Dealing with the burden of unpaid child support can be difficult and overwhelming for many Pennsylvania families struggling to pay the bills. Since delinquent child support can wreak such havoc on the lives and well-being of the children involved, enforcement mechanisms are highly needed. One of the most successful and widely used implementation mechanisms for child support payments has been payroll withholding at the point of employment. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) reported that in fiscal year 2016, $33 billion in child support payments was collected through its systems. Of that number, 75 percent was collected through payroll withholding from people’s job.

As this type of child support enforcement can be so necessary for the children, the OCSE is working to improve and streamline processes by connecting with state agencies, payroll processors and employers. New hire and follow-up reporting can be problematic. While all employers are required to report new hires within 20 days and then file quarterly follow-up reports, the use of multiple identification numbers on subsequent reports can foil efforts to identify delinquent parents and enforce an order. The agency is working to establish mechanisms to clearly identify workers.

Many employers are also confused about the actions to take when they hire workers in multiple states. The OCSE has established a multistate employer registry, which allows companies to register online. On the registry, they can list all of the states where they operate and then file all of their reporting in only one state.

Child support, spousal support and alimony can be some of the most contentious issues dealt with in a divorce, and failure to pay mandated support can have ongoing, serious negative effects on the lives of children. For families dealing with unpaid child support, a family law attorney can help them take action to pursue a delinquent parent for enforcement and collection.