Delaware Child Support

How to apply for child support in Delaware

The Division of Child Support Services handles requests for child support orders in Delaware. Any parent or guardian with primary custody of a youngster can apply for services. Parents need to obtain an application form, complete all required fields and sign the documents before a notary or at the DCSS office. Unless the family is currently receiving financial assistance from the state, the applicant will be required to pay a $25 application fee. These applications must be returned to your local DCSS office. Applicants can expect to get a court date regarding their child support application after about three months or more of processing. It may take longer for parents who are seeking support from an out-of-state parent. Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in Delaware?

Support obligation amounts are calculated based on the Delaware Child Support Formula. This formula takes into account each parent’s income, the child’s medical insurance needs, the number of children in need of support and child care expenses.

How to claim and pay child support?

Many orders in Delaware are set up through income withholding, so payments will be automatically taken from wages. Otherwise, parents can pay using a check, money order, electronic transfer or cash. The state does have TouchPay Kiosks that allow regular payments at some local DMV’s and probation offices. Payments will be distributed onto a First State Family Visa Card within three days of receiving the money.

Child Support Performance Stats for Delaware

The Delaware Division of Child Support Enforcement reported that around 41 percent of families in the state were not receiving their rightful payments in 2013. Only about eight percent of arrearages were collected in 2013.

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) 76.92 76.56 78.58 82.97 79.46
Support Order Establishment (%) 66.63 66.94 70.52 70.56 75.32
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 1.73 1.67 2.03 1.89 2.28

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 74.45 74.9 73.9 75.42 75.99
Total Distributed to Families ($) 70.09 70.87 69.39 71.16 71.2
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 47.36 48.99 39.8 43.5 36.38

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can child support be paid off early

It’s imperative to speak with the caseworker handling your child support case to make this determination. If you are currently under an income withholding order, then you may need to re-visit a courtroom and modify your current order to allow for early payments. Otherwise, a parent may end up overpaying unintentionally.

What Will happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

  • Reporting debts to credit agencies
  • Registry into a national database of support evaders
  • Suspension or denial of government-issued licenses
  • Interception of tax returns, lottery winnings or unemployment payments
  • Denial of passport
  • Criminal charges of contempt of court

Can you get alimony and child support at the same time?

Unless you’ve been married for over 20 years, it’s unlikely you will be awarded permanent alimony payments by a Delaware court. Courtrooms may decide to award one spouse both temporary alimony and child support payments when the other spouse was the primary breadwinner during the relationship.

Can you stop child support payments?

Support payments can be terminated when the child has graduated high school and reached 18-years-old. It’s possible to apply for a termination of payments in other situations, but the state of Delaware takes these obligations very seriously. They usually will not dismiss the obligation without a reasonable cause.

Child Support and Taxes

Each year, adults must file tax returns with the federal government. Parents who are no longer living together have the added responsibility of allocating which parent should receive the tax deduction for their children. Only one parent is eligible to claim the child, and this privilege is often granted to the custodial parent in Delaware.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Delaware?

Support obligation payments should not be claimed on your taxes whether you are the receiving parent or the paying parent. You won’t receive a deduction for payments, and you also won’t be able to claim the money as income.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Delaware?

In Delaware, financial support payments are considered tax-neutral, so they won’t impact your taxes at all.

Can child support be taken pre tax?

Whether you are under an income withholding order or not, payments will be taken after income tax has already been levied on the money.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

Delaware’s Child Support Services agency has the authority to intercept and seize any federal income tax returns when the parent owes past due support. If the family is receiving financial assistance from the state, then they must owe at least $150. If the family isn’t receiving financial assistance, then the parent must owe at least $500.

Paternity Establishment

Paternity means establishing a legal father for a child. This designation is increasingly important in modern times because children born outside of marriage will have no legal father until steps to establish paternity are taken. When children are born during marriage, the husband is the automatic legal father of the child.

How do you establish paternity?

In Delaware, paternity is established through marriage, a voluntary acknowledgement of both parents or a court order.

What rights does a father have if not on birth certificate?

Fathers in Delaware who are not listed on the child’s birth certificate will not have any legal rights to their children. The father will need to take steps to establish paternity in order to enforce his parental rights.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

Mothers may attempt to deny potential fathers the right to a paternity test. If this situation applies to you, then it may be best to seek a legal action to establish paternity. Once this action is initiated, the mother will need to comply with court demands to a paternity test.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

When the alleged father has passed away, it may be possible to conduct DNA testing on either the father’s remains or living relatives of the deceased in order to legally establish paternity.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

A father can petition the courts for a paternity hearing. If paternity hasn’t been established for the child, then a paternity test will be ordered.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Delaware?

Fathers should establish paternity before the child reaches their 18th birthday.

Support order establishment

Once paternity is established, the DCSS will ask Delaware Courts to establish a child support order where one is not already in place. This order will allocate a monthly amount of payment that will be taken from the noncustodial parent and provided to the custodial parent for the child’s needs.

State Child Support orders

Delaware’s courts will use the state’s child support formula to establish an appropriate amount. The amount of time it takes to establish an order greatly hinges on how difficult it is to locate the noncustodial parent and establish paternity. Once the order is established, it is enforceable by the DCSS agency, courtrooms, law enforcement officers and other agencies.

Can child support be modified?

Parents in Delaware have the right to request a modification of their child support order.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

Modification requests should be made through your local DCSS office. The child support office will review your request and file it with the Family Court. Parents will be notified about the scheduled hearing.

Can a child support order appealed?

Parents do have the right to appeal any decisions made regarding their child support orders, but courts will very rarely appeal a current obligation order.

Do you need a lawyer to modify child support?

Parents do not need to hire representation to request a modification of their support order. In some cases, parents may want to hire a lawyer to protect their rights and fight their case, but it isn’t necessary.

When can you modify child support?

Requests for modification can occur after two and a half years or within two years when there has been a significant change in the parent’s income or the needs of the child.

Child support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Different enforcement measures will be levied against the parent depending on how delinquent the payer is on making payments. Many enforcement measures will occur automatically after a certain threshold of debt or period of time occurs.

What to do when child support is not paid?

If you aren’t receiving your payments, then you need to report the issue to your local DCSS office.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

If you aren’t making payments, then enforcement measures may be initiated against you. It’s important to contact your local DCSS agency when you are struggling.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

When a parent willingly refuses to pay his debts, the federal government has the authority to charge them with a crime. It’s a felony to owe over $10,000 in support or to owe payments that have been outstanding for over two years.

Can child support debt be forgiven?

In Delaware, forgiveness of support debts is very rare.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

Parents can file a Notice and Motion to revoke child support when they believe their support obligation should have terminated.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

Parents can apply for support termination when the child has reached 18-years-old and has graduated from high school.

Can the custodial parent close a child support case?

Custodial parents can close a case at any time as long as they are not currently receiving financial assistance from the state or federal government.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

Parents can stop paying support when their obligation has ended, the order has been terminated and all outstanding debts have been paid.

What is the legal age to stop paying child support?

The legal age to stop support is 18, but the parent’s obligation may continue until the child graduates high school.

Delaware Hearing Rights

Parents in Delaware have a right to a hearing regarding paternity, custody, visitation, establishment of child support orders and modification requests.

Delaware Child Support Guidelines

Delaware courts will always use the state’s child support formula unless doing so would not be in the best interests of the child. The formula takes into account each parent’s income, the number of children in need of support, daycare expenses and medical insurance expenses.

Delaware Child Support Coverage

What is child support meant to cover?

Obligation payments are designed to cover a child’s basic financial expenses like shelter, food, clothing, medical health insurance needs and childcare expenses.

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

Medical insurance costs are considered allowable deductions, so these costs can be covered by support payments.

What if Both Parents are working, will Child Support Cover child care services?

Childcare costs which are necessary for the primary parent to work or go to school will be included in the support action.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Child Support?

Car maintenance expenses would typically be paid by the custodial parent.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Basic entertainment for the purposes of child support means the expenses occurred while providing a child with age appropriate forms of entertainment.

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support in Delaware?

Delaware courts do not have the authority to order support past the age of 19 or after the child graduates from high school.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Extracurricular activities are considered discretionary expenses. They may be added to the basic obligation when both parents are in agreement about the activity.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

School-related costs are included in the basic support obligation.

Delaware Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Division of Child Support Services 1901 N. Du Pont Highway, Main Bldg. New Castle, DE dhssinfo@state.de.us (302) 255-9040 http://dhss.delaware.gov

County Child Support Offices in DE

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Kent County Kent County, DE Division of Child Support Services 655 S. Bay Road, Suite 2J, Dover, DE 19901 N/A (302) 739-8299 http://dhss.delaware.gov/dcss/
New Castle County New Castle County, DE Division of Child Support Services 84A Christiana Road, New Castle, DE 19720 N/A (302) 577-7171 http://dhss.delaware.gov/dcss/
Sussex County Sussex County, DE Division of Child Support Services 20105 Office Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947 N/A (302) 856-5386 http://dhss.delaware.gov/dcss/