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Head of Child Support Enforcement seeks further automation

As with nearly every state, most child support payments in Virginia are made through a payroll deduction. A form of garnishment, money for a person's child support obligation is generally taken through their paycheck. The Virginia Department of Social Services then forwards the payment to the child support recipient, less a small administrative fee.

Virginia, like other states, will be seeking to make the process more efficient by relying more on electronic transfer of funds. The method is faster and expensive and doesn't require the processing of endless paper checks. This means that employers must be linked into the department to make the electronic transfer.

The switch to digital records has other advantages. For example, an employer linked to the state child support portal can report if an employee is no longer employed. A recipient or obligor can provide a change of address online.

The push is coming from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. This is the agency that originally required each state to have a central repository for child support payments and the push for wage withholding orders in domestic cases. It works both in partnership and oversees each state's child support collection program. In 2017, more than $30 billion was collected in child support payments.

Those in Virginia who receive or pay child support may wish to request information from their attorney about how to register with the Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement once the support order is final. Once enrolled, the support recipient will be able to receive web-based information regarding the case, such as when payments may be expected and other information. The parent may also update employment and income information through the My Child Support portal. An attorney may provide information on how this is to be done.

Source: MyChildSupport, Virginia Dept. of Social Services.

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