Child Support FAQs
What does CSEA stand for?
Child Support Enforcement Agency
Where is the Crawford County CSEA located?
Crawford County CSEA, 225 East Mary Street, Bucyrus Ohio 44820
How can I contact the CSEA?
For assistance on your child support case, you may call or write the Crawford County CSEA. The agency has several telephone numbers for your convenience:
Main Number: (419)562-0773
Toll Free Number for Ohio Residents: 1-800-761-0773
SETS Voice Response Unit (VRU): 1-800-860-2555 (provides account balance)
Fax: (419) 562-2018
What is the cost for services?
The agency’s services are FREE.
Whom can the CSEA help?
The agency’s services are automatically available to all families receiving public assistance as a participant in the Ohio Works First (OWF) Program through the Department of Job & Family Services. Individuals who receive public assistance must cooperate with the CSEA in efforts to establish and enforce child support obligations. While on assistance, the CSEA forwards support payments for OWF participants to the state of Ohio.
Crawford County residents who are non-recipients of OWF or individuals who no longer live in Crawford County but have a Crawford County support order, are also eligible for services by simply completing a IV-D application for services.
What is a IV-D case?
The term IV-D comes from Title IV, section D of the Social Security Act, which established the child support enforcement program in 1975. The CSEA opens IV-D cases for all public assistance (welfare) cases involving children not living with one or both parents. The CSEA also offers IV-D services to non-welfare recipients who apply for child support services (locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing child support orders, collecting and distributing child support and enforcing child support orders).
What is CSPC?
CSPC stands for Child Support Payment Central, a unit created by the state of Ohio to process and disburse child support payments made by check or money order.
How does the CSEA usually collect child support?
The CSEA normally sends a wage withholding order to the parent's employer for the amount of the support order, plus the two percent processing charge. The employer then deducts these amounts from the parent's paycheck. The CSEA may also issue wage withholding orders to a variety of other sources (Workers' Compensation, Social Security, pensions and annuities). The CSEA or court can also direct the parent to set up an account at a financial institution. A party can also send a check or money order to CSPC.
Are there any types of cases that the CSEA will not handle?
The CSEA will NOT handle:
- Visitation issues, including requests for enforcing or establishing visitation rights
- Determination of a child(ren)’s custody, including requests for changes and/or modifying custody or a change in residential parent
- Property settlement issues
Does the CSEA provide legal representation to me or to any of the other parties in the case?
No. The CSEA and the Prosecuting Attorney represent the state of Ohio and no attorney-client relationship exists between the CSEA or Prosecuting Attorney and the parents or related parties. The payee (i.e., the parent or party providing direct care of the children) and the payer (the parent or party not providing direct care of the children) both have the right to engage private legal counsel.
What should I do if I currently live in Crawford County, but have a support order that another Ohio county established?
You should contact the CSEA in the Ohio county that established the support order.
What should I do if I currently live in Crawford County, but I have a support order that a court or agency in another state issued?
You can contact the Crawford County CSEA and apply for child support services. Depending on the rules and regulations of the other state, you may also be able to contact the other state for service.
When contacting the CSEA, what information should I have available?
- Name and address of the parent who is obligated to pay support, as well as the person receiving the support payments
- Copies of the child(ren)’s birth certificate
- The names and addresses of the payer's current or recent employer or sources of income
- The names and addresses of the payer's friends and relatives who the parent may have contact with
- Information about the income and other assets of the payer, including but not limited to: copies of pay stubs, tax returns, bank accounts, investments, property holdings and professional licenses
- If paternity is an issue, the names and addresses and any other relevant information on all presumed and alleged fathers
- Copies of court orders
- Social Security numbers of the parties
What if I have a case with the Crawford County CSEA and I move?
You must inform the CSEA by sending an letter. Be sure to include your case number and name. Submitting a change of address to the Post Office will not change your address with the CSEA.
What is genetic testing?
The basis of genetic testing is relatively simple. A child receives one-half of his or her genetic markers from its mother and one-half of its genetic markers from its father. By matching the genetic markers of the mother and the child, a laboratory can determine which genetic markers the child received from the mother. It then attempts to match the remaining genetic markers of the child with the tested man or men. If the tested man has the required genetic information, he is a possible father. If he does not, he is not a possible father.
Why conduct genetic testing?
Genetic testing is a quick and painless way to establish paternity. It is especially useful if the mother or the alleged father have doubt about the paternity of the child.
So who pays for genetic testing?
When genetic testing hasn't been previously performed and is ordered by the CSEA, it is paid for by the state. When the court orders genetic testing, the court may order the person that requested the genetic testing to pay for it.
How does the CSEA collect genetic samples?
The Crawford County CSEA has a contract with LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America), an area lab to conduct DNA testing two times a month at Crawford County Department of Job and Family Services. A lab technician usually swabs the inner facial cheek. This procedure is painless and relatively non-intrusive.
How do the genetic test results come back?
- The results may be 99 percent or higher. If the lab determines this, the CSEA will issue an administrative order of paternity and probably set the matter for an administrative support action. Ohio law requires a finding of 99 percent or higher to establish paternity.
- The test results may come back 0.00 percent, in which case the CSEA would issue an administrative order of non-paternity and close the case with that alleged father.
- The test results may come back inconclusive. This result is normally because one of the necessary parties did not submit a viable genetic sample due to a party's non-cooperation. The CSEA refers such matters for legal action.
How long does it take for genetic test results to come back?
Genetic tests usually take three to four weeks to complete once the lab tests the necessary parties.
What happens if the alleged or presumed father does not show up for genetic testing?
Assuming that the father received proper notification, the CSEA will issue an Administrative Order of Inconclusiveness, as the agency could not complete the paternity process administratively. The CSEA will then either close the case or refer it to the agency’s legal unit, who will then take the matter to court for resolution of paternity, support, and related matters.
What is a paternity affidavit?
A paternity affidavit is a form created by Ohio to allow parents to acknowledge paternity of a child. The form asks for information regarding the mother, the father, and the child. Parents must fill out and sign the form. It must then be notarized and sent to the Central Paternity Registry within 10 days from the time of the last notarized signature. The Central Paternity Registry will not accept a copy of the form, but will require the original form.
Can I complete the paternity affidavit in the hospital at the time of my child's birth?
Yes. When the child is born, the hospital should speak with you regarding this form. If both parents are willing to sign and paternity is not an issue, the hospital will assist you in completing and forwarding this form to the Central Paternity Registry — free of charge. The hospital will not be able to assist you if more than one person is alleged or presumed to be the father or if both parents are not willing to sign the document. If the paternity affidavit is not completed, the father's name will not appear on the birth certificate.
Can I complete the paternity affidavit at the CSEA?
Yes. The same conditions for filling out the form apply at the CSEA as they did at the hospital. You must not presume or allege anyone else to be the father of the child and both parents must sign the fully completed document. The CSEA will assist you in filling out the document, notarizing the same, and sending it to Central Paternity Registry — at no cost to you.
What happens if you have signed the paternity affidavit?
If an alleged father acknowledges a parent/child relationship, he is responsible for the support of the child. He has the same rights and responsibilities toward that child as any other father, including paying or receiving support, providing health insurance, having his name on the birth certificate, and pursuing custody and visitation. Please note, the CSEA does not assist parties with pursuing custody or visitation.
After a party signs the paternity affidavit, can he or she change their mind?
Either parent may rescind the affidavit no later than 60 days after the date of the latest signature by requesting an administrative parentage determination from the CSEA. Parents must make all rescind requests in the county where the child resides. Parents must deliver a written notice to the county CSEA that includes the name of the child, the name of the county CSEA and the date they requested the administrative parentage. Both persons who sign the affidavit waive any right to bring a court or administrative action to determine the parentage of the child other than for purposes of rescinding the affidavit. After the 60-day period, the ONLY way for either parent to rescind the affidavit is to bring a court action to rescind within one year after it has become final. The CSEA only becomes involved if the court orders the CSEA to conduct genetic tests. The affidavit is not valid if any other man is legally presumed to be the father of the child.
How does the CSEA usually collect child support?
The CSEA normally sends a wage withholding order to the employer of the person ordered to pay support informing the employer to deduct directly from their wages. The CSEA may also issue wage withholding orders to a variety of other sources including Workers' Compensation, certain Social Security benefits, pensions and annuities. The CSEA or court can also direct the parent to set up an account at a financial institution (such as a bank or credit union).
Can taxes be intercepted to pay child support arrearages?
Yes, under tax offset, if your account is more than $500 in arrears and three months worth of support behind, and if the child is under 18 in the submittal year the case may be referred for tax offset. If child support enforcement has identified your case for tax offset the absent parent will receive a notification letter in October or early November. If money is due to the State for past public assistance the tax intercept will go to the State. If the absent parent should pay off the arrearage at any time after receiving the notification he/she is to contact child support enforcement in this regard. Due to the complexity of the Tax Intercept Program we may not be able to delete the case from the list. Even though you may be paying an additional amount towards the arrearage this does not exempt you from tax offset program.
When will the custodial parent receive support?
Once the court or CSEA has set and finalized a support order, it generally takes two to six weeks to implement a wage withholding. This can vary between employers and the circumstances of each case.
Why do the amounts of my support check vary even though the court order is the same?
The CSEA adds a 2 percent processing charge as set forth under Ohio law. The payee is to receive any current support due until the monthly amount is satisfied. Only then can the CSEA collect the processing charge. For example, let's say that the payer has an order to pay child support to the payee in the amount of $100.00 per month, plus the additional 2 percent processing charge. The CSEA will collect the support every week as the payer is paid on a weekly basis. The person ordered to pay must pay a total of $102.00 every month ($100.00 in current support plus $2 for the processing charge). If the CSEA collects this amount on a weekly basis, the order sent to the employer would direct them to withhold $23.54 every week ($102.00 x 12 months divided by 52 weeks). The payee would get the full $23.54 per week until they receive the $100 in current support. The remainder would then go to the CSEA, up to the amount of processing charge due or owed.
How long can I collect child support?
Child support usually ends when the child turns 18, unless the child is a full-time student at an accredited high school. In this case, support can continue for as long as the child retains their student status, up to the age of 19. Child support could continue beyond this time if the child is disabled and dependent or if otherwise ordered by the court (for example, the parties in a dissolution decree may agree that support is to continue if the child goes to college).
What happens if the non-residential parent pays the custodial parent directly?
Any support ordered by the CSEA or court should be paid through the CSEA or it is considered a gift.
What happens if the custodial parent marries another party?
The custodial parent’s marriage has no impact on the payer's child support obligation.
What happens if the child is adopted by another party?
The custodial parent should send proof of the adoption to the CSEA in a timely manner. While an adoption will usually terminate the current support obligation, it does not automatically wipe out any delinquent child support payments.
What happens if the person ordered to pay dies?
While the current support obligation terminates upon the death of the payer, the CSEA may collect delinquent payments from the payer's estate. The payee may also wish to explore Social Security death benefits for the child of the deceased.
Where do I call for questions regarding whether my payments have been credited to my account?
Please call the voice response unit (VRU) at 1-800-860-2555.
Whom do I call if my payments have not showed up on the voice response unit two weeks after I made a payment?
Please contact a customer service representative at (419)562-0773 CSEA staff will work with you to research problems and contact CSPC for a resolution. Please note, if your payment does not have the appropriate information (SETS case number, order number, parties names, Social Security number) there may be a delay in the posting of payments.