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DHS Child Support Help and FAQs

If you don't know your Case or Member ID, contact Customer Service at 1-800-838-6911 or call the Nashville office at (615) 253-4394.

Child Support Web site: http://tn.gov/humanserv/cs/cs_main.html

To visit your local Child Support Office, see a list of Child Support Office locations.

Tennessee Department of Human Services
400 Deaderick Street
Citizens Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 313-4700

If you need technical assistance viewing the payment summary, contact the Tennessee.gov Help Desk at
(615) 313-0300 or 1-866-8TN-EGOV
help@egovtn.org

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My child will soon be 18 years old and is still in high school. Do I need to do anything?
  2. My address recently changed. Who should I notify?
  3. What payment information can I expect to see on the Child Support Payment Summary online service?
Answers for Custodial Parents
  1. To what address was my payment (check/warrant) mailed?
  2. I have a child support order, but the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay. How can I get my order enforced?
  3. How can I get child support when the non-custodial parent lives in another state?
  4. I am not receiving my court ordered child support payments because the location (address or employer) of the non-custodial parent is unknown. Can you help with location?
  5. Can I get health insurance for my child as part of the child support process?
  6. I am currently receiving TANF benefits. The child support collection for this month is greater than the amount I received. Why?
  7. I no longer receive TANF benefits. The child support collection is greater than the amount I receive. Why?
  8. I think my child support order is too low. How can I get it raised?
  9. The non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support, but owns property in the state. Can a lien be issued against the property?
Answers for Non-Custodial Parents
  1. How can I obtain my child support arrears (past due) balance?
  2. My payroll deduction for child support is not shown or is different from what is shown on the Total Payment Received Column. Why?
  3. My income tax refund was taken because I owe past due child support. How can I verify that it was applied to my arrears balance?
  4. I received a notice from the Credit Reporting Agency because I owe a child support obligation. I do not agree with the balances shown on the notice. Who should I contact?
  5. My employer continues to deduct too much child support, even though my arrears are paid. Who should I contact for help?
  6. My dependent child has reached 18 years of age. Should I continue to pay child support?
My child will soon be 18 years old and is still in high school. Do I need to do anything?

Answer:

You should contact an attorney or your local child support office to discuss this matter.


I am not receiving my court ordered child support payments because the location (address or employer) of the non-custodial parent is unknown. Can you help with location?
Answer:

Yes. Services offered include locating the non-custodial parent, which involves searching automated online sources such as: driver license, wage and unemployment records, vital records, criminal records, and health records (TennCare). On the federal level, we access the Federal Parent Locator Service, which includes searching records from the IRS, Social Security Administration, the National Directory of New Hire (a nationwide directory of all newly hired or rehired employees), and the Federal Case Registry (a nationwide directory of child support case information).

If the non-custodial parent is believed to reside out-of-state, the local child support office will submit a locate data sheet to the state in question. Once the locate data sheet is returned with possible leads, the local office will pursue verification of information through postmaster letters, employer letters, etc. If leads prove positive, the local child support office can pursue child support enforcement through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

The most critical piece of information that you can supply to help us in finding the non-custodial parent is his/her social security number. If you do not have the social security number, you might look for it on hospital records, bank records, insurance policies, pay stubs, or income tax returns that you may have. If you obtain the social security number, please contact your local child support enforcement office with this information.


My address recently changed. Who should I notify?
Answer:
It is extremely important that your address information is correct. To update your address information, contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

My income tax refund was taken because I owe past due child support. How can I verify that it was applied to my arrears balance?
Answer:
For assistance, contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

I received a notice from the Credit Reporting Agency because I owe a child support obligation. I do not agree with the balances shown on the notice. Who should I contact?
Answer:
The amounts shown on your notice are the balances as of the last day of last month. Therefore, payments made for the current month are not included. For additional information, please call the telephone number provided on your notice.

What payment information can I expect to see on the Child Support Payment Summary online service?
Answer:

Payment information shown reflects payments either collected or sent to the person or place entitled to receive the payment for a particular time period. The screen will show current month information. However, you have the choice to select payment information for the current month, the last six months, a date range, or payment history.

Please note: If you enter a date range or choose payment history, the system will display payment information based on the earliest information that can be provided. The automated system was implemented in January 1996. The earliest payment information that may be available on this online service is August 1, 1995. If you had a case that was paid through the clerk's office prior to October 1, 1999, you must obtain payment information from the clerk for that payment.

If, after selecting date range or payment history, you feel payment information is not shown, please contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

To what address was my payment (check/warrant) mailed?

Answer:

The Child Support Payment Summary online service does not maintain address information. To find out where your payment was mailed, contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

I have a child support order, but the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay. How can I get my order enforced?
Answer:
One of the principal goals of the child support enforcement program is to ensure that all child support payments are received in the full amount due on the due date. The primary enforcement tools of support collection are administrative and do not require the involvement of the court. Administrative remedies can be used to collect all past due child support. When administrative remedies do not prove effective, the court may be petitioned. For assistance, contact your local child support enforcement office.

How can I get child support when the non-custodial parent lives in another state?
Answer:
All states are required to pursue all child support enforcement program functions for out-of-state cases in the same way they do for in-state cases. For assistance, contact your local child support enforcement office.

Can I get health insurance for my child as part of the child support process?
Answer:
Tennessee State law provides that all orders of child support must require either parent to extend health insurance available through an employer at the time the order is issued or at any time in the future to cover the child(ren). If the non-custodial parent has health insurance available, but does not enroll the child(ren), contact your local child support enforcement office.

I am currently receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits. The child support collection for this month is greater than the amount I received. Why?
Answer:
When you receive TANF benefits there are several factors that determine the amount of the child support collection that you are entitled to receive. For assistance, contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911 or your Families First caseworker.

I no longer receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits. The child support collection is greater than the amount I receive. Why?
Answer:
If you are a former recipient of TANF benefits, there are several factors that determine the amount of the child support collection that you are entitled to receive. For assistance, contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

I think my child support order is too low. How can I get it raised?
Answer:
Both parents have the right to request a review of the child support order at any time. Current income information will be reviewed to determine if an adjustment is appropriate based on the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. For assistance, contact your attorney or your local child support enforcement office.

The non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support, but owns property in the state. Can a lien be issued against the property?
Answer:
Yes. However, a lien on property does not by itself result in the immediate collection of any past due support. It only prevents the owner from selling, transferring, or borrowing against the property until the child support debt is paid. The presence of a property lien may encourage the non-custodial parent to pay the past due child support in order to retain clear title to the property. For assistance, contact your local child support enforcement office or a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.
How can I obtain my child support arrears (past due) balance?

Answer:

The Child Support Payment Summary online service does not maintain balances. For assistance, contact your local child support enforcement office.


My payroll deduction for child support is not shown or is different from what is shown on the Total Payment Received Column. Why?
Answer:
You may pay child support for more than one case. To view payment information for other cases, return to the Case Selection Screen. If you think your payroll deduction for child support is incorrect, contact your employer or contact a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-838-6911.

My employer continues to deduct too much child support, even though my arrears are paid. Who should I contact for help?
Answer:
If you think your payroll deduction for child support is incorrect, contact your employer, your attorney or your local child support enforcement office.

My dependent child has reached 18 years of age. Should I continue to pay child support?
Answer:
You should contact an attorney or your local child support office to discuss this matter.

Question:
Am I required to pay child support if I am not allowed to visit my child?
Answer:
You should contact an attorney or your local child support office to discuss this matter.

Questions or Comments? Please visit DHS Child Support Web Site. Please be advised that we can only provide general (non-confidential) answers by e-mail. You are encouraged to write, call, or visit any of our local child support offices with your individual questions.

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