CSEA Enforcement

The Child Support Enforcement Agency has a number of administrative tools to use to encourage absent parents to pay their court ordered child support. While the majority of cases are paid on a monthly basis, have a wage withholding order and are in compliance with the court order, some are not.

There are a variety of tools that can be used to encourage individuals to pay their child support. They vary from warning letters, suspending a driver’s license, contempt of court, and incarceration.

Each tool that the CSEA uses has specific criteria that must be met in order for the CSEA to use the tool(s). So even if you think that your circumstances are the same as someone else’s – the CSEA may use different approaches to achieve compliance with the court order. There is no one size fits all regarding enforcing a child support order and that is why it is so important to keep in contact with your case manager.

CSEA Enforcement Tools

The majority of child support cases are paid with a wage withholding order and are in compliance. No additional enforcement is needed. There are times when the monthly court ordered support obligation is not met . Your child support order is not paid in full and it is delinquent and is in default. The CSEA has a variety of enforcement tools that are used to encourage individuals to pay their court-ordered child support. The following is a brief explanation of default and the enforcement tools that the CSEA can use to meet the court-ordered obligation.


  • A payor or obligor is considered in default when the child support amount is not paid in full by the end of the month
  • Once you are in default, you will receive a notice that the child support payment was not paid in full.
  • You are in default when full monthly payment has not been received by the CSEA.
  • First and foremost—communicate with your case worker regarding your financial circumstances and or your inability to pay

Now that I’m in Default… What happens Next?

Next steps can be reporting to the Credit Bureau; an additional 20% is charged on top of the current child support order to address the back child support ; driver’s license suspension; state and or federal tax intercept; involuntary seizure of funds through a financial institution; filing contempt of court charges, or filing of criminal charges for lack of compliance.

The following are the more frequently used enforcement methods used by the CSEA. Note, that each enforcement method has certain criteria that must be met in order for the action to happen. Individuals are given notice by the CSEA prior to any adverse action being taken against them due to being in default. If an individual communicates with the CSEA regarding inability to pay, or makes a payment, and or continues to demonstrate their ability to pay a portion of their support, the adverse action may be lessoned or not occur.