Support Order Guidelines
The Monroe County Child Support Enforcement Unit (“CSEU”) will provide enforcement services for child support orders, including orders for spousal support where a child support obligation also exists. The items that follow are required for CSEU to provide these services.
If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your child support matter, please e-mail your inquiries to [email protected].
A completed and signed Application for Child Support Services. All sections must be completed, and the custodial parent or support recipient must sign the form.
An order for support that contains the following statutorily required language on its face, in conspicuous type.
- THIS ORDER OF CHILD SUPPORT SHALL BE ADJUSTED BY THE APPLICATION OF A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT AT THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPPORT COLLECTION UNIT NO EARLIER THAN TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS AFTER THIS ORDER IS ISSUED, LAST MODIFIED, OR LAST ADJUSTED, UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY PARTY TO THE ORDER OR PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (2) BELOW. UPON APPLICATION OF A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT AT THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPPORT COLLECTION UNIT, AN ADJUSTED ORDER SHALL BE SENT TO THE PARTIES WHO, IF THEY OBJECT TO THE COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT, SHALL HAVE THIRTY-FIVE (35) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF MAILING TO SUBMIT A WRITTEN OBJECTION TO THE COURT INDICATED ON SUCH ADJUSTED ORDER. UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH WRITTEN OBJECTION, THE COURT SHALL SCHEDULE A HEARING AT WHICH THE PARTIES MAY BE PRESENT TO OFFER EVIDENCE WHICH THE COURT WILL CONSIDER IN ADJUSTING THE CHILD SUPPORT ORDER IN ACCORANCE WITH THE CHILD STANDARDS ACT.
- A RECIPIENT OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS SHALL HAVE THE CHILD SUPPORT ORDER REVIEWED AND ADJUSTED AT THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPPORT COLLECTION UNIT NO EARLIER THAN TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS AFTER SUCH ORDER IS ISSUED, LAST MODIFIED OR LAST ADJUSTED WITHOUT FURTHER APPLICATION BY ANY PARTY. ALL PARTIES WILL RECEIVE A COPY OF THE ADJUSTED ORDER.
- WHERE ANY PARTY FAILS TO PROVIDE, AND UPDATE UPON ANY CHANGE, THE SUPPORT COLLECTION UNIT WITH A CURRENT ADDRESS, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION TWO HUNDRED FORTY-B OF THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW, TO WHICH AN ADJUSTED ORDER CAN BE SENT, THE SUPPORT OBLIGATION AMOUNT CONTAINED THEREIN SHALL BECOME DUE AND OWING ON THE DATE THE FIRST PAYMENT IS DUE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ORDER OF SUPPORT WHICH WAS REVIEWED AND ADJUSTED OCCURRING ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ADJUSTED ORDER, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THE PARTY HAS RECEIVED A COPY OF THE ADJUSTED ORDER.
The order must also contain the statutorily required information set forth below.
- It must state the basic support obligation pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act (“CSSA”), and that that the parties have been apprised of the provisions of CSSA, and that it presumptively results in the correct amount of support to be awarded. It must also state that any unrepresented party has been provided with a copy of a CSSA chart promulgated by the Commissioner of Social Services pursuant to Section 111-I of the Social Services Law.
- It must include the names and birthdates of the children covered by the order, the amount of the current support obligation expressed on a periodic basis (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly) and, if multiple children are covered by the order, whether the order is allocated between the children. Spousal support obligations should be separately stated.
- The order must indicate that the obligation either complies with the CSSA or is at variance therefrom. If the obligation varies from the CSSA obligation, then the reason for variance must be stated.
- It is necessary that the effective date of the order and the first payment date be included in the order. If no effective date is specified, the entry date will be deemed its effective date.
- It must state that the order is payable to the NYS Child Support Processing Center, P.O. Box 15363, Albany, New York 12212-5363, with custodial parent as beneficiary.
- Lastly, the support payer’s social security number, if known, should be set forth in the caption of the order.
In addition, the underlying petition or other request for child support, should contain a statement that the custodial parent is currently in receipt of child support enforcement services, or requests child support enforcement services.
If the custodial parent is in receipt of public assistance the order should be made payable to the Monroe County Support Collection Unit with, the Department of Human Services (“DHS”) on behalf of the custodial parent, as beneficiary. This is because the custodian’s right to support is assigned to DHS by operation of law upon application for public assistance. When the public assistance case closes, the order will become payable to the custodial parent, without application to the Court and the custodial parent will be entitled to a de novo review of the support order.
It should be noted that CSEU is not able to enforce order provisions for:
- legal fees
- contributions to day care or other “add-ons” unless they are expressed as a periodic sum certain
- obligations expressed as a percentage of the support payer’s income,or recalculations of the obligation on an annual or other basis
CSEU will pursue statutorily mandated cost of living adjustments on behalf of its clients. This adjustment can be requested by either party whenever the cost of living index has increased by a minimum of ten percent and at least twenty-four months have lapsed since the subject order was made.
Anyone applying for Child Support Enforcement Services should be aware that he or she will be afforded, and must utilize, all of the services provided by CSEU. These services include immediate wage withholding, payment and disbursement through a fiscal processing agent in Albany, and collection of past due support by administrative add-on. In the case of delinquent payors, federal and state tax intercepts, unemployment and lottery intercepts, bank account restraints, suspension of driving and professional licenses, and referral to the Department of Taxation and Finance will be employed to obtain payment. A recipient of services cannot select only certain enforcement mechanisms to be used. Further, the custodial parent should also be aware that all payments must be made through our office, and that she or he may not accept payments directly from the payor.
The CSEU has many effective enforcement techniques available to it including a powerful computer network that continuously searches a host of Federal and State databases for location, employment and asset information regarding absent parents. It searches new hire reports, unemployment insurance records, Department of Motor Vehicles records, correctional facility records, as well as information from NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Parole and Veterans’ Administration.
While CSEU makes every reasonable effort to enforce the orders of support payable through it, there are situations in which collection efforts do not meet with success. It is especially difficult to enforce obligations against self-employed individuals, and those working “under-the-table”. As to these individuals, CSEU does not provide surveillance of their business activities. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who will use every conceivable artifice to avoid their responsibilities to pay support and as to these individuals, the administrative enforcement techniques used by CSEU can be fruitless. Under certain circumstances, the CSEU will file a petition in Family Court alleging a willful violation of the support order in an attempt to obtain compliance. The decision to file such a petition is entirely within the discretion of the CSEU, although of course a custodial parent may file his or her own violation petition at any time.
Any questions regarding the foregoing may be directed to the Child Support Enforcement Unit Helpline, at 1-888-208-4485.