Washington, DC - Robert J. Spagnoletti, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, has launched sweeping changes to the city's Child Support Services Division (CSSD) to provide first class services to parents of the District's children, employers, and to other child-servicing agencies across the United States.
Under Mr. Spagnoletti's leadership, CSSD has streamlined the process of securing child support payments from non-custodial parents by offering a more efficient way for parents to make and receive their child support payments, by making it easier for employers to submit their employees' payments, and for other states to submit payments collected from non-custodial parents residing in their state on behalf of children living in the District. The District of Columbia has joined 30 states in operating a state-of-the-art child support payment center, the DC Child Support Clearinghouse, in hopes of collecting a greater percentage of support payments due to the District's children. The DC Child Support Clearinghouse will also post payments with nearly 100% percent accuracy, and send them on to nearly all custodial parents the next day.
Under the new payment system operated by Systems and Methods, Incorporated (SMI), support payments can be made online, and directly deposited into the bank accounts of custodial parents-this option eliminates the problem of lost and stolen paper checks. And in the spring of 2005, to facilitate immediate access to support payments, parents can sign up for a debit card so they can access child support payments using the card at ATMs and retail stores.
Employers can also make use of this innovative system by submitting the payments they are lawfully required to withhold from employees' paychecks by transferring funds directly to the DC Child Support Clearinghouse via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). This saves employers the cost of paper checks and postage.
Mr. Spagnoletti says the changes in payment procedures are a necessary step toward making sure the District's children are properly cared for. "We expect SMI to bring greater accuracy and convenience to the posting of payments, increase our collection levels and reduce the amount of child support payments that are delayed because we don't have up-to-date addresses on custodial parents. It is all part of a larger effort to provide greater financial support to the District's children." The collaboration with SMI is proving successful. CSSD has collected more than $5 million since December 9, 2004, on behalf of children.
The District joins Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina in using SMI's services.
For more information, view the Payments Online section of the Child Support Payments page.