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Maryland Has Gotten Better at Child Support Collection, Still Has a Ways to Go

Recent reports indicate that the state of Maryland has gotten a lot better at collecting child support payments, but still has plenty of room for improvement. The state is still collecting less than one-third of the total $1.8 billion owed by noncustodial parents throughout the state.

This information comes from a new audit released by the Child Support Enforcement Administration, which also found the agency corrected all 11 problems auditors found in the state four years ago — drastically reducing the amount of outstanding child support payments owed in the process.

Auditors did target some specific areas for continued improvement. For example, the agency did not ensure that the state’s local child support offices took appropriate follow-up action whenever employers did not remit wage-withholding payments. Additionally, local offices and the agencies reportedly did not do enough to use certain other tools available for child support enforcement, including suspending occupational and driver’s licenses.

This round of audits uncovered only six major problems in Maryland child support collection matters. Many of the problems auditors have found are the result of failings in local offices, rather than state offices.

Child support issues nationwide

In 2014, taxpayers spent more than $45 million — including some federal subsidies — on running the Child Support Enforcement Administration. The CSEA collected $559 million from 214,000 open cases, a number up 9 percent since 2010. The amount of uncollected money was $1.33 billion, which was down 13 percent from 2010. Nationwide, it’s estimated that the CSEA helped to support 16 million children in 2014, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of all minors in the United States.

To learn more about child support enforcement and your legal options, meet with an experienced La Plata family law attorney at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.

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