Establishment of a Child Support Obligation

An administrative proceeding to establish child support occurs when:

    • A parent or guardian applies to the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) for assistance in obtaining a child support order;
    • A parent or caretaker receives public assistance benefits (cash or QUEST, but not food stamps) on behalf of a child; or
    • The Department of Human Services makes foster care payments on behalf of a child;

CSEA will locate the parents, attempt to obtain income and other relevant information from them, and calculate the child support obligation pursuant to the Hawaiʻi Child Support Guidelines.

CSEA prepares a proposed administrative order then serves both parents by personal service or certified mail with the proposed administrative order for the establishment of a child support obligation.  For CSEA contact information click on this link: http://hawaiʻi.gov/ag/csea/main/contact/

Each parent then has an opportunity to contest the proposed order by requesting a hearing.  If a parent requests a hearing within the time period allowed, a hearing is scheduled and conducted.
Issues that may be addressed at an establishment hearing include:

    • actual income or income earning ability of the parents
    • cost of the child(ren)’s medical insurance premium paid by either parent over and above the cost to insure the parent
    • child care expenses
    • any other issue that is relevant under applicable child support laws to the establishment of the child support obligation

The Hearings Officer will determine whether evidence presented at the hearing is relevant to the proceeding.  The Hearings Officer will issue the administrative order establishing a child support obligation after the hearing.

To prepare for a hearing concerning a proposed administrative order to establish child support, parties should read thoroughly all documents they receive from the CSEA and the OCSH.  These documents will explain the action the CSEA is proposing and what laws and/or regulations govern it.

See also the Preparing for Your Hearing section of this website regarding documents parties may want to present at the administrative hearing.