If you are the recipient parent the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages
of having the services of the
Child Support Enforcement Bureau (CSEB).
For any parent that is worried about receiving payments from the other
parent, the services of CSEB are extremely helpful. When the
child support order is created the recipient spouse has the option of receiving payment
directly from the other parent or through CSEB. Direct payment means that
you receive a check, cash or electronic deposit from the paying parent
directly. Payment through CSEB may mean that the other parent sends a
check directly to CSEB or that an income deduction order has been sent
to the person's employer for a wage garnishment. If the paying spouse
is self-employed then an income deduction order is of little value and
instead the parent must issue the check and send it to CSEB.
CSEB will keep track of all payments received and all payments transmitted
to the recipient parent. The record keeping is a huge benefit if there
are periods of non-payment since the arrears will be calculated and in
most cases are correctly determined.
CSEB cannot collect on a regular basis for expenses that are frequently
changing such as child care, camp, medical bills, extra-curricular activities
and other non-regular expenses.
CSEB cannot change an existing child support order. So if a child emancipates,
the new child support for the remaining unemancipated children must be
determined by the Family Court and a new order issued. Even if the parents
agree on the amount of the new child support, an order is still required.
When an account is first established with CSEB, there will be a lag of
several weeks until the employer begins the wage deduction and CSEB processes
the payment and then the transmittal. If an overpayment has been made
or if a payment was made outside of the CSEB system it will be more difficult
to have the amount properly credited.
If a paying parent accumulates arrears, it is much easier for the recipient
parent to prove the amount of the arrears and to seek the assistance of
CSEB. Tax refunds may be intercepted, bank accounts may be seized, state
licenses may be suspended so there are many different ways of seeking
enforcement of arrears.
If you have to appear in court, it is still best to have the assistance
of an attorney as there are many finer points to both seeking enforcement
and obtaining proper credits or perhaps having a reduction of arrears
as part of a payment plan. An experienced matrimonial attorney can guide
you through the maze of the Family Court.