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Child support portal offers efficiency to employers, agencies

In 2017, employers in Pennsylvania and around the country will have access to a child support portal that should make gathering and sharing information between employers and child support enforcement agencies at the federal and state levels easier and more efficient. Using the system, employers can provide needed identification and contact information to agencies. Communication and correspondence will also be more efficient.

The portal can also be used to transmit a great deal of health insurance information. For example, employers can clarify whether they offer health insurance, whether there is a family plan and whether there is a single or are multiple insurance providers. This assists agencies in determining whether to send the employer a medical support notice. Employers can tell agencies if their payroll is processed elsewhere so that they do not have to keep redirecting queries. Every six months, employers would have the opportunity to update and certify data.

An older version of the portal allowed employers to report how much an employee might be receiving as a lump sum payment to assist those agencies in calculating what should be withheld from bonuses and similar payments. It also gave employers the ability to let child support agencies know when an employee was terminated. Both of these features are retained.

Parents who are considering a divorce might wonder how child support will be calculated and collected. The person paying might be worried about being overwhelmed with payments while the person who will receive support might wonder whether they will receive enough. Child support is determined by looking at parents' incomes and a few other factors. Making a legal child support agreement means that the parent who is paid support can use state child support agencies to pursue payment if necessary. Garnishing wages is one of the tools used to enforce payment.

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