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Child Support Enforcement Council

   

Selecting a Private Agency

Child Support Enforcement Options

Use this advice to select your collection agency.

Understand the type(s) of services offered

You can enforce your support order using the services of a private attorney, the Child Support Enforcement Agency for your state, or a private child support enforcement agency like this one.

Private agencies generally offer services on a contingency basis, meaning they are paid if they collect for custodial parents.

Agencies that provide these support enforcement services offer investigations, contact with the absent parent, and collection. Many agencies offer legal services as part of the total package, some with increased contingency fees, and some with a flat attorney fee rate. Legal services generally cover the absent parent's financial ability to pay and reduce the arrearage.

Decide what type of services you want to receive

Do you want an agency that has the ability to, locate, investigate, provide legal assistance, collect the child or spousal support, provide you with updates, and be your advocate while enforcing the order?

Do you want to pursue the support by legal action only or a combination of collection tactics and legal action?

Decide what you are looking for and choose an agency that fills the bill.

Make a careful comparison of services and fees:

When you have decided to pursue enforcement utilizing a private enforcement agency, you need to select the right agency for you.

Choose the type of enforcement services you want provided and confirm the agency can produce. Ask yourself several key questions before deciding.

  1. Are there any fees to get started on my case?
  2. What is the contingency fee, how much do they charge?
  3. Are there additional costs?
  4. Do they have a written contract for services?
  5. Can I reach them by phone?
  6. How long have they been in business?
  7. What other alternatives do I have available?