Child Support Questions? (FAQs)
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR THE IV-D
SERVICES IF I AM A SHELBY COUNTY RESIDENT?
If you are
not on public assistance (TANF or Medicaid), there is a
$25.00 fee, which must be paid when you sign up, by
money order payable to the Department of Child Services.
If you are on public assistance, that fee is waived.
When you sign
up, we must have copies of your divorce decree or paternity
decree and any modifications made since then. You will be asked to fill
out a questionnaire; please answer all questions as
completely as possible- this will better help us enforce
your order and/or establish paternity and a child
Please be aware that all TANF or Medicaid cases MUST cooperate with the child support office or
your benefits could be sanctioned. This includes providing
the office with requested documentation and address
WHY IS THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
recognizes that some parents refuse to financially support
their children. When this happens, the child suffers and
the parent most often needs to ask the government for
financial assistance through public welfare. This results
in more welfare, higher taxes and a lower standard of
living for the child. These are things our society wants to
avoid. Due to almost every county in the U.S. having a
prosecutor's office, Congress decided to have the
prosecutor's assist custodial parents and/or the
Department of Child Services in collecting child support.
IS THERE AN AGE REQUIREMENT TO
COLLECT CHILD SUPPORT?
custodial parent is under the age of 18, they will need
a relative or friend over the age of 18 who will act as
a guardian for the case. The relative or guardian will
need to co-sign all papers, as well as appear in court
with the custodial parent.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET INTO
about three to four weeks to get your file set up,
reviewed, and the petition filed and then an additional
30-45 days to actually get into court.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN I GET
THERE? DO I HAVE TO BE THERE, TOO?
For a Petition for Rule to Show Cause, as the custodial parent, you are not court
ordered to be there initially. At these hearings, the
Deputy Prosecutor will question the non-custodial parent about
his or her income situation, employment, and financial
status and make a recommendation to the court.
Typically, the non-costodial parent will be ordered to reappear
within 30-45 days and this office will recommend a
finding of contempt if he or she is not paying support
In paternity cases, petitions for support and petition to modify support, both parties must be at the initial
hearing because the issues involve both parties and the
welfare of the child in question.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY CHILD
SUPPORT TO START COMING?
There is no
specific time frame within which the IV-D Office will be
successful in collecting child support for you. It
depends on the circumstances of the non-custodial parent
and the information that you are able to provide for the
office. If you know of an employer, and there is an
existing child support order, it can be a fairly quick
process, even as quick as 30-45 days. If you have very
little information about the non-custodial parent, we
may never be able to locate or enforce your order. We
need as much information as possible, including address,
social security number, and identifiers such as height,
weight, hair color, eye color, date of birth and picture
HOW WILL I GET MY MONEY?
support that is garnished from the payor’s pay check is
paid through the State Collection Unit in Indianapolis,
IN. When the payment is received by this Unit, the State
would issue a check to the custodial parent and mail it
to them. Child support payments may also be paid through
the Shelby County Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office
will then send the payments directly to the custodial
parent. If the custodial parent is on TANF then all child
support payments will go to the State Child Support Bureau
to reimburse the TANF received. Once the custodial parent
is off of TANF then the child support payments will go to
the custodial parent.
If the custodial parent is not on TANF then the child
support payments received will be sent to the custodial
parent until everything owed for the month is paid in
full. The pay off order is as follows:
- Current child support due for month
- Any arrears owed to the custodial parent until
paid in full, then to
- Any money owed to the State of Indiana
Money intercepted from tax refunds always goes to the
State of Indiana if there is money owed first
regardless if the custodial parent is currently on
THE NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT OF MY
CHILD(REN) WORKS FOR CASH AND HAS NEVER HELD A JOB FOR
OVER 3 MONTHS. HE HAS NEVER PAID A CENT ON HIS CHILD
SUPPORT ORDER. CAN YOU HELP ME GET CHILD SUPPORT FROM
difficult to track down and enforce against such an
irresponsible parent. However, it is not impossible. We
use all means possible to get that person into court on
a contempt citation. The courts can punish a payor for
contempt in various ways, including incarceration. When
punishments are ordered, we often see the payor change
his attitude. They may even start to take a greater
interest in their child(ren) when they accept
responsibility for assisting with their support.
DO I HAVE TO LET THE NON-CUSTODIAL
PARENT HAVE VISITATION WHEN CHILD SUPPORT IS NEVER PAID?
visitation is an entirely different issue than child
support. A non-custodial parent can file a contempt
citation for refusal of the custodian to permit or
arrange visitation, just like a custodial parent can
file a contempt citation for non-payment of support. If
you have a good reason for not wanting visitation to
occur, you should talk to a private attorney about
filing a motion to modify the visitation order.
DOES THE “PATERNITY AFFIDAVIT”
SIGNED AT THE HOSPITAL WHEN THE CHILD IS BORN ESTABLISH
document can be signed at the hospital within 72 hours.
If not, the parents can go to the health department
where their baby was born and sign the “Paternity
Affidavit” together. However, it takes a court order to
set child support and related issues.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE
NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT IS?
We will make
every effort to find him or her. This can be done with
the help of the State’s Parent Locator Program or by
investigative techniques available to us. Of course, any
and all information you may have will help us in
locating him or her.
WHEN IS AN ARREST WARRANT ISSUED?
A warrant may
be issued if the non-custodial parent knows about the
court hearing and fails to appear. A warrant (an
official court document, signed by the Judge) must be
issued before they can be arrested. (In other words, the
non-custodial parent cannot be arrested simply because
they are behind in child support payments. The Judge
must issue a warrant for their arrest)
HOW CAN I GET MY CHILD SUPPORT
INCREASED OR CHANGED?
written requests for modifications that must be filled
out. The Deputy Prosecutor will review the case to see
if a modification is warranted and then you will be
notified. If a modification is warranted, this office
will file the appropriate pleadings to request a
Please note that this court can only modify its own
orders. If the child support order is from another
county, that court has sole jurisdiction to modify it.
WHY DO I NEED TO SIGN UP FOR
SERVICES IF I'M ONLY RECEIVING MEDICAID AND I DO NOT WANT
If the child is
on Medicaid this office is required to establish paternity
for the child if not already established and to obtain a
medical insurance order. This order would require either
parent to obtain private medical insurance on the
child(ren) if it becomes available at reasonable cost to
them. This does not mean you have to withdraw from