Job & Family Services Office of Child Support
How to Apply for Child Support Services

The Ohio child support program is here to serve the families of Ohio. Applying is free and child support services are available at no additional charge from your local county Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). Services are not based on your income and anyone with a child residing in Ohio may apply.  A child support case may be opened when the CSEA receives:

  • An application for child support services from either parent or caretaker
  • A child support order from a court
  • A request for child support services from another state or country
  • A request from the Office of Family Assistance or Protective Services

Your local CSEA provides these services:

  • Open a Child Support Case
  • Establish Legal Parentage/Paternity
  • Establish a Child and Medical Support Order
  • Options to Pay or Receive Support
  • Enforce the Support Order
  • Change or End a Support Order
Applying for Child Support Services

Once an application, court order or referral has been received, the CSEA can begin providing services. If you do not already have an order, the CSEA may need an application and more information to get started. 

You can get started now by filling out an Application for Child Support Services and returning the form to your county CSEA by mail or in person. The CSEA will work with you to take any steps necessary to get your account set up including finding the other parent, establishing paternity, and setting the order. After an order is entered in the system, the CSEA can then work with you to help pay or receive support and will provide access for you to manage your account online.

In most situations, you should hear from the CSEA within 20 days.

Your application enables the CSEA to assist with child support services, but unfortunately, they will not be able to assist with the following:

  • Filing divorce or dissolution
  • Spousal support/alimony
  • Custody or visitation issues
  • Tax dependency
  • Legal advice
  • Application for Child Support Services
  • Need a Translator? Call 1-800-686-1556, Option #4.
  • To find the CSEA in your county, call 1-800-686-1556 or use the online ODJFS County Directory.  Each of the state's 88 counties has a CSEA, staffed by people who are well-versed in Ohio laws, practices and who can answer your questions about applying for child support services and explain your rights. 
  • If you are concerned about your confidentiality or safety, please bring this up when talking to the CSEA. For more information on protecting your address from the public, visit the Safe at Home website.
  • Ohio Administrative Code 5101:12-10-01.1: IV-D Application and IV-D Referral

Last Updated 09/28/2022