You and the Father
The father of your child must provide support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for an abortion.
Child support is an obligation of a parent to provide emotional, financial and medical support for a child or children. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can help you locate your child's father, as well as help you find out if he is the father. DCFS can also help you collect your child support payments.
DCFS works with all other states, U.S. territories and some foreign countries to help provide child support services. It also receives information from the Federal Parent Locator Service, which provides information on those receiving Social Security or Veterans pensions and those working or contracting with the federal government.
Who Can Get Help?
- Any parent or person responsible for a child who needs our services.
- Anyone who receives Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) or is referred to DCFS by Medicaid automatically receives child support enforcement services.
- Anyone who does not receive FITAP, KCSP or Medicaid may apply for CSE services and pay an application fee of $25.
PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE
Under Louisiana law, the father of a child born outside of marriage does not have to pay child support until it is determined that he is the child's father. This can be done in two ways.
- Affidavit of Acknowledgment: The father can sign an affidavit acknowledging that he is the father of the child. Hospital personnel are required to provide parents of children born outside of marriage the opportunity to sign an acknowledgment of paternity at the time of birth; or
- Court Proceedings: If the man you believe to be the father of your child refuses to sign an acknowledgment of paternity, DCFS attorneys or contract District Attorneys may file a paternity suit asking the court to determine paternity.
The Louisiana Legislature established the Child Support Award Guidelines based on the income of both parties. The guidelines are based on the estimated costs of raising a child at various income levels, taking into account the number of children in the household.
The basic child support obligation is calculated considering the following factors:
- The amount of any preexisting court order for child support and spousal support paid is deducted from the gross income of the non-custodial parent.
- Net child care costs incurred due to employment or job search (minus the value of the federal tax credit for child care) is added to the basic obligation.
- If either parent carries health insurance for the child(ren) due support, the cost of that coverage is added to the basic child support obligation.
- A provision may also be made for extraordinary expenses of a child, such as medical or special or private schooling needs, by agreement of the parties or order of the court.
Child Support Enforcement can enforce payment of support by:
- Income assignment
- Interception of state and federal tax refunds
- Interception of lottery winnings
- Suspension of occupational, professional, drivers', hunting and fishing licenses
- Suspension of motor vehicle registration
- Contempt of court hearings
- Passport denials
A check will be issued to you or the funds will be directly deposited into a checking, savings or Direct Payment Card account.
To report a lost, stolen or damaged Direct Payment Card, contact JP Morgan Chase and Company Customer Service at 1-866-795-5927.
CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTERS
1-800-256-4650 (Toll Free)
1-225-922-8111 (Teletypewriter Hearing Impaired)
1-225-922-8100 (Baton Rouge Local)
The automated voice response (AVR) system provides payment receipt and disbursement information (on last five payments), arrearages, current financial obligation balances as well as general child support information. AVR information is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Experienced customer service representatives trained to handle case specific inquiries not addressed by the AVR can be accessed through the Customer Service Center numbers.
The Child Support Enforcement staff is located in 12 Regional Offices. These offices serve all 64 Louisiana parishes.
To learn more about Child Enforcement Services, click here or call the customer service center at 800 256-4650.