Paying Child Support
You start owing child support the day of your hearing or at a date determined by the court. For most people, child support is withheld from their wages. Employers are required to do this by law. Payments may also be withheld from Workers Compensation, certain Social Security benefits, pensions and annuities. But if you are laid off, self-employed or waiting for your employer to start wage withholding, you should make payments directly to Child Support Payment Central in Columbus.
Remember, when a judge or magistrate orders a person to pay child support, it must be paid through the child support system. You are certainly free to provide gifts and other extras for your child, but it won’t count toward your support order.
There are several ways to make a child support payment. Please pick whichever method works best for you:
Pay in Person
if Hamilton County is designated red because of COVID-19 cases, our payment window is closed for cash payments.
Checks and money orders can be left in the drop box in front of the building. You must include your SETS case number or SSN with the payment.
When the window is open, you can pay during our regular office hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To come inside to pay, you must wear a mask and have your temperature checked.
We recommend calling the CSEA center at 513-946-7387 before bringing cash to the building.
- Pay Online will be https://oh.smartchildsupport.com/. There are no processing charges with the new website.
Pay by Phone
- The number to make payments is 888-965-2676 option 5
- In order to pay by phone you must have your SETS case number
- The system can only process one payment per call
Pay by Mail
In order to pay by mail, please send the payment* with your case number and order number to:
Ohio Child Support Payment Central
P.O. Box 182372
Columbus, OH 43218-2372
*Make checks/money orders payable to: Ohio CSPC
Pay by MoneyGram
You may now make cash payments at many retail locations throughout the state where MoneyGram payment services are offered, or on-line by credit card using the “Pay Bills” option at www.moneygram.com.
Use state code 14674 when using MoneyGram services. There is a fee based on the transaction amount. Fee guidelines are available on the MoneyGram website.
Determining Payment Amount
The child support enforcement agency or court uses a state-mandated formula to determine the amount of child support you owe. The formula considers income, expenses and the number of dependents. Your actual payments will also include a two percent administrative fee. You will receive a copy of the formula with support calculations after the hearing.
Skipping or Making Partial Payments
If you have difficulty paying or you have lost your job, tell your child support worker. Your worker can guide you through a limited number of options. Skipping payments, or not paying the whole amount will create debt and could hurt your credit rating. In addition, you could lose your driver’s license, lose tax refunds, be denied a passport, have a lien placed on your property, have money taken out of your bank account or even go to jail.
HCJFS will accept partial payments, but the amount you do not pay becomes an arrearage – a child support debt you will eventually have to pay. If the arrearage equals one month of child support, Child Support will have to take enforcement action.
Remember: only an official action of the child support agency or court can lessen your child support amount.