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You are here: Home > Child Support Services > FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Child Support

You are responsible for your case. If your employer is not deducting your child support money from your paycheck you must send the money to child support yourself.

I have not received a child support payment since I have moved. What must I do to continue to receive payments at my new address?

Contact the Office of Child Support Services at 216-443-5100

How do I make child support payments?

  • The Obligor is responsible for making payments to the Ohio Child Support Payment Central until the income source (usually your employer) begins deducting support.  
  • In Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court, support orders are effective and payments are due on the day the order is filed, unless otherwise noted in the divorce decree of the separation agreement.
  • Support orders issued by the Office of Child Support Services are effective on the date listed in your support order.
  • Failure to make timely payment will cause you to fall behind on your child support order. the OCSS may initiate any of the following to collect any and all arrearages that may add up, including, but not limited to:
    • Additional wage withholding to satisfy any arrearages
    • Revoke your driver's or professional license
    • Put a lien on your house or personal property
    • Filing a contempt action with the court
    • Interception of federal and state income tax refunds
    • Referral to consumer credit reporting agencies
    • Freeze and/or seize your bank account
  • All payments MUST include:
    • The 2% Assessment fee as required by law; and
    • The Obligor's name, social security number, SETS case number, and order number.
  • Payment by check or money order can be mailed. DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE MAIL
  • Payments are posted upon receipt. Checks are sent to the obligee within 48 hours. If the Obligee is receiving public assistance, payments will be forwarded to the State of Ohio.

Establishing Paternity

What does paternity establishment mean?

Deciding legally, the identity of the father of the child.

I am pregnant. How soon after the birth of my child should I have paternity established?

As soon as you can. You can ask the social worker at the hospital for more information or contact OCSS directly.

We were not married at the time our child was born, but now we are. Is he legally considered the child's father?

No. Paternity must still be established through a legal process. Until this happens he is only the alleged father.

Why should I establish paternity?

Establishing paternity benefits your child in several ways:

  • It provides your child with a sense of identity
  • It completes your child's biological medical history
  •  It helps you get health insurance through the other parent's employer (if required)
  • It establishes your child's legal rights to:
    • Inheritance
    • Veterans and social security benefits
    • Disability benefits
    • Lottery winnings
  • It establishes the legal basis for the Agency or the court to order child support for your child.

How do we get paternity established for our child?

Come into OCSS and tell the receptionist that you want to establish paternity for your child. You will then see a Support Officer who will interview you and/or the child's other parent. Both parents should bring photo identification (driver's license, school ID) and the baby's birth information (birth certificate, crip card, social security number).

At the Office of Child Support Services paternity is established through genetic testing. An appointment for the parents and child to have genetic testing performed will be scheduled for approximately eight weeks later. (You will know the date of your test before you leave Child Support). If the other parent needs to be notified about the date of the test, OCSSA will do so by mail.


The baby is so tiny, how will you be able to do a blood test on my child?

The OCSS no longer draws blood to do genetic testing. The type of genetic testing we now do is called Buccal Swab. A genetic technician scrapes cells from inside the cheek with a sponge-tipped swab. This is less painful than drawing blood, and is gentle enough to be used on newborns. DNA testing is then done using the cells collected from you, the alleged father and your child. OCSS will receive the results of the DNA tests in about 60 days. Both you and the alleged father will be notified of the results shortly after OCSS receives them.

Once paternity is established, do I have to get a support order?


I'm receiving TANF/OWF benefits now, but what if my case closes while you are still trying to establish paternity or get a support order? Will you still work on my case?

Yes. We will continue to pursue the establishment of paternity and support unless you tell us in writing you do not want our services to continue.

TANF/OWF INFORMATION: Families actively receiving Welfare, Temporary Aid to Dependant Families (TANF) also known as Ohio Works First (OWF), have assigned their support rights to the Department of Human Services. Monies collected while receiving assistance will be forwarded to the State of Ohio.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Each child support case is different and the methods used to collect child support can carry depending on the individual case.

The law required both parties to notify the Agency in writing of any change of address. Notification should include case number and date of move.

Modification Reviews may result in an increase, decrease, or no change in the Child Support Order.

The Office of Child Support Services Cannot Assist with the Following Issues:

  • Visitation Rights
  • Determination of children's custody
  • Property settlements