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Changes ahead regarding child support information

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement collected almost $33 billion in fiscal year 2016, and most of that was through income withholding. California payroll department employees may have received new guidance from the agency about child support payments and workers.

Child support agencies make verification of employment requests to check on information such as health insurance availability, withholdings and wages to determine child support. Some employers have been passing off employment verification to third-party processors who in turn charge a fee to child support agencies. While the OCSE is working to find a solution for everyone, it is likely that states may begin telling employers they will not pay for third party processors. There is a plan for child support agencies to look more carefully at how often verifications are done and what the information is used for among other assessments.

The OCSE has also made changes to its reporting process for employers who have employees in multiple states. There are also changes to the Income Withholding for Support Order/Notice.

Child custody and visitation is one of the most difficult aspects of divorce to negotiate. Parents may struggle with the idea of giving up any time with their children even though it is good for children to have some time with both parents after a divorce. Even if there is a lot of conflict between parents, it may be possible for them to negotiate a custody agreement instead of having to go to court. If one parent is required to pay child support to the other and that parent can no longer keep paying the same amount, the parent should not simply cease payments. Instead, the parent should go to court and ask for a modification in support based on changed circumstances such as a job loss.

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