It used to be that if you wanted to check up on your child support payment – either one you sent or one you were expecting to receive – you were faced with the unpleasant task of talking to your ex. Then you had to decide whether to believe her. Not anymore. This is the age of technology, and Alabama is on board with that. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and Alabama Code 1975 Section 30-3-195 both provide for how child support payments are made, recorded and received.
The Alabama Child Support Payment Center
The Alabama Child Support Payment Center was formed in August 2000 to conform with state and federal law. The ACSPC collects payments from noncustodial parents, but it doesn’t transmit them to the parents who are receiving support. Instead, it sends the money to either the Alabama Department of Human Resources or the Alabama Central Disbursement Division, depending on the nature of the child support case. Title IV-D child support goes to the DHR, and non-Title IV-D payments go to the ACDD.
Parents who want to look up child support payments they’ve made should always check with the ACSPC first because this is the initial recipient.
What’s Title IV-D Support?
Title IV-D is the section of the Social Security Act that provided the first legislation requiring all states to establish child support guidelines – rules for how child support is calculated so each family is treated equally – and to create a unit within the state’s government to collect and enforce child support obligations. Payments are made through this unit.
The majority of child support payments are Title IV-D and are made through the state through income withholding. Courts won’t authorize non-Title IV-D support unless both parents agree that payments will be made between them without automatic state support for collection efforts if payments aren’t made.
If you’re receiving non-Title IV-D child support payments from the ACDD, the money should be disbursed to you the same day it’s received from the ACSPC. Depending on the terms you’ve elected, either your bank account or debit card will be credited or the ACDD will mail you a check. In any case, you should receive an email letting you know that the transmission has occurred.
You can call the ACDD directly at 877-774-9513 if you don’t receive notification and the payment on the day you expect. Customer service reps stand by ready to help out during regular business hours, and there’s also an automated interactive voice system that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The voice system will tell you the amount and date of the last payment the ACDD received from the ACSPC. The ACDD also offers a website that lets you track your payments back 90 days.
Online Payment Inquiry System
The DHR maintains an online payment inquiry system for parents who are receiving Title IV-D child support payments. Just go to the MyAlabama website.
The website is designed to help custodial parents who receive child support. You have to set up a MyAlabama account to access your information, and this requires your Social Security number. After you’re set up, just click on “Search Services,” then on “Online Payment Inquiry.” The website is set up so you can print out everything you find there, which should include up to 13 payments received by the DHR from the ACSPC in the previous 90 days. If you can’t find any data for your account for some reason, call your county child support office for guidance.
The Child Support Hotline
Alabama’s Child Support Hotline is something of a last ditch resort if you run into trouble accessing your information directly from the DHR. It’s available 24/7 even if the MyAlabama website goes down for some reason. Call 334-242-0210 if you’re in Montgomery, Autauga or Elmore counties or if you’re outside the state. Otherwise, you can call 800-284-4347. You’ll need a touch-tone phone.
- Alabama Administrative Office of Courts: Child Support Information
- Alabama Department of Human Resources: Online Payment Inquiry System – Assistance
- Alabama Department of Human Resources: Child Support Payment Information
- Social Security Administration: Title IV
- The Harris Firm: Income Withholding Orders