CourthouseCourts are instrumental in ensuring that child support orders are realistic and based on parents’ actual ability to comply.  In jurisdictions that do not use an administrative process, most child support agency-initiated establishment and modification actions are filed and processed in the court.  Thus, courts participate in the day-to-day functioning of the child support program and assist its mission by establishing realistic, appropriate, and timely child support orders, in accordance with due process requirements. Through setting accurate and fair orders, courts can also reduce or prevent arrears.

Courts serve families by ensuring child support orders are based on parents’ ability to follow them. In some states, child support agencies handle support orders without involving the courts. In many places, courts set up and maintain child support orders. Courts at a local level assist the Federal program. Together they fulfill the mission of making realistic child support orders that parents can pay regularly and on time.

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