Enforcing an Order
CSSD has many ways to collect child support if it is not paid voluntarily. CSSD will use all remedies it determines necessary to help the custodial party get child support payments.
Income withholding requires the employer of a non-custodial parent to withhold child support from a parent's pay. This is done before the non-custodial parent receives any portion of the wages. All new or modified support orders must include an order to withhold income.
Federal Tax Intercept
When TANF/foster care arrears reaches $150, federal income tax refunds can be intercepted and used to repay the back child support. Similarly, when arrears in a non-TANF/Medicaid case reach $500, these tax refunds can be intercepted.
State Tax Intercept
CSSD will send case information, including the arrears amount, to the DC Tax and Resolution Office to intercept state income tax refunds in the amount of the arrears.
Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM)
Using the FIDM, bank accounts belonging to non-custodial parents may be located, frozen, and seized to pay back child support.
Driver’s License / Vehicle Registration Suspension
CSSD may submit case information to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) to revoke the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license and/or vehicle registration. Cases with arrears are submitted to the DMV when no payment has been received within sixty (60) days and there is no wage withholdings order on the case.
Cases with an arrears amount of at least $2,500 will be submitted to the State Department to have the non-custodial parent’s passport denied, revoked, or blocked for renewal. The non-custodial parent must pay all of the arrears in order to get the passport issued or renewed unless the non-custodial parent can show that the travel is necessary for a medical emergency or funeral.
Cases with arrears amount of at least $599 will be submitted to the DC Lottery Board for lottery intercept.
If a non-custodial parent accrues a certain amount of arrears and that person owns real or personal property in the District of Columbia, CSSD will file a lien on the property. This means, if and when the property is ever sold, the CSSD lien must be paid before the non-custodial party can take the proceeds from the sale.
Credit Bureau Reporting
When the arrears amount is at least $1,000, CSSD will send a letter to the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has thirty (30) days to respond before CSSD will send information about the arrears amount to the Credit Bureau Agencies. In cases where the non-custodial parent has paid the arrears but the arrears amount is still being reported on their credit report, the non-custodial parent may contact CSSD for assistance.
Disability Income Withholding
Child support may be withheld from disability checks.
Worker’s Compensation Intercept
Worker’s compensation checks may be intercepted and used to repay child support.
Administrative offset gives the CSSD the authority to intercept certain types of federal payments when arrears are at least $25.00. The Department of Treasury will deduct 25% from the following types of federal payments:
- Federal retirement benefits;
- Federal reimbursement payments; and
- Federal travel/relocation reimbursements.
CSSD may file a motion (“Motion to Show Cause Why the Non-Custodial Parent Should Not be Held in Contempt Civil Contempt Motion”), when the non-custodial parent fails to comply with instructions in the court order, such as pay child support in the amount of $100 per month. The court can order the non-custodial parent to pay a lump sum amount, make scheduled payments, or be incarcerated.
In cases where the non-custodial parent willfully disobeys the court’s order, and all of the enforcement tools do not work, CSSD will file a criminal case to hold the non-custodial parent in criminal contempt. If the court agrees with CSSD, the non-custodial parent may be sentenced up to one (1) year in jail, placed on probation, or fined.
Feel free to contact CSSD with any questions concerning these enforcement actions.
There are procedures for disputing enforcement actions.