Maryland set to improve child support services

A renewed effort by Maryland state officials to reorganize the social services department is poised to take place over the next 18 months. The appointment of Joseph J. DiPrimio as the new executive director of the Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) is the catalyst for improvement of the Maryland child support system and increased collection of child support payments. The CSEA is in control of Maryland’s child support program for custodial and non-custodial parents alike. The CSEA also helps Maryland residents determine paternity and aids in the collection and distribution of child support payments.

In this country, over one-quarter of custodial parents did not contact an enforcement office regarding missing child support in 2010. That percentage illustrates that assistance was lacking to parents who could have potentially benefited from the state’s aid in the collection of unpaid child support.

The state plans to employ an improved system with an improved methodology and community involvement. Some of their new tactics include establishing a Child Support Advisory Committee comprised of parents, child advocates and other individuals who have a stake in seeing the child support system improved. The goal of these changes is to make the system, which is currently lacking, more effective and responsive for its participants.

The need for change in the system is evident by not just the lack of contact with its participants, but also its ineffectiveness. Many of the over 238,000 child support cases in the state do not meet minimum payment required by the custodial agreement and many more custodial parents struggle to even receive any payment whatsoever.

It is good to see the state taking the issue of child support seriously. In today’s tough economy, child support plays a very important role for parents and children alike. If you have questions regarding child support in Maryland, an experienced family attorney can advise you of your legal rights and options.

Source: Frederick News-Post, “State to clean up social services departments, make child support system more responsive,” Cara R. Anthony, Dec. 29, 2011