What YOU Should Know about the
Maine Child Support System

Maine state seal

Maine Child Support was established in 1975 due to the Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Maine's Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery works within the offices of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

visitor slogan: A CHILD Is Worth The $UPPORT...

This division is responsible for the development and enforcement of rules, regulations, policies and procedures necessary to assure that all non-custodial parents are contributing to the financial support of their children. It is both parents’ responsibility to make sure the child is taken care of financially, medically, and morally.


What is child support?


A financial support paid by a parent to help support a child or children of whom they do not have custody. Child support can be entered into voluntarily or ordered by a court or a properly empowered administrative agency, depending on each State’s laws. Child support can involve cases where:



IV-D cases, is where the custodial party is receiving child support services offered by State and local agencies. Such services include locating a non-custodial parent or putative father establishing paternity, establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support orders, collecting distributing, and disbursing child support payments.


IV-A cases, is where the custodial parent is receiving public assistance benefits and the case is automatically referred to the State Child Support Enforcement Agency so the state can recoup the cost of the benefits from the non-custodial parent or defray future costs.


IV-E cases, is where the child is being raised not by one of their own parents but in the foster care system by a person, family, or institution and the case is automatically referred to the child support enforcement to recoup or defray the costs of foster care.


Non IV-D orders, , is where the case or legal order is privately entered into. CSE is not providing locate , enforcement, or collection services often entered into during divorce proceedings.


The support can come in different forms including:


Medical support, , where the child is provided with health coverage, through private insurance from the non-custodial parent or public assistance that is reimbursed whole or in part by the non-custodial parent or a combination thereof.


Monetary payments, in the form of a one-time payment, installments, or regular automatic withholdings from the non-custodial parent income, or the offset of State and/or Federal tax refunds and/or administrative payments made to the NCP, such as Federal retirement benefits.


There are many tools available to enforce an Non-Custodial Parent obligation.


Establishing Paternity


Establishing Paternity provides a child with a legal father. Paternity means fatherhood. After paternity is established, a child has the same legal rights and privileges as a child born within a marriage. When the mother is married, the husband is automatically considered the legal father of children born during that marriage. If the mother and father were not married when the mother became pregnant, at any time during the pregnancy or when the child was born, paternity can be established by both parents signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form or a district court can declare the man the legal father of a child. This step may involve genetic testing if the man denies he is the father of the child.


I want to complete an application for services, what Documents do I need to bring with me?


The application for services can be filled out at the time you receive it. The highlighted portions of the application must be completed or the application will be returned to you.


Documents that must you must bring:


  1. Certified Birth records for each child.

  2. Two Certified copies of your court order. Please provide the complete order that was issued when support was ordered.

  3. If the parent absent from your home owes a child support debt, please complete the Arrears Affidavit attached to your application package.


When your application is complete, The Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery Central Office will create a case.


Collection Of Child Support


Almost all orders for Maine Child Support now come with immediate wage withholding orders for current support. If The Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery knows where the non-custodial parent is employed, they will send an order of withholding for child support to the employer immediately. If arrears or past due amount is owed, In order to collect for debt as well as current support, DSER must serve a non-custodial parent with a notice of debt that states what is owed. If an NCP requests a hearing on the notice of debt. 3-4 months may pass after service of the notice of debt before DSER is in a position to collect arrears by these methods. If the non-custodial parent does not dispute what is said that is owed within 30 days, The Division of Support Enforcement can then attempt to collect the past due amount by:


  • Filing liens against personal and real property
  • Collecting from bank accounts
  • Reporting debts of more than $1,000 to credit bureaus
  • Taking state income tax refunds
  • Attaching wages for current support and the debt.
  • Start a License suspension Proceeding when no support has been paid for 60 days.


Non-custodial parents must have a payment agreement with Maine Child Support to prevent DSER from asking the Secretary of State to revoke a license. Broken agreements result in License suspension without further notice.


License suspension can be stopped if:


Within 20 days of being served with DSER's Notice of Intention to Revoke Licenses, the non-custodial parent has begun a proceeding to amend the child support order. License suspension is stopped until that proceeding is ended, or The non-custodial parent pays what is owed. Issue an Order to Appear and Disclose for debt collection only. The Order to Appear and Disclose is used to locate the non-custodial parent’s assets and source of income by compelling the parent to appear and answer questions under oath.


Note:


When a parent doesn't appear or refuses to answer, these proceedings can be filed in court for examination by the court. This action is used as a last resort for tough non-paying cases and takes time to resolve.


Enforcement


The enforcement of maine child support is important in order to collect the payment due to the custodial parent. Bellow is a list of remedies to collect payments of a child or medical support obligation.


  • Garnishment Of Wages
  • Seizure Of Assets
  • Liens Placed On Assets
  • Suspension Of License : Drivers, Business, Medical, CDL
  • Denial of U.S. passports


When can I re-modify my Child Support Order?


The Maine Child Support Enforcement Agency will review the support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances or if more than three years have passed from the date the support order was established or last modified except if:


The child is over the age of 17 years and 8 months when the support order is scheduled for review. This age limitation does not apply if the Division reasonably may conclude that the support order will continue by its terms beyond the child's 18th birthday.


The Maine Child Support Enforcement Agency determines in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that a review of the support order would not be in the best interests of the child and neither parent subject to the support order has requested a review.


Customer Service Department

State of Maine Child Support Enforcement
SHS 11 268 Whitten Rd
Augusta, Maine 04330

Phone: (207) 624-4100
FAX: (207) 287-6883


Make Payments Online!

ACS State & Local Solutions, Inc. (ACS), a web based payment service, which provides parents paying support, as well as employers, the option to make maine child support payments online through a secure website. ACS is pleased to offer this to parents and employers paying to Maine Child Support Enforcement and Recovery at a discounted rate of $0.55 per case payment. ExpertPay is easily accessed with any web browser at www.expertpay.com.

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