Advantages/Disadvantages Of Using The Child Support Enforcement Bureau

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.