District of Columbia Child Support

How to apply for child support in Washington, D.C.

You can open a child support case by submitting an application with a fee of $5 to the District of Columbia Child Support Services Division. Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in D.C.?

Support is calculated by taking into account the number of children involved in a pending action, the gross annual incomes of both parents and any childcare costs that are accrued.

How to claim and pay child support?

Payments can be made via the CSSD Clearinghouse or electronically via dc.SmartChildSupport.com and received electronically.

Child Support Performance Stats for Washington, D.C.

The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia oversees and reports on the performance of the child support program.

Here go the visuals:

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) 90.01 90.01 90.01 90.01 90.01
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Support Order Establishment (%) 68.86 67.61 68.28 71.33 73.28
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 1.89 1.84 1.99 2.07 2

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 ($) 50.37 48.14 47.36 47.34 47.11
Total Distributed to Families ($) 44.62 42.94 42.6 42.89 42.65
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 30.14 29.75 27.21 26.1 26.92

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can Child Support Be Paid Early in the District of Columbia

Yes, you may pay support in larger chunks ahead of time if you wish.

What Will Happen If You Fall Behind on Child Support Payments?

Severe enforcement actions will be taken against you.

Can You Get Alimony and Child Support at the Same Time in the District of Columbia?

Yes, it is possible to receive both at the same time.

Can You Stop Child Support Payments?

No, you cannot stop making payments without court approval in the District of Columbia.

Child Support and Taxes

Support payments that you make in the District of Columbia won't have an impact on your tax situation.

Can Child Support Payments Be Claimed on Taxes in the District of Columbia?

No, you cannot claim support payments on your taxes in the District of Columbia.

How Does My Child Support Affect My Taxes in the District of Columbia?

Support payments can't be claimed as income or used for deductions in Washington, D.C.

Can Child Support Be Taken Pre-Tax in Washington D.C.?

No, there is not a program for paying support on a pre-tax basis in the District of Columbia.

Can Child Support in D.C. Take My Federal Tax Return?

Yes, your federal tax refunds can be taken if you fall behind on payments.

Paternity Establishment

It is necessary to establish paternity before you can move forward with a support order in Washington, D.C.

How Do You Establish Paternity in the District of Columbia?

Paternity is established automatically if parents are married at the time of birth, through a voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity if parents are not married or via a court order if paternity is being contested.

What Rights Does a Father Have If Not on a Birth Certificate in the District of Columbia?

A father isn't able to access any parental rights until paternity has been established in Washington, D.C.

Can a Mother Refuse Me a Paternity Test?

A court will be able to order genetic testing if either parent refuses to comply.

How to Establish Paternity If the Father Is Deceased?

A court would typically allow the use of a family member's DNA.

Can a Father Get a Paternity Test Without the Mother in the District of Columbia?

Fathers should petition the court to ensure that testing results are legally obtained.

How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in the District of Columbia?

A father has until a child turns 18 years old to establish paternity in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. Child Support Orders

A support order can be obtained and put into action once a non-custodial parent has been located and paternity has been legally established.

Can Child Support in Washington, D.C. Be Modified?

Yes, there are specific channels that can be used for requesting a modification.

How Do I File for a Modification of Child Support in the District of Columbia?

You will need to schedule an adjustment conference and be willing to provide all the paperwork and documentation that is requested.

Can a Child Support Order Be Appealed?

Yes, you can send an appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 calendar days of an order's enforcement.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Modify Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Seeking the assistance of a custody lawyer is highly recommended.

When Can You Modify Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Once every three years or whenever there has been a substantial and material change in the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay or in the needs of the child.

Child Support Enforcement

How Is Child Support Enforced?

The District of Columbia Child Support Services Division has a variety of remedies at its disposal for collecting payments on an involuntary basis.

How Long Does Child Support Enforcement Take in the District of Columbia?

Enforcement will begin shortly after a first missed payment is reported.

What to Do When Child Support Is Not Paid in Washington, D.C.?

You should let the agent assigned to your case know if a payment has not been received.

What Happens If I’m Not Paying Child Support?

Failing to pay child support will open you up to the potential for intercepted earnings, suspended personal and professional licenses, tax intercepts, passport revocation, civil contempt, criminal contempt, liens and more.

How Much Overdue Child Support Payment Can Be Considered a Felony in the District of Columbia?

Support that is overdue by two years or that totals $10,000 or more could result in felony charges.

Can Child Support Debt Be Forgiven in the District of Columbia?

Fresh Start is a debt-forgiveness program for non-custodial parents that allows for a portion of overdue payments to be forgiven.

Support Order Termination

How Do I Stop a Child Support Order in the District of Columbia?

You will need to petition the court if you feel that a qualifying circumstance should allow you to discontinue payments.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination in the District of Columbia?

You may be able to terminate support if your child has become emancipated, if your custody situation has changed or if you've decided to reconcile with the custodial parent.

Can the Custodial Parent Close a Child Support Case?

While a custodial parent can petition to close a case in the District of Columbia, the action may be subject to court approval if TANF benefits are involved.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support in the District of Columbia?

When a child reaches the legal age of emancipation or if another qualifying circumstance occurs before that time.

What Is the Legal Age to Stop Paying Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Child support ends at 18 years of age in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. Hearing Rights

Both parents have hearing rights when it comes to establishing paternity, establishing an order or modifying an order.

Washington, D.C. Child Support Guidelines

The District of Columbia has specific guidelines in place that courts use to establish support amounts based on average circumstances.

Washington, D.C. Child Support Coverage

What Is Child Support Meant to Cover in the District of Columbia?

Support is intended to cover housing costs, food costs, healthcare costs, educational costs, childcare costs and basic entertainment for children in Washington, D.C.

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses in the District of Columbia?

Yes, it is expected that both parents will contribute to healthcare costs and provide coverage if possible.

What If Both Parents Are Working? Will Child Support Cover Childcare Services in the District of Columbia?

Yes, the District of Columbia takes childcare costs into account when determining support totals.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Yes, a parent can petition to have all transportation-related costs added to child support.

What Is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Basic entertainment can be defined as access to the Internet, movies, television, live entertainment, museums and more.

Are College Expenses Covered by Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Not unless the topic is covered in a divorce agreement.

Are Extracurricular Activities Covered by Support in the District of Columbia?

Yes, most extracurricular activities are covered.

Are School-Related Costs Covered by Child Support in the District of Columbia?

Yes, a non-custodial parent may be expected to pay fees related to schooling and school activities.