When you are a single parent trying to raise a child (or children) on your own, it is vital not only that you receive support from the other parent, but that you receive that support regularly and on time. Failure to receive timely support payments can cripple your household finances. That is why it is so important to make sure safeguards are in place to try to ensure that you receive those payments.
As a general rule, child support is supposed to be deducted from the child support obligor's paycheck. Sometimes parties agree to bypass the state collection system and some judges are lax on actually requiring the child support to be paid by wage garnishment. Nevertheless, child support is supposed to be paid by a wage assignment so that the obligor's employer deducts the support and sends it to the Kentucky Child Support Enforcement at Centralized Collection Unit.
In order to make sure that child support is paid by wage assignment, it is important that the child support order specifically state that "immediate wage withholding shall apply." If your order does not say that, a court will grant a modification to include that language if a proper motion is made. Once your order includes the necessary language, that actual wage withholding form must be completed, signed by the judge and sent to the obligor's employer. Additionally, if you are represented by a private attorney, Federal Income Withholding For Support Form OMB 0970-0154 must also be completed and submitted to the court and to the employer.
Once the proper wage withholding forms are completed and submitted to the employer, the next thing to do is make sure that you actually receive the support. Under Kentucky Administrative Guidelines, the Centralized Collection Unit is supposed to receive the payment, process it, and get it out to recipients within forty-eight (48) hours. If you want your child support payments deposited directly into your checking or savings account, you can go through the Kentucky Child Support Interactive Website to set that up. You will also want to contact your local county attorney's office to apply for services. Once you apply for services through the county attorney's office, you will be assigned a caseworker who will keep track of the child support payments that are paid, if the obligor is behind and, if necessary, refer the case to the county attorney for collection efforts such as contempt actions or even criminal charges. The county attorney's office provides these services free of charge and have tools at their disposal that private attorneys do not. The chief among these being the ability to intercept an obligor's tax refund to go toward child support arrearage.
While your ex may not like it, he or she has an obligation to provide for your child. The best way to make sure that happens is with a proper wage assignment.
Photo courtesy of Morgan
Labels: centralized collection, child support, county attorney, tax refund, wage assignment