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Louisiana Child Support Laws

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The Louisiana Child Support Enforcement Agency can help you with your support needs. Child Support is an obligation of a non-custodial parent to provide emotional, financial, and medical support for his child.

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The Federal law requires the state of Louisiana to have an enforcement program. The program is administered by the Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support and Support Enforcement Services. In an attempt to reduce the child's dependence on public assistance, Louisiana Child Support Enforcement Services places the responsibility for child support on the non-custodial parent.


Louisiana Child support cases are generally assigned to three categories :

Intake: An intake case is one in which an order for support and/or paternity has not yet been established.

Collections: A collection case is one in which an enforceable order for support exists.

Parent Locate: A case in which the location, place of employment, or assets of the noncustodial parent are unknown.



Establishing Paternity

Under Louisiana law, a father of a child born outside of marriage is not responsible for child support payments until paternity has been established. Louisiana Child Support law allows paternity to be established by a court or by having the father sign a Voluntary acknowledgment form that he is the father of the child. Under State law, hospital personnel are required to provide the parents of children born outside of marriage the opportunity to sign an acknowledgment of paternity in the hospital at the time of the children's birth. If an alleged father refuses to sign an acknowledgment of paternity, Child Support Enforcement Services attorneys or contract District Attorneys may file a paternity suit asking the court to determine paternity. An alleged father may request a genetic test to determine if he is the biological father of the child. Before an alleged father signs an acknowledgment of paternity, he is strongly encouraged to request a paternity test to establish beyond question that he is the biological father of the child. In Louisiana the cost of a paternity testing is $62.00 per person.


Parent Locater Service

The biggest challenge in the child support program is trying to locate and keep up with the non-custodial parents. The SES computer system and lases, has automated interface systems with various other state agencies and all programs within the Department of Social Services. There is also an automated interface with the Federal Parent Locator Service which provides information on persons who receive Social Security or Veterans Pensions, and persons who work or contract with the Federal Government, including Military personnel. Louisiana also belongs to the Electronic Parent Locate Network. The network is a consortium of eighteen states which have agreed to combine information from various sources in each state into one data base which can be accessed on-line by participating states. If the custodial parent wants locate services, a $10.00 fee is required if the social security number is known. If the social security number of the biological father is unknown, there is a $14.00 fee.


Enforcement tools

Some of the tools that Louisiana Child Support uses to enforce the payment of support are as follows :

  • Income assignment
  • Interception of State And Federal tax refunds
  • Interception of Lottery Winning
  • Suspension of Occupational, Professional, Drivers, Hunting And Fishing Licenses
  • Contempt Of Court Hearings
  • Passport Denials


Over 65% of the money collected each year comes through the income assignment process.


COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION :

Payments for child support are collected by the Centralized Collection Unit and are posted Monday through Friday. Payments are distributed the day after they post to our system.


A $25.00 annual fee will be imposed in each case where an individual has never received Federal assistance and for whom the State has collected at least $500.00 of support in a Federal Fiscal Year.


Can I hire a private collection agency to help collect child support that is owed to me?

Yes, a private collection agency is a privately owned, for-profit business that, for a fee, helps custodial parents collect child support. Support Enforcement Services is not a party to any contract between the custodial parent and the private collection agency . The custodial parent is entitled to receive services with Child Support Enforcement Services even if the custodial parent hires a private collection agency. If the custodial parent is receiving public assistance, foster care maintenance, or Medicaid, Support Enforcement Services will be required to pursue support enforcement on behalf of the custodial parent.


Most PCA´s are paid on a "contingency fee" basis. This means that the custodial parent is not required to pay the PCA for its services in advance, but the PCA will take a percentage of the child support it receives on the custodial parent’s behalf. These contingency fee rates generally range from 25 to 33 percent of all money collected. A PCA may collect fees on any amounts received by the PCA, even if the money was collected as a result of the work of SES. PCA´s may also charge application or processing fees or charge additional fees, such as, attorney fees, court cost, etc.


Customer Service Center:

1-800-256-4650 (Toll Free) voice response system
1-225-922-8111 (Teletypewriter Hearing Impaired)
1-225-922-8100 (Baton Rouge Local or out of state)


Payment Instructions:

All fees and support payments must be made payable to the Department of Social Services. The payor shall include his/her name, address, and social security number and/or LASES number on the payment instrument.


Payments should be made by money order or cashier’s check and mailed to:

Centralized Collection Unit
Post Office Box 260222
Baton Rouge, LA 70826

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