April 2, 2020 - What You Can Expect

We are here to help you during this challenging time.  Following is important information about what you can expect, what you can do and how the child support amount is calculated.

What you can expect:

Our services will continue to be available.  Customer Support Specialists are available during normal business hours Monday - Friday and until 7:00 pm on Mondays to answer your questions.  In addition, information, forms, and many other resources are available online.

We will continue to issue payments.  We will continue to issue child support payments to families.  We recognize that consistent child support is more important than ever.

Help may be available if you’ve been financially affected by COVID-19.  Visit NDResponse.com for up to date information on COVID-19, answers to questions about employment, benefits, community resources, and many other topics.

What you can do:

Sign up to view your case online.  Monitor case activity, make payments, and update your contact information – all from the comfort of your home.

Stay in touch with Child Support.  If you are the parent who pays support, it’s more important than ever to stay in touch with Child Support.  Tell Child Support about your situation so enforcement actions can be adjusted when appropriate. 

Continue to make payments as long as you are able.  Your support may make all the difference in your child’s life during this period.

See if unemployment benefits are available for you.  If you have a job loss or temporary layoff you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.       

  • If you are the parent who pays support and you are eligible for unemployment benefits, notify Child Support so an income withholding order can be sent to Job Service.  Job Service will withhold the support amount and send it to Child Support.  You will want to make sure the support amount is paid as you transition from your employer sending in payments to Job Service sending in payments.  If there is a gap in payments, you can make a payment to Child Support.

What you need to know about the support amount:

The support amount doesn’t AUTOMATICALLY change when the income of the parent who pays support changes.  The support amount is part of a court order, and that court order will need be changed for the support amount to change.   Increased income (getting a raise) doesn’t automatically increase the support amount, just as decreased income doesn’t automatically lower the support amount.        

Ways to change the support amount. 

  • Ask Child Support to review the support amount.  Child Support will review the support amount every 18 months at the request of either parent.
  • Use the self-help forms provided by the Supreme Court.
  • Contact a private attorney.

The Child Support Guidelines provide the rules for calculating the support amount.  The support amount is based on the number of children, the income of the parent who pays support, and many other things.   The guidelines must always be followed when calculating the support amount including when the self-help forms are used.

Use the CALCULATOR for an estimate of the support amount.

NOTE  The guidelines look at your actual income and your ability to earn income.  There are rules for determining your ability to earn income that take into consideration your past earnings.  Even if you are unemployed or have significantly reduced income now, under the guidelines you will most likely be treated as having the ability to earn income so your payment amount may not go down.  The amount could even go up if your income has increased since the support amount was last calculated.