Child support enforcement website launched by feds

The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services launched a website to improve enforcement of child support obligations. Child support guidelines are specified in each state, including Maryland, and require parents to keep up with their payments. Parents who attempt to flee or avoid making payment arrangements will have a much tougher time avoiding their court-ordered responsibilities.

The Inspector General wants to focus on the parents and the children who really need the assistance of a coordinated effort from a number of sources: the federal government, the OIG website and the public at large who can use the information to help locate the fugitive parents

The website allows residents in Maryland and elsewhere to send in tips to help locate the parents who are not paying child support and cannot be located. Some of the parents may have left the state or simply refused to contact the state and local child support enforcement agencies, meaning the parents would have breached the law and the court order. With child support cases generally falling under state jurisdiction, the website helps to create a national reach.

The website even includes photographs and personal information on some of the most wanted people not meeting their child support responsibilities. The site has online forms and even a hotline with English and Spanish support any time of day and year-round.

The most wanted fugitives owe anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in past-due child support. Parents and children who are the intended recipients will be the beneficiaries of this new support collection tool.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “OIG Launches Child Support Enforcement Web Page,” Office of Inspector General Department of Health and Human Services, Jan. 17, 2012