Payroll professionals and companies in Texas can have an important role to play in improving government efforts to collect unpaid child support. Because delinquent support can wreak havoc in the lives of divorced parents and their children, obtaining these funds is a major priority for both federal and state government agencies. Child support funds are intended to cover daily expenses including educational costs, medical and dental bills and similarly urgent needs, and unpaid support can mean that parents and children are living in a desperate situation.
In general, child support is handled at the state level. However, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) works to ensure that state databases are streamlined and efficiently share information. The OCSE is also involved in the collection of unpaid child support through one of the most efficient means that has been developed: the use of payroll deductions at a delinquent parent's workplace. In 2016, these OCSE initiatives saw $33 billion collected in child support, including 75 percent of those funds gathered through payroll withholding.
This means that payroll professionals have an important role to play in the process. The OCSE is working with payroll companies and employers as well as state agencies in order to streamline the process. For example, the process of child support collection often begins with employment verification, something usually handled by third-party payroll providers. While these requests are important, they often generate fee requests to state agencies that should be directed to employers; clarifying this situation is part of the federal agency's initiative.
The costs of unpaid child support after divorce can be especially devastating for single parents and their children struggling to make ends meet, and enhancing the enforcement process can help to improve people's lives. Family law attorneys may be able to help parents and children facing this situation to return to court to pursue enforcement proceedings against a delinquent parent.