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Problem Solving Court Process

Legal Authorities:

When a noncustodial parent (NCP) is having problems paying their child support, there are two methods to help the NCP.

  1. If the NCP indicates they have some barriers to the payment of child support, CSS staff could simply offer information about available community resources that might assist in removing such barriers; or
  2. When a court action is ongoing, CSS may request the court to include requirements in the court order for the NCP to work to remove barriers to payment of child support by using available community resources.

If the court orders the NCP to participate in the CSS problem-solving court program (PSC), the following basic process should be followed.

  1. CSS requests the court set future court dates as appropriate under the circumstances of the case to review the NCP’s compliance with the court’s requirements.  When a court action is not filed, CSS may file a seek work proceeding per 56 O.S. § 240.10.
  2. When an NCP is complying with the court’s requirements:
    1. CSS staff coordinates, within an office and between offices, to find a case management strategy that treats NCP’s cases consistently and is most likely to result in a reliable source of support in all of the NCP’s cases.
    2. “Complying” means the NCP is following the court’s orders to remove barriers to paying support or is otherwise meeting the requirements set out in a seek work order, including disclosing all information about earnings and assets.  1 through 5

A more detailed process would be:

  1. When a noncustodial parent (NCP) is court-ordered to participate in the Child Support Services (CSS) problem-solving court program (PSC), CSS staff updates the OSIS Case Log in all of NCP’s cases regarding the NCP’s participation and compliance.
  2. When an NCP with cases in multiple offices is participating in the PSC in one office, CSS staff in another office with one of the NCP’s cases may require the NCP to follow the same requirements or enter into a seek work order as part of the case management strategy.
  3. Any disagreements regarding the case management strategy are referred to the managing attorneys (MA) for each office.  When the MAs cannot agree, the regional administrator(s) (RA) resolves the disagreement.  When the RAs cannot agree, the assistant director for Operations resolves the disagreement.
  4. When an NCP with multiple cases in the same office is participating in the PSC program in one case, CSS staff coordinates with the MA or state’s attorney to determine a consistent case management strategy.
  5. Examples of case management strategies include:
    1. An NCP is participating in the PSC in Office A.  Prior to filing a license revocation action, Office B contacts Office A for information regarding the NCP’s participation in the PSC.  Office B enters an agreed seek work order for the NCP to comply with the PSC requirements in Office B’s case and suspends other enforcement activity so long as the NCP is complying with PSC requirements.
    2. An NCP is participating in the PSC in Office A.  Office B previously revoked NCP’s licenses.  Office A contacts Office B to request reinstatement of NCP’s licenses based on NCP’s participation in the PSC.  Office B requests the court reinstate the NCP’s licenses based on compliance with PSC requirements and may enter a seek work order in Office B’s case.
    3. An NCP is participating in the PSC in Office A.  Office B filed a contempt proceeding that is ongoing.  Office A notifies Office B that the NCP is complying with PSC requirements in Office A’s case.  Staff in each office agrees to coordinate case management that may include:
      1. adding Office B’s case to the NCP’s court requirements in Office A;
      2. Office B requesting the court in Office B’s case to continue any contempt hearings or reviews during the NCP’s participation in the PSC; and
      3. staff in Office A communicating upon request with staff in Office B about the NCP’s compliance with the court’s requirements.
  6. An NCP has multiple cases in one office.  The NCP is ordered to participate in the PSC in one case.  CSS staff works together to have all of the NCP’s cases included in the NCP’s court requirements.

You may also want to review the CSQuest article Seek Work Order or various articles on Civil Contempt.