Q:

What child support services do state departments of revenue typically provide?

A:

Quick Answer

State departments of revenue do not typically provide direct assistance with child support collection, but they do withhold refunds from individuals who owe back child support, in conjunction with the child support collection agencies and/or the county/district court prosecuting attorneys' offices. Most county district attorney offices have a child support enforcement office or staff attorney that can assist individuals with obtaining orders to collect such refunds.

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Full Answer

Individuals who are behind in payment of child support can have their tax refunds garnished. This applies to both state and federal tax refunds. The taxing authority works in conjunction with the state agency collecting the child support, and must receive a copy of the court order for the support. If there is no state agency collecting the support but only the individual recipient, the individual can contact the district attorney for the county in which the child support order was entered by the court. That district attorney's office usually has at least one staff member to assist with collection of child support, or a separate child support enforcement office. If the individual has moved out of that county, their county of residence will have a district attorney and they can be advised by that office as to how to proceed. Hiring a private attorney can expedite the collection process.

Married spouses with one spouse owing past-due child support and filing joint tax returns may be subject to having their entire refund garnished. To avoid this, the "innocent spouse" must file documentation with the taxing authorities showing the portion of the refund that is due to their separate wages. A tax adviser can assist with this.

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