Dorchester County Dept. of Social Services

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Child Support Enforcement

  1. Will child support automatically come out of my paycheck?
  2. I have a new employer. How can I get my employer to withhold child support from my wages?
  3. Can you assist me in custody and visitation matters?
  4. I am a non-custodial parent, but my child now lives with me. Can my child support order be changed?
  5. How long am I obligated to pay child support?
  6. My income has been reduced since my court order was established. How do I apply for a decrease in child support?
  7. I consented/was ordered to make an additional monthly payment towards the arrears and have not missed a payment. I am now receiving notices that my tax refunds will be intercepted or that I will be reported to the credit bureau reporting agencies, etc. Why am I being subjected to these enforcement actions when I am in compliance with my court order?
  8. I did not make a payment for several months and now my child support is in arrears. My employer just received an amended administrative earnings withholding notice to deduct an additional amount of money from my wages for payment on the arrears. How can you require my employer to withhold this additional amount without a court order?
  9. He/she has more than one child support order. How is the money split between each case?
  10. He/she is receiving disability or worker's compensation. Can you attach that?
  11. He/she is receiving unemployment. Can you attach that?
  12. He/she is paid "under the table". Can you attach that?


1. Will child support automatically come out of my paycheck?
The law requires that all new orders have support payments made by wage attachment unless there is a good cause not to implement a wage lien (e.g. the noncustodial parent is self-employed.)
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2. I have a new employer. How can I get my employer to withhold child support from my wages?
You are required to report any change in employment to our agency within ten (10) days by contacting our Customer Service Unit at 800-332-6347. Our agency will issue an Administrative Earnings Withholding Order to your employer. You must make the payments yourself until your employer begins to make the deduction. Please send your payments to:

Maryland Child Support Account
P.O. Box 17396
Baltimore, MD 21297-1396

Your nine digit case number must appear on all payments.
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3. Can you assist me in custody and visitation matters?
No. This office is only permitted to deal with issues concerning paternity and child support. To obtain representation in custody and visitation matters you must retain private counsel at your own expense. You may wish to contact the Dorchester County Circuit Court at 410-228-1395 to obtain information pertaining to the Pro Se' Clinic.
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4. I am a non-custodial parent, but my child now lives with me. Can my child support order be changed?
Yes. When there is a change in custody of the child, you can contact our office to modify or suspend the Order.
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5. How long am I obligated to pay child support?
Child support generally continues until the minor child emancipates or until otherwise noted in the child support order. Under Maryland Law, child support continues until the minor child reaches the age of 18 or 19 if the child is enrolled in secondary school. If there is past due support (arrears) owed on the child support case, this agency will continue to enforce payment until the arrears are paid in full.
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6. My income has been reduced since my court order was established. How do I apply for a decrease in child support?
Send written request to the Dorchester County Office of Child Support Enforcement, P.O. Box 259, Cambridge, MD 21613 or call our Customer Service Unit at 800-332-6347.
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7. I consented/was ordered to make an additional monthly payment towards the arrears and have not missed a payment. I am now receiving notices that my tax refunds will be intercepted or that I will be reported to the credit bureau reporting agencies, etc. Why am I being subjected to these enforcement actions when I am in compliance with my court order?
Although a child support order may include a provision requiring you to pay a certain amount toward your back due child support, this agency is required to collect the arrearage as required by State and Federal law. All child support arrearages are due immediately and therefore, certain tools will be employed immediately to effect collection. Certain automated processes are in place to collect the arrearage and automatically occur. These automated processes include but are not limited to:

  1. Federal and State Tax Refund Intercept
  2. Lottery Intercept
  3. Credit Bureau Reporting
  4. Garnishment of bank accounts
  5. Passport denial

These automated processes will be triggered regardless of whether the child support orders were entered as a result of a consent agreement or of a court hearing. This is not negotiable. You must pay the arrearages in full to avoid these automated enforcement tools.

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8. I did not make a payment for several months and now my child support is in arrears. My employer just received an amended administrative earnings withholding notice to deduct an additional amount of money from my wages for payment on the arrears. How can you require my employer to withhold this additional amount without a court order?
The Family Law Article of the Annotated Code authorizes the Child Support Enforcement Administration to issue the notice in lieu of a wage withholding order. The law also authorizes the Child Support Enforcement Administration to administratively determine a payment on the arrears not exceeding 25% of the current support obligation.
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9. He/she has more than one child support order. How is the money split between each case?
The Child Support Enforcement Administration will split the money received among all charging accounts. If the money that is received is not enough to pay the full amount ordered on either case, he/she is responsible for any balance due.
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10. He/she is receiving disability or worker's compensation. Can you attach that?
Yes. Please note that some types of disability payments may pay benefits directly to you for your children. You should discuss this matter with your caseworker.
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11. He/she is receiving unemployment. Can you attach that?
Yes. We have an automated link with Maryland Unemployment that identifies our Obligors immediately. Payments should begin with the issuance of the first unemployment check. If you find out that the Obligor is receiving unemployment benefits and you are not receiving child support from that, you should notify our Customer Service Unit at 800-332-6347.
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12. He/she is paid "under the table". Can you attach that?
No. "Under the table" means that the employer is not reporting wages or paying taxes. Sometimes cash payments are being made so there is no record of wages. Child Support Services can attach reported wages only.
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Copyright © 2016 Dorchester County Department of Social Services.
The Department of Social Services is a local agency of the
Maryland Department of Human Resources
Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor | Boyd K. Rutherford, Lt. Governor | Lourdes R. Padilla, Secretary

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