Receiving Child Support FAQs
The non-custodial party may also apply for child support services to determine paternity of a child born out of wedlock, to sign up for voluntary wage withholding of child support, or to request modification of the child support ordered amount.
- Searching for the other parent
- Legally establishing paternity
- Obtaining a court order for child support and health insurance
- Collecting support payments
- Enforcing the court order
- Reviewing and adjusting the court ordered support amount
The following services are NOT available through your local child support office. Contact private counsel for help with these issues:
- Divorce actions
- Legal advice
- Property settlements
- Visitation and custody issues
- Collection of private attorney’s fees
- You have received at least $3,500 of child support within a 12 month period beginning October 1st of each year, and
- You have never received TCA for that child support case.
• You have received TCA for that child support case.
- Full name and last known address of both parents and any other names each person is known by (for example, nicknames, aliases, etc.)
- Dates of birth and Social Security numbers for both parents
- Marriage license, separation order, divorce decree, protective or restraining order involving either parent, other support order, Affidavit of Parentage, or any other legal documents where paternity has been acknowledged
Helpful information to process a case:
- Children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers
- Any other additional information about the other parent which provides information about where he or she lives or works
- A physical description with the most current photograph of the other parent
- Name and address of the current or most recent employer of both parents
If the information or assistance you need cannot be provided by the Customer Care Center, a work order will be prepared and emailed to your case specialist. After your case specialist reviews your case and takes appropriate action, you will be contacted within 20 days if necessary. If a work order is a priority matter, such as an issue for an upcoming court date, a driver’s license suspension, or an employer with a wage lien question, you will be contacted within 48 hours.
Please allow 10 working days after a hearing date for updated information regarding your account to be posted to the case file. Please note: your calls will not be forwarded to the local child support office on a routine basis.
- Lives out of state
- Is not working
- Is self-employed
- Works under assumed names or multiple Social Security numbers
- Changes jobs often
- Works for cash
In all cases, the child support specialist will try to locate the non-custodial party by checking federal, state and local sources to find the mailing address, employment or assets of the non-custodial party. The child support specialist will follow up on information you provide on the application form.
The Maryland Child Support Administration (CSA) may automatically enroll customers in the Electronic Payment Issuance Card (EPiC) program if they so desire. If you have a checking account and would prefer to receive your child support payment via direct deposit you may download the form from our Forms webpage or call 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258) to request a direct deposit form. You may also pick up this form at your local child support office.
EPiC provides access to your funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use your EPiC to make purchases everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. You will also have cash access via PIN-based point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs.
Here’s how the cards will work:
- Once you select to receive your child support payments via EPiC, Bank of America will create an account in your name.
- Whenever you are due to receive a payment, CSEA will send the funds by Electronic Funds Transfer to your EPiC.
- You can then use EPiC to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are exhausted.
- You cannot make any additional deposits to the account. Only CSEA can fund the card.
- This is not a credit card and attempting to use your card for purchases that exceed your balance will result in the transaction being declined.
- It will establish a father-child relationship, enable your child to benefit from that relationship, and strengthen your child’s sense of identity
- It will allow the father’s name to be listed on the child’s birth certificate
- It will give the father the right to seek child custody and visitation through a court action and to be consulted about adoption
- It will give the child the right to important benefits from both parents; such as financial support, inheritance, social security, veteran’s benefits, life insurance and health insurance
- It will make it easier for the child to learn the medical histories of both parents and to possibly benefit from medical insurance through a parent’s employer, union or military service
- Paternity must be established before the court can order child support
If the father acknowledges paternity, it is not always necessary to have a court trial.
Either parent may apply for paternity establishment without filing for child support. To have an application mailed to you or for further information, contact Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258).
If an Affidavit of Parentage was signed in the hospital at the time the child was born, or if there is already a court order establishing paternity, the local child support office cannot disestablish paternity. You may contact an attorney. If the child was born during the time the parents were married, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child. You may wish to contact an attorney for legal advice.
- Withhold child support from wages and unemployment benefits, Workers’ Compensation claims, etc.
- Intercept federal and state tax refunds to pay child support arrears
- Report parents owing past-due support to credit bureaus
- Refer parents owing past-due support to the Motor Vehicle Administration for driver’s license suspension
- Intercept Maryland lottery winnings to pay child support arrears
- Garnish accounts at financial institutions
- Request the suspension or revocation of a professional or recreational license
- Deny the issuance or renewal of a passport
The child support office may also initiate contempt of court proceedings against that parent if it appears the parent has the present ability to pay support.
Contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258) for additional information.
An overpayment occurs when the account balance is greater than one month worth of the court
ordered support obligation, and a noncustodial party has submitted payment or income is withheld
by an employer greater than the combined support ordered amounts or balances.
What happens if my current account has an overpayment?
When you have a credit balance of greater than one month, any monies received in excess of the
combined support ordered amounts or balances will be held in a Futures account. This allows the
overpayments to age and potentially be automatically refunded to the noncustodial party if not
disbursed within 60 days of receipt.
When will monies in Futures be applied to my accounts if a full payment has not been
Monies in Futures are applied to your accounts at the end of the charging cycle as based on your
court ordered date. This provides the noncustodial party the opportunity to make his/her child
support payments in accordance with the court order.
What about voluntary payments made by the noncustodial party above and beyond the
regular monthly child support payment?
The Child Support Administration does not consider a direct voluntary payment and/or gift to the
custodial party to be an overpayment and cannot credit the noncustodial party’s account unless
directed by the court. The noncustodial party should provide any additional voluntary payments or
gifts (above and beyond the court directed monthly support amount) directly to the custodial party
or child(ren). Otherwise, after 60 days it may be automatically refunded to the noncustodial party.
Will I continue to receive my current child support even if I have a credit balance?
Yes, if your current account has an overpayment, each month you will still receive up to your court
ordered amount of child support.