“I have a child support order from my local child support office in Oklahoma and my ex- husband is living in Ohio. I have forwarded his address several times to my local office and have made repeated phone calls and letters to no avail. My phone calls are never returned and my requests for updates on my case are never answered. I contacted my local state representative two years ago and the local DHS promised him that I would receive periodic updates but that has not happened. I have a current address for him in Ohio but still have been unable to collect back support. What more can I do?” – Karyn

EFFECTIVE COMPLAINING

If you have completed an application for services to collect child support at your government child support agency (IV-D) and they have not adequately assisted you, file a complaint. Every State is mandated by federal law to have a grievance process.

Write a clear, concise letter about what you need to be done on your case, attach a picture of your kids. It is best to only focus on one thing per letter, do not give them the full case history from beginning to now unless they ask. if the letter is too long they might not even read it. See  Sample Complaint Letter Below

Send it to:

  1. Director of your local government child support agency.
  2. The State Child Support Office where you live.

2. Wait two-three weeks.

If no one from the government agency responds appropriately:

Call the local government agency Director and call your State Office of Child Support.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Make some noise!

  • Contact your elected officials―the Governor, State Representatives and Senators who meet at the legislature in your State Capitol.
  • Contact your local news department many have consumer help lines or investigative reporters who might help you
  • If you have an Interstate case contact the state where the non payor lives, each state has a “Central Registry” which handles Interstate case. If they refuse to talk to you  remind them you can close you case in the state where you live and open one in their state and then they have to talk to you plus do lots of extra paperwork. Write the U.S president, Your U.S Senator and U.S Representative and the Federal Office of Child Support, Administration for Children Families (ACF),370 LEnfant Promenade, SW, Washington,DC, 20447 and/or call 202-401-9373,Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) 
  • Still no action? If you still do not get the services to which you are entitled you can ask for a formal complaint hearing. Under federal law each state must provide you a formal complaint heating, sometimes called a “state hearing”. You are then provided with a formal meeting where you can lay out what you want to be done on your case and require the government officials to provide you proof that your request is not possible.  Be sure to ask them to provide the law number and section or regulation/policy prohibiting them from helping you.  If that occurs, (usually they just figure out a way to help you),  you can then take that information to your state government senator or representative and ask them to change the law so your children can get the assistance they deserve.

Sample Complaint Letter

On April 10, 2016, I requested DeKalb County Child Support Enforcement to locate my child’s father. The agency has failed to take any action on my case. Federal law requires that a Federal and State Parent Locator Service be done to identify parents physical whereabouts and income and assets. I expect this to be done on my case promptly.

My Name: Debbie Smith
Address: 1111 Oak Street, Apt. 4
Toledo, OH 43612
Phone: 404/555-1111
Case number: 99-632-0933-45-E

Non-payor name: John Smith
Social Security #: (If Known)
Last known address: 1823 Pine Street
Seattle, WA

Please reply to me within 14 days about the status of my case.

I have attached picture of my children who are in need of child support, Anna is age 6 andante first grade,  Jake is  9 and in the third grade.

Sincerely,

Debbie Smith
12234 Main St.
Any City, USA 11111

 

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