Child Support Enforcement

The mission of Hancock County CSEA, is to operate a program for support enforcement in Hancock County that complies with both federal and state law and to provide all services relative thereto, in a courteous, professional manner.

Order Termination

 

Questions

1. When should my child support order terminate?

2. How does the CSEA know when to terminate support for the child?

3. How will I know if a termination is occurring on my case?

4. How long does this process take?

5. What if the child is adopted?

6. What if the child support obligor dies?

7. What happens when I still owe money or when I have overpaid my case?

8. I received an impound entry, what does this mean?

9. What if I do not agree with Administrative Termination Recommendation or the Notice of Continuation?

10. What happens at the Administrative Hearing?

11. What if I do not agree with the Administrative Hearing Decision?

 

Answers

1. Current state law generally provides that child support continues until a child reaches the age of 18 and continues beyond age 18 so long as the child is attending an accredited high school on a full-time basis. Child support terminates when a child reaches the age of 19 regardless of school enrollment, unless otherwise stated in an original order. Generally, the earliest date for termination of a support order is the month and year in which a child reaches the age of majority.

There are other reasons why a child support order should terminate including:

  • Death of the child
  • Marriage of the child
  • Deportation of the child
  • Emancipation of the child
  • A change in the legal custody of the child
  • Child’s enlistment in the armed forces

Other appropriate circumstances may exist as approved by the Court.

2. Both parties are responsible to notify the Hancock County CSEA of any of the above listed criteria that may result in the termination of the support order for a child. The Hancock County CSEA also works reports that assist in finding cases where termination of a support order may be necessary. If your child will be graduating in May/June please notify the Hancock County CSEA prior to graduation.

3. The agency has 20 days after notification by a party to complete the investigation. Upon completion, the caseworker will send both parties an Administrative Termination Recommendation or a Notice of Continuation depending on the results of the investigation.

4. The termination process can be lengthy. Each step in the administrative process allows a 30 day objection period for both parties. The process is complete when the final order is filed with the appropriate court. You should anticipate that the process will take 90 days or more.

5. Please provide the Hancock County CSEA with the proof of adoption. This action will result in the termination of the current support obligation, but does not automatically wipe out any delinquent child support payments. Adoption cases are not open to the public, you must provide all necessary paperwork to the CSEA: the CSEA can not obtain records from the courts.

6. If the party that pays support dies the current support obligation terminates upon the death. Any delinquent payments may be collected from the obligor’s estate. The obligee may also want to explore any Social Security death benefits that may be available for the child of the deceased.

7. The Administrative Termination Recommendation will address both issues. If arrearages are still owed and the current support order is terminating an arrearage repayment amount will be included within the Recommendation and will be ordered to be paid until the arrearage balance is paid in full. Likewise, if the amount of child support has been overpaid, the amount of the overpayment will be included within the Recommendation and a repayment amount will be set to be paid by the Obligee.

8. The Hancock County CSEA utilizes Impound Entries when the last child on the case is terminating. Receipt of an Impound Entry indicates that the case is currently paid-up or overpaid, according to the records of the CSEA, and the continued receipt of child support payments would increase the existing overpayment. The goal of the Impound Entry is to avoid the need to order the Obligee to repay any overpaid child support, to balance the child support account, or to lessen the amount of overpaid child support to be repaid.

9. Both parties have the right to object to the Administrative Termination Recommendation or the Notice of Continuation. The objection must be submitted to the agency within 30 days from the time-stamped date on the recommendation and/or notice. The Hancock County CSEA will then set the case for an Administrative Hearing or may refer the case to court depending on the circumstances.

10. The Administrative Hearing will be heard by the Administrative Hearing Officer. Each party will be given an opportunity to testify as to the status of the child. Each party should bring any evidence to the hearing that is relevant to the case.  The Administrative Hearing Officer will then make a decision and an Administrative Hearing Decision will be sent to both parties.

11. Each party has the right to object to the Administrative Hearing Decision. The objection must be submitted to the Hancock County CSEA within 30 days after the time-stamped date on the decision. Upon receipt of the objection, your case will then be scheduled for a court hearing.