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What is the role of the Child Support Services Department?

The Tennessee Child Support Services Department assists applicant parents with various issues while keeping in mind the best interests of the child and the child's parents. First and foremost, the department requires parents to abide by certain rules formulated for their own interests. For example, parents need to notify the department when their phone numbers or addresses change and the department also requires parents to cooperate and return any money sent in error.

Child Support services with the department include locating a parent who cannot be found and establishing a child's paternity when requested. Also, the department may assist in establishing and enforcing child support orders for unpaid medical bills, other payments and medical insurance.

Assistance can also be availed by parents to review and modify court orders for child support and collect child support payments using various enforcement methods, such as interception of federal income tax refunds. A parent must notify the department in writing if that parent wishes to cancel child support services. The child support services application form says that the department can attempt to establish and enforce child support, but does not guarantee that such attempts will be successful.

When a completed application is received, the department reviews the case, decides the proper course of action to take for each case and makes every effort to assist parents where needed. The department contacts a parent if additional information is needed and to inform parents about appointments and court hearing dates. The department may close a case if parents do not cooperate. Attorneys representing the State of Tennessee provide parents with child support services but do not represent parents in court.

Source: Tennessee Department of Human Services, "Application for Child Support Services," Accessed on Nov. 6, 2014

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The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky
503 Madison St.
Clarksville, TN 37040

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