Child Support Services

If you are a custodial parent or guardian you can get child support services from New York State. The local Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) does many helpful things to get you the child support. In New York City the office is called the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).

This service is available to all custodial parents and guardians regardless of income, cash assistance, or immigration status.

If you need to keep your address confidential from the person who pays the support so that you can't be found, then do not give CSEU your home or work address. Talk to the person who is helping you to find out how to protect yourself.


What Kind of Help

The local child support services office can help you with the following things:

  • Locate the noncustodial parent if you don't know where he or she is.
  • Serve the summons on the noncustodial parent
  • Collect child support through its Support Collection Unit (SCU) and send the payment to you
  • Increase the amount of the child support order with a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), without going back to court

If child support payments fall behind, the local child support services office can temporarily

  • increase the amount of the order
  • seize (take) bank accounts, tax refunds, and lottery winnings
  • suspend driver licenses
  • report child support debt to credit reporting agencies


How to Apply

If you get public assistance in cash you must use the service. There is no fee.

If you're not on public assistance, you must apply for child support services. There is an administrative fee of $25 a year if you get over $500 of child support a year.

For more information, call the NYS Child Support Helpline at 888-208-4485 (available Monday-Friday, 8:00am-7:00pm).


Chat with us to find legal information and free legal services near you.

YouTube DIY Forms Ask a Law Librarian