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OCSE to improve child support collection process

Payroll deductions account for 75 percent of the $33 billion in child support payments collected every year in the United States. Florida parents who depend on employer participation to get their court-ordered payments will be pleased to learn the federal agency in charge has taken steps to increase efficiency and improve processing times for recipients.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement is tasked with coordinating between state child support agencies and employers. Within 20 days of hiring, employers are required to report names and social security numbers of new employees. The numbers are cross-referenced with a nationwide database of individuals owing support. Afterward, state agencies request employment verification.

Many employers have been outsourcing employment verification to third party administrators who handle payroll and other human resource matters. However, this outsourcing causes additional delays and expenses for the involved agencies. New guidelines will make clear that employment verification is a responsibility for the employer and failure to comply within 20 days could result in employer penalties.

Another tweak in procedure involves the process for linking new hire data to specific employer identification numbers. Some employers have multiple divisions and multiple EINs. This has resulted in confusion when one EIN is used for reporting but an employee's pay is linked to a different EIN. The new reporting criteria requires clarification and consistency in linking these numbers to specific employees. Employers with locations in multiple states are required to specify the exact location of employees when reporting new hires. Since states differ in the maximum legal amount for payroll deductions, this clarification will allow for more accurate compliance.

Child support calculation and collection is a key factor in many divorce cases. However, an experienced family law attorney can help a client secure a fair amount for child support.

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