Tuscarawas County Traci A. Berry
Assistant County Prosecutor / Director
Child Support Enforcement Agency Ryan Styer
Tuscarawas County Prosecuting Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I request services?
A: You may stop by the agency or call. A packet containing a IV-D application and forms requesting necessary information will be given or sent to you for completion. You may download the IV-D application from this site under Forms. A notice will be sent to you to acknowledge the acceptance of your IV-D application. A case file will be created and sent to the Case Manager for the next step in the process.


Q: What is a IV-D application and why is it so important?
A: A completed IV-D application must be received before we can provide some services such as tax intercept, adjustment and review, interstate enforcement to name a few. It also impacts the funding needed to operate the agency.


Q: After the case file is created, what is the next step?
A: The Case Manager will review the file first to determine if paternity needs to be established. If it is not, the next step would be to schedule genetic testing for the mother, child and punitive father. If a father is not named, an interview will be conducted with the mother to obtain more information before testing can be scheduled. Failure to cooperate may result in loss of public assistance and/or contempt. If paternity is established or needs to be established, location of the non-custodial parent is necessary to be able to complete proper service of paperwork to the parties. Service, or Due Process, is needed to notify the parties of the date and time of any DNA testing, administrative hearing or court hearing. After location is verified, the Case Manager can proceed with the establishment of paternity or the following step of establishing a child support and medical support order.


Q: How long does it take to receive results back from DNA testing? How high must the percentage be? (For more information on how test is conducted, click DNA link)
A: Results are usually returned within 2-3 weeks or sooner. The results must be 99.0% or higher. Testing is extremely accurate.


Q: Once paternity is established, how do I get a child support order?
A: A: An Administrative hearing will be scheduled at our agency to establish a child support order and a medical support order. Parties must bring proof of their income year-to date-, copies of their tax returns for the last three years, proof of expenses for day care and health insurance premiums and copies of birth certificates or child support orders for other biological children. This information is necessary to calculate the amount of child support to be ordered.


Q: Is the order in effect immediately?
A: There is an objection time period once the Hearing Officer's Report is issued. If you do not agree with the report, there is language included that instructs you how and where to file written objections. If objections are raised, the case will be scheduled for a hearing in the appropriate court. If no objections are filed, the Report is filed with the appropriate court and becomes a court entry subject to enforcement. The effective date of the order will be the first day of the month following the hearing. If objections are overruled, the effective date will be the same as if no objections were filed. If the objections are not overruled, the court can establish the effective date.


Q: If the case is referred for a court hearing does that mean the court decision is final?
A: A: No, just as with the Administrative Hearing process, there is language included in the Magistrate's Decision that gives a 14 day time period for objections. If objections are filed, a hearing is schedule in front of the appropriate Judge. If no objections are filed, then the Decision becomes a court entry.


Q: What happens if my case goes before the Judge?
A: A: The Judgment Entry is the final step at the local level. If you still disagree, you must pursue any objection by appealing to the Fifth District Court of Appeals.


Q:  What is the most important role I can have in the child support process?
A: Always be responsible and read any paperwork sent to you. If you have questions, contact your attorney or the agency for clarification. The most common complaints of not knowing important information such as the effective date, the amount, no credit for direct payments, etc. stems from not reading the entries. When the objection period has passed, a new hearing would be necessary to bring the issue back before the court by the complaining party.


Q: Will I get a notice any time there is action on my case?
A: A: It is according to what action is taken. If a new wage withholding is issued, a copy will be sent to the obligor (payor) and an addendum will be sent to the custodial parent. If a wage withholding is terminated, both parties receive a copy. In a contempt situation, the obligor is personally served with the entry and the custodial parent receives a notice in the mail. If a default notice is sent, only the obligor receives the notice. Letters to the payor requesting information regarding new employment, documentation of an injury, copies of audits, etc. do not require notices to be sent to the custodial parent. Notice to both parties are required for any hearing that requires the presence of both parties.


Q: How is the child support collected from the non-custodial parent and sent to the custodial parent?
A: The State statute requires that a wage withholding be issued to the employer or a financial institution for the purpose of deducting child support payments. Worker's Compensation, Unemployment Benefits, and most forms of Social Security can also be attached. The entity receiving the wage withholding may pro-rate the order according to the number of pay periods in a 12 month cycle and remit the deductions within seven days. An example would be an order for $100.00 and the obligor is paid bi-weekly. The employer would multiply the $100.00 x 12 months and divide the $1200.00 by 26 pay periods and deduct $46.16 every two weeks. The remittance is sent to CSPC in Columbus where the payment is processed within 48 hours and sent out to the custodial parent. If a wage withholding is not in place, the obligor is responsible to send payments to CSPC to be processed. Any payment made directly to the obligee is considered a gift. Obligors have the entire month to meet the support obligation.


Q: When should I contact the agency about not receiving child support?
A: If a payment is not received within 30 days or you have a question about a check that was issued, but not received.


Q: How do I terminate my child support order?
A: The most common termination of child support is emancipation of the child on his/her eighteenth birthday and graduation from high school, whichever comes last, or on the child's nineteenth birthday if they are attending an accredited high school as a full-time student. Both parties are under a court order to notify the agency of a change in circumstances such as an upcoming emancipation. The agency also receives lists from local high schools of graduating seniors to be proactive in the emancipation process. The ORC mandates the emaciation process where each party is notified by a motion to the court and has an objection time period. If no objections are received, the order becomes final. If objections are received, a hearing is set before the court Magistrate. Child support may be terminated by the court in other situations such as a change of custody, shared parenting, and adoption.


Q: When and how do I notify the agency of changes?
A: All parties in the case are court ordered to report any changes in name, address, and change in circumstances in writing to the CSEA. You may access this form under Forms. The child support obligor and the medical support obligor are required to provide employment information. This can be done by mail or in person at the CSEA. Proper ID is required when entering the agency to give or receive information.


Q: Why do I have to pay child support if I can not see my child?
A: Child Support and Visitation are two separate issues. The CSEA enforces the court ordered payment of child support, but does not have any authority to address visitation. The obligor may file their own motion with the court by the use of a Pro Se packet or through a private attorney.