For families in California, delinquent child support can be a particular problem for single parents working hard to make ends meet and cover the costs of everyday expenses. Dealing with the problems caused by unpaid support has been addressed in many cases through withholding payments from a person’s paycheck, thus ensuring that the child support is regularly paid. While child support is managed by the states, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, or OCSE, works to coordinate enforcement efforts throughout the country. This project is highly successful. In fiscal year 2016, $33 billion in child support payments were processed through its system.

Of that amount, 75 percent of the child support payments were recovered through a payroll withholding system. In order to improve the success of child support enforcement efforts, the OCSE is working with stakeholders, including payroll processing corporations, employers and state agencies to make the process more efficient. One of the most critical aspects of a successful enforcement program is the correct identification of an employee who owes child support.

While all employers must report new hires within 20 days of them starting their jobs and follow up with quarterly wage reports thereafter, shifting or unclear identification numbers can make it difficult to verify employment and determine the income of a particular worker. In response, the OCSE is working to streamline the system to ensure regulatory compliance. In addition, it has also established a special multistate registry to make it easier and less confusing for companies that employ workers in multiple states to properly report relevant details.

When a couple with children divorces, child support and child custody can be some of the most complex and contentious issues with which they have to deal. During the divorce or after the court order has been filed, a family law attorney can work to ensure that parents and children receive the support that they need.