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Child Support Services Information for Custodial Parents

For information regarding how to apply for Child Support Services (CSS), see the Applying for Services page.
 
When you sign the application for services, you assign (turn over) your rights to past, present and future support to the Secretary of DCF. This lets CSS do the work that is needed on your case. Signing the application also gives the Secretary of DCF the legal power to endorse support checks while your CSS case is open. This allows the State to handle and process your support payments quickly.
 
What does the CSS need to know?
CSS must have enough information to pursue your case. The more details you can provide, the easier it will be to process your case and collect child support payments for your child(ren). 

The CSS application (Support Questionnaire) provides important information needed to begin working your case. Be sure to review the form for completeness and accuracy.
 
Mothers will be asked questions about the child’s conception and the alleged father if paternity is an issue. 
 
If the NCP needs to be located one of the most helpful pieces of information you can provide is his/her Social Security Number. This can sometimes be found on old tax forms, check stubs, or medical records.
 
A NCP’s last known address, last known employer, information about friends and family, and whether he/she is a member of the Armed Forces is also helpful.
 
Support orders are based on both parents’ ability to pay. You may be required to provide financial information. This may include information about your income, property, savings accounts, etc.
 
Are there other forms I will need to fill out to receive CSS services? 
Yes, sometimes CSS will provide a set of forms for you to complete or request further information to proceed with your case.   
 
What documents do I need to give to CSS?
If you do not have an order and paternity is an issue, letters, notes, or anything in writing where the alleged father has said or implied the child is his would be helpful. If the alleged father signed a paternity acknowledgement at the time of the child’s birth or later, it can be used to establish an order for support. A copy of the child’s birth certificate is required in all cases. 
 
Copies of Divorce Decrees, Custody Orders or Separation Agreements are needed. These documents can be obtained from the county court in which the order(s) was granted. Also include all child support orders, modifications, and records of child support payments received in the past. 
 
What if I do not cooperate with CSS?
Failure to cooperate (by not providing CSS with the necessary documents and information) will keep CSS from taking action on your behalf. If a non-cooperation penalty is applied it will result in loss of cash and child care benefits for all family members and your food assistance benefits could be affected. Penalties will be applied as follows:
  •  The first penalty will result in ineligibility for TANF and/or Child Care for a minimum of three months and the CP must cooperate with CSS and reapply prior to regaining eligibility for assistance.
  • The second penalty will result in ineligibility for TANF and/or Child Care for a minimum of six months and the CP must cooperate with CSS and reapply prior to regaining eligibility for assistance.
  • The third penalty will result in ineligibility for TANF and/or Child Care for a minimum of one year and the CP must cooperate with CSS and reapply prior to regaining eligibility for assistance.
  • The fourth or subsequent penalty will result in a ten year penalty.
 
For further information regarding non-cooperation penalties, contact your Economic and Employment Services worker or the Child Support Call Center.
 
Does the CSS attorney represent me?
No, the attorneys that work for the CSS program work only for the Secretary of DCF. Even if you benefit from their work, they do not represent you.  They cannot give you legal advice. They cannot do any legal work on your case that goes beyond CSS services. The role of the CSS attorney in the child support case is to act in the public interest to make sure parents support their children.
 
If the NCP raises issues that are beyond CSS services (such as parenting time or custody); you will need to speak with a lawyer of your own to protect your rights or for personal legal advice.
 
What can CSS not handle?
Services CSS can provide are limited in several ways. For example, CSS cannot represent you in court on issues such as custody or parenting time. The NCP may bring custody or parenting time issues to the attention of the judge when child support matters are before the court. If this happens, you will need to represent yourself or hire a private attorney to represent you.
 
CSS is also unable to obtain a divorce decree or legal separation for you. We can seek support orders for parents who are married but separated.
 
Retroactive child support (also known as Cost of Raising a Child Judgment) can only be done in cases where CSS is establishing paternity for the child. If paternity is not an issue in your case and you want retroactive child support you will need to represent yourself or hire a private attorney to represent you.
 
Services by CSS do not include calculating judgment interest that may be owed on past due support. CSS will enforce judgment interest if the total owed is clearly stated in a court order.
 
CSS also cannot obtain a judgment to reimburse you for any uninsured medical expenses incurred by the child that are owed by the NCP. However, if you obtain a judgment for those expenses CSS can enforce payment on that judgment.
 
What if I receive payments directly?
Unless otherwise ordered by a court, direct payments will be considered a gift and no credit will be given towards the child support obligation. If the NCP tries to pay you direct you must instruct him/her to send the payment through the KPC. If you receive a payment directly, you must immediately send it through the KPC so the NCP gets credit. 
 
If a court order does not contain a requirement that the support payments be paid to the KPC, CSS will immediately file a motion to obtain an order requiring all support payments to be made through the KPC. 
 
If your child is in foster care or custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections- Juvenile Services, all child support must be turned in. If you are receiving TANF, you must turn in all current support for anyone on the grant. If you keep any support you should have turned in while receiving assistance, the State may collect the support back from you. If we are unable to collect from you, the State may get a court order for you to repay the amount you withheld. In addition, the State may keep any state tax refund you would have receiving and apply it to this debt, or recover the money out of future payments. 
 
What if there is a history of violence or potential for violence from the NCP?
It is the policy of the CSS program to protect potential victims of domestic violence or child abuse by not disclosing their whereabouts and by notifying the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the potential for domestic violence or child abuse. 
 
When is it needed, a Family Violence Indicator (FVI) is set by CSS that puts special limits on CSS’s computer records for that person. 
The FVI must be set if:
  • There is a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA);
  • The Economic and Employment Support worker has decided there is good cause for the customer not to cooperate with CSS; or
  • There is potential for physical or mental harm to the child or to the CP.
 
The potential for physical or mental harm must be verified by the individual’s statement and one piece of supporting evidence. Such supporting evidence may be physical evidence of domestic violence, a copy of the police report, or a notarized statement from any other individual who has knowledge of the circumstances. 
 
CSS will not reveal a potential victim’s location while an active FVI is in place. If there is evidence that the FVI is no longer necessary or appropriate, CSS will notify the person who is the potential victim by mail, offering them an opportunity to provide evidence to support retaining the indicator. If the potential victim does not reply, or does not provide convincing evidence and has been so advised, the FVI shall be removed.
 
How is the money distributed?
If you have never received public assistance, all collections for current and past due support will be distributed to you.
 
If you are receiving public assistance, any child support payment that the NCP makes is assigned to the State to repay assistance costs. This is part of your agreement with DCF that allows you to receive cash assistance.

Arrearage (Past due support)
If an arrearage is owed to both you and the State of Kansas, you will be paid first until that claim is paid in full. Any additional payments of back support assigned to the State will be kept by DCF. However, if a federal tax refund is intercepted from the noncustodial parent; those are always applied to State debts first. If there is no current support obligation and your arrears are paid in full but a judgment owed to the State of Kansas exists, the payment will be kept by DCF.
 
If fees apply to the case, they will be deducted before the money is sent. There are times when a TANF recipient may receive payments from the KPC for past due support; if in doubt, you may call the Child Support Call Center to make sure these payments do not need to be reported or turned in. 

Misdirected Payments
If you receive support money you are not supposed to get, you must return the money to DCF(even if DCF made the mistake). If you do not return it, administrative or legal action can be taken against you to recover the money. By signing the application for CSS services you agree to allow CSS to recover money out of future support payments.