Maryland improves child support collection attempts, payments up

Maryland families who rely on child support might just see a little more cash in their pockets in the future.

That’s because the state’s Department of Human Resources has improved its collection efforts for child support payments. Collections have increased by more than $350 per family, which is a 16 percent increase.

Previously, an audit by the state’s Department of Legislative Audits found that the Department of Human Resources was not aggressively pursuing payments on behalf of Maryland children. The state was previously ranked 26th in the nation when it came to past due child support payments.

Currently, Maryland is ranked in the top ten among all states when it comes to collecting past due child support. The Department of Human Resources now has a plan to collect payments, including suspending occupational licenses for parents who aren’t paying.

Some of the agency’s success can likely be attributed to Maryland’s new job training program. Known as the Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, the program helps parents with job training, education and can even help them find job opportunities.

This helps identify parents who want to help contribute to their child’s financial upbringing, but are unable to. The agency understands there’s a difference between a parent with the means who refuses to pay and one that is simply unable to pay.

If you’ve never negotiated a child support package before, it can be difficult to know what you should consider when completing an agreement. It can be easy to forget unusual items like educational or medical expenses and having a clearly laid out plan can help ensure that the children are taken care of throughout the year.

If you’re having problems with child support, help is out there. Whether you need help collecting delinquent payments or you need help with an agreement modification, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Review finds state’s child support collection efforts improved” Yvonne Wenger, Apr. 08, 2014