Non IV-D case?
In the case of a Non IV-D case, what information is needed to register a case for collection and disbursement?
How are payments processed if the NCP has more than one child support case?
Is there a fee for using the Family Support Registry (FSR) to pay child support?
What services does DCSS offer if I submit an application for services?
Why is my child support payment required to go to the Family Support Registry (FSR)?
How may I update my mailing and email addresses, employer, telephone number and fax numbers?
How do I change the name on my case?
 

 

 

Q: How do I apply for Child Support Services?

A: Custodial or non-custodial parents may apply for services at the local agency in their county of residence or online. A non-refundable processing fee of $25 (money order or certified check) is required at the time of application.

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Q: How is my child support amount decided?

A: The Division of Child Support Services follows guidelines established by state law in establishing child support amounts.

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Q: I’ve submitted my application, how long will it take to establish a child support order?

A: After receiving your completed application packet and fee, Child Support Services has 20 calendar days to establish a case. If additional information is needed from you, you will be contacted.

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Q: I’ve completed an Income Deduction Order (IDO). How long will it take before I receive a payment?

A: The first payment is sent to the Division of Child Support Services 4 to 6 weeks after the non-custodial parent's employer receives the IDO.

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Q: How can I collect money for unpaid medical bills?

A: You must obtain a judgment for unpaid medical bills and provide a certified copy of the judgment to your local Child Support office before collecting any money.

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Q: My payment is being held. Why is child support holding this money?

A: Contact the DCSS office in your county.  Occasionally, payments are held in escrow a minimum of 45 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. These payments are called involuntary payments.

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Q: How can I find out if a payment has been collected for my children?

A: Payment information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

  • Online at the Customer Online Services
  • Call 1-877-423-4746 and accessing the automated information for payment
  • If payments are not showing from the above sources, a payment has not been received

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Q: How do I get a copy of my payment history?

A: Custodial parents may get a copy of their payment history:

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Q: Is direct deposit available for checking and savings accounts?

A: Yes

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Q: How do I sign up for direct deposit?

A: You may sign up for direct deposit online. After you sign up, please allow 10 business days for processing. To sign up offline, you must complete a paper application and provide a copy of a check or deposit slip for your bank account to your local child support office. You may download an application form online at Customer Online Services or request a form to be mailed to you by calling your local office.

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Q: If my payment history shows a payment was made, will the money be in my bank account the same day?

A: No. The Division of Child Support Service's bank transfers funds to your banking institution within 2 business days of the payment date (excluding weekends and holidays). Check with your banking institution to determine how long it takes for them to make the credit to your account.

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Q: 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?

A: The Division of Child Support Services has recently increased the number of representatives working at the hotline. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have trouble getting through to the hotline, please visit the website for case specific information at Customer Online Services or try the contact center directly at 1-877-423-4746. The following is an example of the type of information the Contact Center provides:

  • Automated payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (option 1)
  • Debit Card balance (option 2)
  • General case information (option 3)
  • Other information or to reach a contact center representative (available Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM excluding week-ends and state holidays) (option 4)

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Q: I am dissatisfied with the agent that is working my case. Is there anyone else I can speak with?

A: Yes. You should contact the individuals listed below in the order they are listed:

  1. The agent's supervisor
  2. The supervisor's manager
  3. The Region Manager

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Q: Can the non-custodial parent's tax returns be offset or intercepted?

A: Yes. Federal law gives the Division of Child Support Services the authority to intercept non-custodial parents' tax returns if the case meets established criteria.

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Q: How long does it take to process a license suspension?

A: After a 60-day delinquency, the license suspension process may begin. A Notice of Intent must be sent to the non-custodial parent telling him/her of the intended action. The license cannot be suspended until 30 days after the date of the notice of intent.

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Q: How are arrears collected?

A: 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, and contempt actions.

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

A: The Division of Child Support Services has many administrative enforcement actions available including automatic wage withholding, drivers and professional license suspension, tax refund and lottery intercept and referral to credit bureaus. Contempt actions are usually taken when administrative enforcement actions have failed. The agent assigned to your case makes the decision regarding which enforcement tools to use.

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

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

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Q: How do I get a copy of my court order?

A: You may get a copy of your court order from the local child support office that manages your case by:

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Q: Is there a program that will pay the non-custodial parent's support if he/she fails to pay?

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

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

A: 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.

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Q: What happens when the non-custodial parent quits his/her job?

A: Employers are required to send written notice to the Division of Child Support Services when a non-custodial parent's employment is terminated. When payments stop coming in or when the employer contacts us. The agent assigned to your case will review your 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 provide the information online at https://services.georgia.gov/dhr/cspp/do/Logon or by:

  • Emailing us using the Information Request Page
  • Contacting your local office directly

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Q: What is the Access and Visitation Program?

A: The Child Access and Visitation Program addresses visitation needs of non-custodial parents. To qualify for this program, the non-custodial parent must have an active case with us.

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Q: What is the Fatherhood Program?

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

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

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

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Q: What should I do if my worker says he/she did not get my request for a fair hearing?

A: Request that your Case Manager review the sign in sheet of information from the drop box. The majority of all DCSS offices have a drop box of information submitted to the Case Manager.

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Q: 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: A modification review does not always result in an increase in the support amount. Many factors 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 or the custodian is active TANF and the order is over 3 years old.

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Q: Do you perform DNA testing?

A: Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing is available to punitive fathers who are not obligated by an existing support order for the child(ren) in question.

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Q: 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?

A: 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 the Division of Child Support Services one time each month, and usually include several hundred payments. Payments usually reach the office 60-90 days after you receive your notice of the tax offset.

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Q: 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?

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

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

A: Contact your local office to work out a manageable agreement to get a reinstatement of a driver's or professional license.

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Q: Where should I mail my regular payments?

A: Employers should mail payments to:
Family Support Registry (FSR)
PO Box 1800
Carrollton, GA 30112-1800
NCPs should mail payments to:
FSR
PO Box 1600
Carrollton, GA 30112-1600

B: Online Payments can be made on our Customer Online Services page.  

 

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Q: When is my case considered delinquent?

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

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

A: Yes, you may sign up for direct deposit if payments are sent directly to you from Georgia. If payments are sent to a Child Support office in another state and then sent to you, you should contact the Child Support office in your state to sign up for direct deposit there.

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

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

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Q: 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?

A: Non-custodial parents who live outside the state of Georgia are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and laws of the state in which they reside. Accordingly, the Georgia Division of Child Support Services must rely on authorities in the non-custodial parent's state of residence to assist in the enforcement of your order.

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Q: What is a Non IV-D case?

A: A Non IV-D case is a case opened solely for the purposes of the collection and disbursement of child support funds when and if funds are received by the Family Support Registry (FSR). You may submit an application for services if you wish to have DCSS assist you further with your Non IV-D case.

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Q: In the case of a Non IV-D case, what information is needed to register a case for collection and disbursement?

A: To register, you will need a copy of the complete full order including the Income Deduction Order (IDO) and a completed registration sheet (Non IV-D registration form). Please mail it to: IDO Registry, P O Box 1800, Carrollton, GA 30112-1800.

You may submit an application for services if you wish to have DCSS assist you further with your Non-IV-D case.

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Q: How are payments processed if the NCP has more than one child support case?

A: The total payment amount received is pro-rated among all cases. The resolution of payment amount discrepancies, if any, is the responsibility of the non custodial parent.

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Q: Is there a fee for using the Family Support Registry (FSR) to pay child support?

A: Yes. Please refer to the link entitled "Fees" at https://services.georgia.gov/dhr/cspp/do/Logon.

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Q: What services does DCSS offer if I submit an application for services?

A: DCSS applications for services include, but are not limited to:

  • Location of the Non-Custodial Parent for child support purposes
  • Enforcement of a child support order, including medical support, by all applicable means
  • Collection of spousal support when it is included in an Order for Child Support
  • Income Deduction Orders
  • Demand or Arrears Notices
  • Garnish Wages for payment of arrears
  • Most Wanted Campaign (poster and Internet)
  • Passport Denial/Revocation
  • Interception of Georgia Lottery winnings
  • Credit Bureau checks
  • Liens on Unemployment Benefits
  • Liens on motor vehicles and other property
  • Civil Contempt actions, with possibility of jail sentences when found in contempt
  • Bank Account Seizures
  • Drivers and/or Professional License Suspension
  • Interception of Federal and/or State tax refunds
  • Fatherhood Program for non-custodial parents
  • Access and Visitation Services for both parents, includes parent education and supervised visitation

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Q: Why is my child support payment required to go to the Family Support Registry (FSR)?

A: As of July 1, 1999, employers are required by State and Federal Law to send all child support payments deducted based on income deduction orders (IDO's) dated January 1, 1994 or later to FSR for processing and distribution.

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

A: You may update this information online at our Customer Online Services. 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.

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Q: How do I change the name on my case?

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

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