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Child Support Information?

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The Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency is a division within the Department of the Attorney General. The Agency works in partnership with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and other State and local agencies. They can help you with your child support needs.

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The primary goal is to ensure that the children have the ongoing financial support from both parents. They will provide you with the information and the tools you need to ensure that court-ordered child support payments are made and received.

Establishing Legal Paternity

Paternity may be established through the “Voluntary Establishment” of paternity process. This process began in Hawaii on July 1, 1999. If the biological parents complete the “Voluntary Establishment of Paternity by Parents” form at the birthing hospital or Department of Health and the father’s name appears on the birth certificate, then paternity has been “Voluntarily Established.” Paternity is at issue for a child if the biological parents of the child are not married to each other at the time of birth . The Federal Government, in its welfare reform acts, has required all states to have “Voluntary Establishment” of paternity programs.


To enforce an order of child support, Federal and State laws provide the agency with a variety of enforcement remedies. When the non-custodial parent fails to meet the child support obligation, Child Support takes action to enforce the order of support. The custodial parent does not need to contact the agency to request enforcement. The following are some of the enforcement tools available to Hawaii Child Support.

Income Withholding

Federal and State laws provide mandatory income withholding and expedited processes for establishing and enforcing child support orders. It taps the non-custodial parent's income at the source and becomes a regularly deducted item. Withholding has proven to be a very effective tool for enforcing child support obligations. An Order or Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support is served on the Non-Custodial Parent's employer. The employer is required to begin deducting child support payments from their employee’s wages or benefits.


A lien is created when the Non-Custodial Parent becomes delinquent in his or her support payments or when an order of support for a prior amount of child support of arrears is established. The lien is attached to all real property owned or subsequently acquired by the non-custodial parent.

License Suspension

License suspension is an Hawaii Child Support enforcement remedy that is used to compel non-custodial parents into making support payments. It puts pressure on the non-custodial parent to make the support payments. This type of remedy is different from the enforcement remedies such as income withholding and tax intercept that directly attaches to the payers income or asset. A non-custodial parent who is delinquent in payment’s in an amount equal to or greater than the sum of payments for child support for a three-month period is subject to having their driver's license or recreational license suspended. If delinquent in payment’s in an amount equal to or greater than the sum of payments for child support for a six-month period, the payer’s professional or vocational license(s) is subject to being suspended. The following are other programs that child support uses to collect benefits owed to the custodial parent:

  • State Tax Refund Setoff Program
  • Federal Tax Refund Offset Program
  • Administrative Offset Program
  • Passport Denial Program
  • Credit Bureau Reporting
  • Medical Support Enforcement

What can I do to modify the amount of child support that I am required to pay?

There are two ways to modify the amount of child support that is to be paid by the non-custodial parent.

  • The person requesting the modification may initiate an action with the Family Court by filing the appropriate documents. Although forms are available on Oahu at the Family Court Service on the second floor of the Circuit Court building on Punchbowl Street. The services of a private attorney may be necessary to successfully complete the action to modify support.

  • The person wanting the change may request that the Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency initiate a modification action. The request must be made in writing and the requestor must have completed an application for services.

Both methods require that the requestor provide the reason for the request including the change in circumstances from the time the last order was entered, if the order is less than three years old. In addition, the requestor must provide his/her financial information before the action can continue. If the person chooses to have The Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency initiate the modification action, child support will send out a Notice of Review after the required information is received from the requestor.

CSEA Offices Walk-in/Telephone Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Customer Service Telephone & Fax:

  • O'ahu 692-8265; fax number: 692-7060
  • Maui 243-5241; fax number: 243-5161
  • Kaua'I 241-7112; fax number: 241-3816
  • Hawai'i 933-0644; fax number: 933-0300

Toll free number for Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Mainland (888) 317-9081

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