Why are you involved in my life?

  • Our office became involved in your child support case because the person who has custody of your child(ren) applied for the services of the Child Support Program.  That person may have done so voluntarily or may have been required to do so because your child(ren) are receiving certain public benefits. 
  • You have some control over how heavily involved we become in your child support case.  We will be actively involved long enough to make sure that paternity is established for your child(ren) and an order is issued for you to pay child support.  Once an amount of child support is ordered, we will send an income withholding order to your employer.  The court will order you to notify us whenever your address or employment status changes.  We will send out a new income withholding order whenever you change jobs. So long as you pay child support, on time and in full as ordered, you will most likely not hear anything more from us.

What happens if my employer doesn't withhold child support, or the right amount of support, from my paycheck?

  • If your employer is not withholding any child support from your paycheck, please contact our office by phone or in writing and we will send your employer an income withholding order.  If we have already sent an order and your employer is not complying with it, we will contact your employer and try to straighten out the problem.  In rare cases, when an employer refuses to honor an income withholding order, we will take legal action against the employer.
  • Although the court ordered you to pay a certain amount of child support and perhaps a certain amount toward arrears each week or month, your employer may not be allowed to withhold the full amount from your paycheck.  Federal law requires that no more than 55% (or less, in some cases) of a person's net pay can be withheld for child support obligations.  So, if you work a part time job, work for tips, or work a short week and your paycheck is less than usual, your employer may not be able to withhold all the child support and arrears you are ordered to pay.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure your court-ordered child support obligation is paid in full and on time, regardless of how much is withheld from your paycheck.  Be sure to look at your pay stub each time you are paid.  If your employer has not withheld the full amount, you must promptly pay the rest on your own.  See "I Need to Make A Payment" for instructions.
  • Be aware that it is unlawful in Indiana for an employee to be fired soley because of an incoming withholding order. 

 My employer is taking child support out of my check, but the custodial parent isn't getting it.  Why not?

  • The most likely reason is that the custodial parent is receiving TANF benefits.  Indiana law prohibits a custodial parent from receiving both TANF benefits and child support payments.  Therefore, for any month in which a custodial parent has accepted a cash payment for TANF, all child support paid during that month will be retained by the Child Support Bureau as reimbursement for the TANF benefits.
  • If the custodial parent is not on TANF and is still not receiving the support you pay, something is wrong.  You should first check with your employer to make sure he or she is correctly sending the child support to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit.  You can call the Indiana KidsLine at 1-(800)-840-8757 to make sure that the payments are being received.
  • If payments are being received at the Central Collection Unit but not getting sent to the custodial parent, the custodial parent should check with the Clerk to make sure his or her address is correct.   If that still doesn't fix the problem, either one of you may contact us and we will do our best to find and fix the problem. Be sure to let us know that you have already tried all of the above steps.

All of sudden, you started taking an extra $20 a week out of my paycheck.  How can you do that?

  • Indiana law permits the Child Support Program to automatically increase the amount a non-custodial parent must pay each week or month for past-due child support in cases where the non-custodial parent has fallen further behind since the last court order determining arrears.  The extra amount that can be withheld is determined by how much further behind the non-custodial parent has fallen.    

My driver's license is suspended.  How do I get it back?

  • In Indiana, drivers' licenses are suspended when no child support payments have been made for a period of 3 months and/or the child support delinquency is greater than $2,000.  In order to have your driving privileges reinstated you will need to:
    • Pay your child support arrearage in full or
    • Establish a payment plan which includes an income withholding order or
    • Make another satisfactory payment arrangement with the Child Support Office. 
  • Please contact our office with the name and address of your employer.  We will investigate your case and make a determination as to whether or not the suspension can be lifted.

You've got a lien on the title to my vehicle.  How do I get it taken off?

  • It is the policy of the State of Indiana, as well as our office, to place a lien on any title when that person is at least $1,000 behind in his/her child support obligation, even if that person is making regular child support payments at the present time.  This is simply another tool we use to collect past-due child support more quickly, and it is similar to the interception of your income tax refund.  Even if you are making payments exactly as the court ordered, the State of Indiana will keep a lien on your vehicle until one of two things happen:
    • Your total child support arrearage falls below $1,000 or
    • You are able to make a lump sum payment in exchange for an agreement to release the lien.
  • The amount of the lump sum payment is dependent upon several factors, including the amount of your total arrearage, your payment history, and the year, make and model of the vehicle.  Please contact our office if you wish to negotiate a lump sum payment.  We will evaluate your case and notify you as to whether or not the lien may be lifted.

I missed a court date.  What should I do?

  • You should contact the court.  The court may or may not have issued a writ for your arrest.  If a writ has been issued, the Child Support Office has no authority to cancel the writ or to have you released from jail if you are arrested.

How do I give up my parental rights?

  • Parents are not permitted to give up their parental rights or their responsibilities. Only a court can terminate parental rights, and then only in two very specific types of cases.  The first case is when someone else petitions the court to adopt a child.  The parental rights of the biological parent or parents will be terminated automatically if and when the adoption is granted.  The second case is when a child has been found to be a "child in need of services" due to parental abuse or neglect, and the court has determined that the offending parent is unfit.  Except in those two types of cases, all parents have the continuing responsibility to support their children and the continuing right to be part of their children’s lives.

Why should I pay support if the other parent won't let me see my child?

  • You should pay support because:  (1) it's the law; (2) the court ordered you to and can sanction you if you don't; and (3) it's in your child's best interests.  Support and parenting time are two separate issues, and neither one depends upon the other.  If you believe you are being deprived of the right to participate in your child's life, you may petition the court to enforce your rights.

My taxes have been intercepted.  Why?

  • If a non-custodial parent owes an arrearage on his or her child support order, all or part of his or her Federal and State income tax refunds may be intercepted and applied to the child support arrearage.
  • Our office notifies the Internal Revenue Service and Indiana Department of Treasury of non-custodial parents who owe child support arrears and the amounts of those arrears.  That is the only role we play in tax intercepts, however.   Our office does not participate in the interception or the distribution of the refund.  Those actions are controlled exclusively by the Internal Revenue Service and Indiana Department of Treasury, working with the Indiana Child Support Bureau.  
  • Our office does not have access to information about whether tax refunds will be intercepted, when they will be intercepted, to whom the money will be distributed, or when it will be distributed.  In addition, we cannot discuss tax refunds or interceptions with anyone other than the taxpayer.  This means we cannot provide any information to the custodial parent about the non-custodial parent's tax refunds.

Federal Tax Intercept

To be subject to the interception of a Federal tax refund, a non-custodial parent must have accumulated an arrearage of at least $150, for cases in which there is money owed to the state, or $500, for cases in which all of the arrears is owed to the custodial parent.  

State Tax Intercept

To be subject to the interception of an Indiana tax refund, a non-custodial parent must have accumulated an arrearage of at least $150, regardless of whether the money is owed to the state or to the custodial parent.