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Improvements for child support collections

Child support payments that Illinois parents submitted in the 2016 fiscal year may have been part of almost $33 billion that was collected. According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, 75 percent of that balance was collected via income withholding. To continue collection efforts, the OCSE has announced measures it is taking to improve the agency and recommendations that are being made to payroll businesses and professionals.

Child support agencies use verification of employment requests to collect data on withholdings, wages and the availability of health insurance. The agencies have been voicing concerns about third-party agencies used by employers to respond to the requests and the fees that they are charging the agencies.

To come to a mutually agreeable solution, the OCSE is consulting with all parties involved. However, state agencies may be issuing notices advising employers that it is their responsibility to respond to the requests and that no fees will be paid to third parties.

Another issue on which the OCSE is offering guidance is new hire reporting. Employers are required by state and federal regulations to report new hires and rehired personnel within 20 days. Some employers tend to complicate the process by using one federal employer identification number to report the hire and then another number when submitting quarterly wage reports. To prevent duplicate records and make it easier for states to detect which employers are not in compliance with their reporting, the OCSE advises that the same EIN is used to complete quarterly wage reports.

An attorney who practices divorce law may assist clients with resolving disputes regarding divorce legal issues, including child support. Legal orders may be filed to initiate collection procedures for delinquent payments. Litigation might be used to modify current child support orders due to changes in a client's financial circumstances.

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