Child Support Enforcement Agency
Every child has a legal right to the financial support of both parents, even if the parents are divorced, separated, or never married. The Defiance County Child Support Enforcement Agency provides services designed to insure that appropriate financial support is provided to children by their parent. Federal and State Laws set forth our responsibilities and provide a majority of the funding for operating the Agency. There is no fee charged, regardless of income and some services are available to either parent. We do not provide legal representation to either party, however, attorneys are available to answer questions regarding our services and procedures.
Services provided by the Child Support Enforcement Agency
Establishment of a Paternity Order
The Defiance County Child Support Enforcement Agency can assist in locating an absent parent and in establishing the parent/child relationship for children born out of wedlock, even if the absent parent is located outside the State of Ohio. The DCCSEA will coordinate DNA testing, at the request of either party, should the need arise to assist in proving and establishing the parent/child relationship. Benefits of establishing parent /child relationship include: The establishment and collection of child support to which the parent and child are entitled; establishment of a medical support order for the child; revelation of the child's heritage; and enhanced availability of accurate medical histories from both parents of the child. It is possible that children may also become entitled to other rights and privileges which may be extended through both parents, such as social security benefits or inheritance.
Establishment and Enforcement of a Child Support Order
The DCCSEA can assist in locating an absent child support obligor and his/her assets for purposes of establishing and/or enforcing an existing child support order, even if the child support obligor has moved outside the State of Ohio.
Modification of a Child Support Order
Periodically it may become necessary to adjust an existing child support order. Generally, child support orders cannot be adjusted less then thirty-six (36) months from the latest child support order unless:
- Child support was established when one or both parties were unemployed or underemployed and, at the present time, one or both parties have become employed or have changed occupations and are now fully employed:
- One or both parties have involuntarily lost employment for at least six (6) consecutive months and the unemployment is reasonably expected to continue for an extended period of time;
- One or both parties become permanently disabled. The disability must be medically verified by a physician's statement of diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the disability, or the receipt of social security benefits.
- Either party is placed in an institution or incarcerated and has no income or assets available to be levied or attached for support;
- Either party has experienced a thirty percent (30%) change in gross income or income producing assets.
Interstate Establishment or Enforcement of Child Support
The DCCSEA offers assistance in establishing the parent/child relationship, child support and medical support orders, and enforcement of the orders, across state lines through application of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).
The DCCSEA can also assist in the enforcement of a pre-existing support order from another state for a new resident of the State of Ohio.
Collection and Distribution
As of September 30, 2000, Federal Laws and Regulations require the State of Ohio to operate a centralization and fully automated collection and distribution process for all child and spousal support orders. While the DCCSEA can assist clients on payment related inquires, some questions or problems may have to be addressed by contacting the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office of Child Support. You may also visit the State Office of Child Support at their web site.
For further information or to request an application for services contact the Defiance County Child Support Enforcement Agency.