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Questions About Support

What is a IV-D application?

The Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services (CJFS-OCSS) is required to provide support enforcement program services in cases for which it has administrative responsibility. A signed IV-D application allows the CJFS-OCSS to provide a broader range of enforcement services in child support cases than the collection and distribution of payments. These services include parent location, establishment of parentage, federal tax refund intercept, withholding of unemployment compensation, establishment and modification of court orders, among others. 

What documents can be used to verify income for child support purposes?

Usually some evidence in written form is needed for the Court to issue a child support order. This evidence could be a pay stub, tax return, financial statement, or W-2 wage and tax statement. 

How can I get my child support amount changed?

A parent may request a modification of a child support order by contacting the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services (CJFS-OCSS) or by filing a motion in the Domestic Relations court case number. There is no cost to request a modification review by the CJFS-OCSS, but there is a cost to file a motion with the Court. A sample Motion to Modify Child Support is available on this website. 

Can I pay child support and spousal support to my former spouse directly?

Ohio law requires that child support be paid through the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services (CJFS-OCSS). Neither the Court nor the parties can waive this requirement. Child support that is not paid through the CJFS-OCSS is presumed to be a gift.

The Court may allow spousal support to be paid directly if there are no minor children and the parties agree.

Some of the advantages of paying through the CJFS-OCSS are a permanent record of payments is kept, and non-payment triggers automatic enforcement actions by the Support Enforcement Tracking System (SETS). 

What is the difference between the Domestic Relations Court and the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services?

The Court is part of the judiciary. The CJFS-OCSS is an administrative agency under the executive branch of government established for the purpose of collecting financial support for children. The Court does not keep track of or send support checks. 

How do I obtain the CJFS-OCSS payment records in my case?

Payment histories in your case may be accessed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, at the OCS Web Portal. To access the Web Portal you must register or log on at Automated child support payment information is available by calling the SETS toll-free number (800) 860-2555. This information includes the amount of the last payment, the date the last payment was processed, and the total balance due on the case. 

How do I pay child support before the income withholding order on my employer takes effect?

You may begin making payments by sending a personal or certified check to: Ohio Child Support Payment Central, P.O. Box 182372, Columbus, Ohio 43218-2372. You may also make cash payments at the office of the Cuyahoga County Treasurer, 2079 East 9th Street, 1st floor - cashiers, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. You must provide your name, Social Security Number, Domestic Relations Case number, and your SETS number. The SETS number is a ten digit number that begins with the number 7. Your Domestic Relations Case number can be found on your judgment entry.

If you do not know your SETS number or Domestic Relations case number, contact the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services 

What do I do if my former spouse is not paying his/her share of the medical bills?

Each parent’s responsibility for uncovered health care expenses should be stated in the decree or other court order. Often, the parents’ responsibility is expressed as a percentage. Failure to obey the order can be considered contempt of court.

You may file a motion asking that your former spouse be found in contempt. The motion must contain a list of all the health care bills you accuse your former spouse of not paying. A sample motion is available on this website. Before filing such a motion you must present your former spouse copies of the bills. Many people do not keep accurate records of all the bills incurred, for each child, for each year, and how much of the bill was covered by insurance. This information is necessary if you intend to bring the matter to the attention of the Court by filing a motion. If the bills cover several years this may involve pulling together a great deal of paperwork. You must be able to explain how much you are owed and be able to justify that number. The Support Forms section on this website contains a chart that can be useful in helping parents keep track of the bills. 

How do I get child support if I haven’t filed for divorce yet?

If you and your spouse have separated but have not started a legal action yet, contact the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services (CJFS-OCSS). The CJFS-OCSS can help you establish a support order. 

How do I stop my child support order for my eighteen-year-old?

Most court orders require that child support be paid until the child reaches age eighteen and graduates from or no longer attends high school on a full time basis, whichever occurs last.

Contact the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services-Office of Child Support Services (CJFS-OCSS). The CJFS-OCSS will investigate to determine if all obligations have been met and make a recommendation that the order terminate or that support continue if there are arrearages owed.

Alternatively, you may file a Motion to Terminate Support with the Court. 

How do I get someone released from jail who was arrested for not paying child support?

Contact the Enforcement Department of the Court. After business hours contact the Sheriff’s Office.