Raising children without full financial support can mean hardship for both the custodial parent and the child. New York State law requires both parents to financially support their children to age 21. This responsibility exists even if a parent leaves the home or has never lived with the child.
The Westchester County Department of Social Services, under the auspices of New York State, has operated an Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) program since 1978. The aim of the program is to get support for all children not being supported by their legally responsible parents. If you are a custodial parent or guardian of a child who is not getting full financial support, the OCSE program can help you to collect all the support provided by law.
Anyone with information about these deadbeat parents who are wanted for failure to pay child support should call (914) 813-6456.
Who may apply
- Any custodial parent, guardian, or caretaker of a child
- Any non-custodial parent of a child who lives with the custodial parent, guardian, or caretaker
- If you are currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid or Title IV-E Foster Care for children in your custody, you do not have to apply for child support services as they are provided automatically upon application for these benefits. However, you will need to cooperate by completing the application/referral form.
How and where to apply
If you are not receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid or Title IV-E Foster Care, you should call (888) 208-4485 to make an appointment to apply for child support services. Our office is located at 100 East First Street, 5th Floor, Mt. Vernon, N.Y. 10550-3488. When you come to the office for your appointment, you will complete an application and be interviewed for more information. If at all possible, a petition to the Family Court will be prepared for your signature after your interview. Please note that all petitions prepared by this office are forwarded to the appropriate court directly by OCSE.
Information needed at time of application
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your Social Security Number
- Your address and telephone number
- Child(ren)'s name(s)
- Copy of child(ren)'s birth certificate(s)
- Child(ren)'s Social Security Number(s)
- Copies of any child support orders
- Copy of your most recent paycheck stub
- Information regarding marital status at the time of the child(ren)'s birth
- Information regarding any government assistance you have received for you or the child
- Information regarding family health insurance coverage which may be available
- Information regarding child care expenses
- Information regarding educational expenses
Also include non-custodial parent information such as:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Present and past addresses and telephone numbers
- Present and past employer names, addresses and telephone numbers
- Copy of most recent paycheck stub and tax return
- List of assets
- Drivers, professional, business, or occupational license number(s)
- Information on friends/relatives
What will happen at the interview
When you come for your appointment, a child support worker will review the application and will gather information to determine what action(s) should be taken next. Possible actions include locating the absent parent, establishing paternity and obtaining a court order for child support. Additionally, information from the application will be used to set up a computerized case record to process and keep track of the status of your case.
The application process
Once the family court has established an Order of Support payable through the WC OCSE, it will take two to four weeks before you begin receiving money. The family court will prepare the court order, showing the amount and frequency of the child support to be paid, and forward it to the OCSE, where it will take a minimum of four weeks until the account is opened.
The OCSE will issue an Income Execution to the non-custodial parent's employer, if one is known. The money due will be deducted from that parent's salary. By law the employer is required to begin deducting the specified amount the first pay period that occurs within fourteen days after it receives notice and mail it to the NYS Child Support Processing Center in Albany. The employer must forward the payments no later than seven days after the non-custodial parent's wages are deducted, according to the frequency of its payment.
A non-custodial parent is obligated to keep payments current, making them directly until they come out of the paychecks. It takes an average five to seven days for the processing center to forward the money received. If the sum is a thousand dollars or more, it must wait until the check clears at the bank before it can send out the support check.
How custodial parents receive payments
Custodial parents can receive child support payments through the following types of electronic payments:
- Debit card, the New York EPPICard (debit MasterCard)
- Direct deposit into an authorized checking or savings account
New York State has begun to issue the New York EPPICard (debit MasterCard) to custodial parents. If direct deposit is preferred the custodial parent may enroll in the direct deposit program at any time. If either type of electronic payment presents a hardship, the custodial parent can write a letter requesting that payments be made by paper check.
For custodial parents who wish to receive their support payments electronically, direct deposit is available by calling the office. Customers may also look at their account on line at www.newyorkchildsupport.com.