Receiving/applying for federally subsidized housing assistance (i.e. Section 8 or public housing)
There is a requirement that you take reasonable actions to establish/enforce a child support order, such as cooperating with the OAG in obtaining a child support order.
If you have safety concerns about the child support process or if there is a history of family violence, you have options
- Option 1: If cooperating with child support establishment or enforcement could put you or your children in danger, tell your landlord/Public Housing Authority. You may need to provide a notarized, written affidavit, stating that you cannot comply with the child support requirement because of a safety concern or history of family violence.
- Option 2: You can inform the Office of the Attorney General about your safety concerns and request that a Family Violence Indicator be placed on your case. In order to receive a Family Violence Indicator on your case, all you need to do is inform the Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division about your safety concerns. The OAG will ask you to complete and submit an Request for Nondisclosure, which is a form that documents your safety concerns. It is not required that you fill out and return this form in order to get your case marked with the Family Violence Indicator, but it is an important form that documents your concerns for the OAG. You could also provide a copy of your protective order against the other parent (if one exists) or any police or medical reports that could help document family violence.
- Once the Family Violence Indicator is on your case, your contact information, such as your physical address, will not be printed on court documents, and if the court agrees, your address will not be made available to the other parent. Your case will also be set for a court hearing, instead of a negotiation meeting with the other parent in the local child support office.
- If you do not inform the Office of the Attorney General about family violence and there is not a Family Violence Indicator placed on your case, your contact information will be printed on public court documents and your child support order, which are available to the other parent. Your case will most likely be scheduled for a negotiation meeting with the other parent in the child support office (Child Support Review Process: CSRP).
- You are legally required to appear in court on your court date. If you do not appear, a default judgment may be entered anyway. If you have safety concerns about appearing in court, contact the child support office to discuss these concerns.
- During a CSRP or court hearing, a child support order will be established, including financial and medical support, as well as custody and visitation. Paternity will also be established at this time, if necessary.
- Go to the “Preparing for Court and Court Process” area of the webpage to find out more information on safety precautions that can be made available to you for your court date, and what the court process will be like.
Note: Any child support payment you receive (with or without an order from the OAG) must be reported as income, or you will jeopardize your housing benefits.