Applying for Child Support as a Kinship Caregiver
Kinship caregivers and child support services:
Kinship caregivers can apply for child support through the Division of Child Support Services.
Caregivers may qualify for one or more of the following services for the child(ren) in their care and custody:
- Locate - Locate services are provided to determine the whereabouts of either noncustodial parent, whether local or in cases where one parent resides out of the state or country.
- Paternity Establishment - Paternity establishment services are provided through no cost genetic testing so that a legal relationship can be established between the child and the child’s father. When necessary, genetic testing can be provided in the absence of the natural mother of the child(ren).
- Order Establishment - Child support orders are established to enhance the well-being of child(ren) by ensuring financial and medical support are available on a regular basis. Child support orders may be established upon application for services by the kinship caregiver.
- Order Enforcement - Enforcement services are provided when a parent does not pay child support as ordered so that support payments can be collected. Enforcement actions include, but are not limited to contempt actions filed with the court, income deductions, withholding unemployment benefits, suspension or revocation of driver's license, filing liens against property, seizing bank accounts, intercepting lottery winnings and federal and/or state tax refunds to pay toward child support arrears.
- Redirection of Child Support Payments - Redirection services are provided when there is an existing court order for child support so that support payments can be redirected from the custodial parent to the kinship caregiver caring for the child(ren). Payments in these situations will be redirected, upon receipt of an application for services or a referral from the Division of Aging Services (DAS) or Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
- Child Support Collection and Distribution - Collection and distribution services are provided so that child support payments are collected and distributed to the child’s caregiver in a timely manner. Child support arrears payments are also collected and distributed. Payments are collected through a centralized payment location, the Family Support Registry, and distributed to debit cards or through direct deposit into personal bank accounts.
- Review of Support Order - Kinship caregivers have the right to ask DCSS to review a child support order three years after the order becomes effective, unless a substantial change in circumstances can be shown for orders less than three years old.
- To contact any local office of DCSS, click here.