Handling the Maryland Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)

All parents have an obligation to support their minor children.  If you have a child or children and you are separated, depending on the custody situation, you may be obligated to pay child support to the other parent.  If the court enters an order obligating you to pay child support, you should read that order carefully.    Paying child support to the other parent is only one part of the obligation.  The order will most certainly contain provisions concerning how to pay the child support and when to pay the child support.  In many instances the “how” portion of the order will direct you to pay child support to the office of child support enforcement.

You can be ordered to pay through the office of child support enforcement for a variety of reasons.  In some instances, the court will order it on its own initiative.  Other times, the court will order it because the other person asks.  Oftentimes, an order to pay through the office of child support enforcement is spurned by an accusation of non-payment or late payments.  So a way of lessening the chances of being ordered to pay through the office of child support enforcement, pay on time per your court order.

If your order does require payment to the office of child support enforcement, you must go to the local office in your county of residence with a copy of your order and set up an account.  Once that is accomplished the office will direct you on how to make payments.

Regardless of whether you pay through the office of child support enforcement, if you fall behind in your child support, the ramifications can be quite serious.  There are a variety of administrative actions the office of child support enforcement can take should you fall behind.  These include, but are not limited to, suspending your driver’s license, entering a wage withholding order and intercepting your tax refund.

If you receive a notice from the Maryland Office of Child Support Enforcement threatening to take adverse action against you, you should contact an attorney immediately.  If you feel the Maryland Office of Child Support Enforcement is wrong, there are specific time frames in which you must act.  Not doing so, could result in losing the ability to challenge an action of the office of child support enforcement.  Immediately seeking competent counsel to walk you through the process may greatly improve your chances of challenging an action you believe is wrong.

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