PHONE: 740-432-2381
Child Support Services
If you would like to establish a paternity or support order for your child(ren), please click on the below document, print the form and provide the requested information.

Send the completed form to:

Guernsey County Department of Job and Family Services
324 Highland Avenue
Cambridge, OH 43725
Application for IV-D Services
(Print, complete, and send to address above)

Establishing Paternity

Establishing Paternity for the Child’s Sake

Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity means legally naming a father for the child. An administrative paternity establishment process can be completed at any time up to and including the child’s 23rd birthday. Paternity can be established even if one of the parties resides in another county, state or foreign country.

Establishing paternity…

  • Gives the child a sense of identity and belonging
  • Increases the likelihood to know about diseases or disorders that exist in the father’s family
  • Entitles the child to the fathers financial and economic benefits, such as child support, health insurance, social security, pensions and veteran’s benefits
  • Gives the child the right to inherit from the father in the event of his death

In Ohio, paternity may be established in one of the following ways:

• Voluntary Acknowledgement.

When a baby is born to parents who are not married to each other, paternity is not established automatically. Voluntary acknowledgement refers to the completion of the JFS 07038 form also known as the “Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit.” This form can be completed at the hospital when your child is born, at your local health department or county CSEA office.

By signing the affidavit, both parties agree they are the biological parents of the child and choose to be named as the legal parents of the child. This becomes final 60 days after signature. If the father wants to rescind the Paternity Affidavit, he may request DNA services of the CSEA within that 60 day time frame. After 60 days, only the court may initiate DNA testing: the CSEA can’t. The father’s name may only be on the birth certificate if he signed a paternity affidavit.

• Presumption due to marriage.

When a child is born to parents who are married to each other or within 300 days of a divorce, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father of the child, and paternity is automatically established.

• Genetic Testing

Genetic testing can be requested by the mother, alleged father(s) or the child or child’s guardian. Genetic testing may be conducted if there is not a final determination of paternity and if the parentage of the child is uncertain or contested.
Either party may request DNA testing if a legal presumption of paternity does not exist.

• A Court Order

A court order of paternity may also be issued through Juvenile Court or Domestic Relations Court. The CSEA may only initiate DNA testing during the course of an administrative child support hearing if the parents were married when the child was born.

Establishing Child Support

How are Child Support Orders Established?

Parents have a responsibility to support their children financially. Obtaining child support is important to your child’s well-being. A child support order sets the amount and type of support parents are required to provide for their children.

If a person does not already receive support, the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian, or the person with whom the child lives (considered the residential parent) can contact Guernsey County CSEA for assistance in establishing an order for the payment of child support and health care needs of the child(ren). Support orders can usually be established by the CSEA without going to court.

In Ohio, there are two ways that a support order can be established:

• Administratively

Parents work with us to determine the amount and type of child support for the support order. A court hearing is not needed.

• Judicially

Parents come to a court hearing where a judge reviews the financial information and decides the amount and type of child support for the support order.

Guernsey County CSEA can also help you establish a child support order even if a parent does not live in Ohio.

In Ohio, the amount of child support a parent is responsible to pay depends on the income and assets of both parents. The CSEA or the court will use the "Ohio Child Support Guidelines" to determine the child support amount. Both parents must provide verification of their incomes for the past six months or provide their most recent income tax returns.

The CSEA can help you in establishing a child support order, however, CSEA does not offer:

  • Help with a divorce
  • Determine custody of the children
  • Determine spousal support or alimony
  • Negotiate visitation rights
  • Address contested visitation issues
Child Support Enforcement

Once a support order is established, there are several methods Guernsey County uses to enforce the order. Neither the custodial or non-custodial parent can choose which method the CSEA will use to enforce the order. Enforcement actions are taken according to local, state and federal CSEA policy.

Wage withholding:

The most common enforcement method is by wage withholding, which is not discretionary. This is implemented as soon as an employer is verified. Other sources of “income” that are attachable include but are not limited to:

  • Personal earnings
  • Workers’ Compensation payments
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Pensions
  • Annuities
  • Private or governmental retirement benefits, disability (Social Securities), or sick pay
  • Lottery prize awards
  • Lump sum payments
  • Assets in a financial institution

IRS offset

If an obligor is in default of his support order, payers are submitted for federal and state tax offset. This allows their State and Federal tax refund to be intercepted and applied to arrears balances.

The SETS system will automatically submit the non-custodial parent to the offset program if their arrearage is over $500 owed to the custodial parent or if over $150 is owed to the state for Public Assistance arrears.

Non-custodial parents receive a one time notice mailed to their last known address, if they are being submitted to the program.

If there is an arrearage owed to the state AND to the custodial parent, the IRS tax refund will be applied towards the state arrears first and once that balance is satisfied, the refund will go towards the arrears owed to the custodial parent.

If the non-custodial parent files a joint tax return with his/her spouse, that spouse may claim his/her portion of the refund by completing an “injured spouse form” within six months of the agency receiving the tax refund. The “injured spouse process” is completed through the IRS. If this form is not completed, the whole tax refund will be applied towards arrears.

License suspension

The CSEA may administratively recommend the suspension or non-renewal of a driver’s license, including a CDL, if a non-paying parent is in default of the child support order. In ongoing delinquent payment situations, when genuine employment seeking attempts are not verified, professional licenses, such as business licenses, cosmetology licenses, medical licenses, or law licenses may be suspended. Recreational licenses, such as hunting, fishing and boating licenses may also be suspended.

Passport denial:

If someone owes a combined obligation of at least $2500.00, their request for passport will be denied.

Credit reporting:

Cases in default are reported to credit reporting agencies. This may significantly impact the person’s ability to secure credit.

Freeze and Seize Bank Accounts:

The CSEA receives a weekly match of bank accounts from FIDM (Financial Institute Data Match). If the account is owned solely by the obligor and the obligor is in default, we freeze and seize the money in the account.

Property Liens:

In significant default situations, the CSEA will file a lien on the real property of a non-paying parent. This enforcement step secures child support arrears from the sale of the property in the future.

Interstate/Intergovernmental Action:

If the obligor/payer resides in another state and an employer is verified, a wage withholding order can be sent to the employer who is bound by law to follow the order. If we are unable to verify employment, the CSEA can proceed with an action under UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) to that state asking for their assistance in enforcement.

Seek Work and JOBS Participation:

If the agency is unable to verify an employer after exhausting all efforts, the non-custodial parent is ordered to seek work. The seek work order requires the non-custodial parent to actively seek employment and to document their efforts using an agency provided seek work form.

Termination of Child Support Order

Under Ohio law (ORC 3103.03 & 3103.031), parents have a duty to support their child (ren) until the age of eighteen. This duty shall continue beyond the age of majority (age 18) as long as the child continuously attends any recognized and accredited high school on a full-time basis. The duty of support shall continue during seasonal vacation periods. However, the duty of support for a child shall terminate once the child attains the age of 18, either graduates or is no longer attending high school on a full-time basis. Reasons for which a child support order may terminate, include the following: the child’s death, marriage, enlistment in the armed services, deportation, change of legal custody of the child, the child no longer attends high school, is over the age of 18, is neither mentally or physically disabled, or there is no separation agreement that has been incorporated by reference into a decree which continues beyond the child’s 18th birthday.

If you feel that your child meets the criteria for a termination, please click on the below document, print the form and provide the requested information.

Send the completed form to:

Guernsey County Child Support Enforcement Agency
324 Highland Avenue 
Cambridge, Ohio 43725
or Fax:740-432-1952
Termination Status Form (Print, complete, and send to address above)

Guernsey County JFS
324 Highland Avenue Cambridge, OH 43725
Phone: 740-432-2381 | 800-307-8422
Fax: 740-432-1952

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