While an incarcerated parent is away, it is important they remain in contact with the Child Support Division. We help parents engage with the child support program while incarcerated and when returning to the community.
To better serve incarcerated parents, we partner with criminal justice agencies and community partners. We educate these professionals about the child support system so that they are more equipped to serve our justice-involved customers.
We also work with the families and friends of those who are incarcerated so they can act as liaisons between the Child Support Division and the parent.
We understand that navigating the child support process can be difficult, especially while a parent is incarcerated. Take a look at this video to help explain the process and services offered.
Serving as a Liaison for an Incarcerated Parent
If you have an incarcerated loved one with an open child support case, we can work with you as their designated, trusted representative. We can provide you with answers to specific questions they may have about their case.
Before you can work with us on behalf of an incarcerated parent, the parent will have to complete an Authorization for Release of Information or Payment form. By completing this form, the incarcerated parent authorizes you to receive information about their case on their behalf or to receive child support payments that would otherwise have been directed to them.
How We Help Incarcerated Parents
What We Can Do: Modify Child Support Payments
A parent’s obligation to pay child support does not automatically stop when they are incarcerated. The only way to stop or change the court ordered amount of child support is to ask the court to change the order.
To do this, parents with a child support case can request for a “review and adjustment” of their order. To see if their case qualifies for a lower monthly child support payment, they will complete the Inquiry Form for Incarcerated Parents. Completing this form tells us that they would like information on their case or are requesting a review of their case for possible legal action on their behalf. This form can be made available to them in their facility.
What We Can Do: Provide Information and Review A Case
While a parent is incarcerated, we can work through a designated representative to provide them with:
- Basic information about their child support case
- The terms of their order (such as monthly child support payments and total arrears owed)
- A review of their case to see if they are eligible for a child support modification
- Information on how to establish paternity
What We Cannot Do
While a parent is incarcerated, we cannot:
- Change custody or enforce visitation
- Provide the address of your children or the other parent
- Perform DNA testing if they signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) or if there is an existing child support order
- Answer questions other than child support inquiries
- Transport them to court for a hearing
- Lift a bench warrant
- Stop the interest on child support arrears
- Provide legal advice or an attorney
How We Help Parents Returning to the Community
We understand that most people need time to get on their feet after being incarcerated. If you are a recently released parent with an open child support case, it is in your best interest to make contact with a child support office as soon as possible and remain in contact as your circumstances change. We are here to help you understand your case through this transition.
Child Support Facts for Re-entering Parents
This resource guide is for parents re-entering the community after being released from prison. It provides information about the Child Support Division’s services and resources.