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Direct deposit of child support payments in

Recently, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration made an important announcement which could assist many children and families in Maryland. The CSEA provides services which include the establishment and enforcement of child support orders, and the distribution of such funds. The CSEA will now be providing a special debit card to families to allow them to access their child support payments instantly, instead of waiting for a check to arrive in the mail each month.

This is an important new service for some of the most vulnerable and needy families in Maryland. Many of these families have had to use check cashing services, which can lead to exorbitant fees, or wait for their checks to arrive in the mail as bills pile up. These cards, called EPiC cards, are now available to all families, regardless of whether they have a bank account or not.

An EPiC card can be used virtually anywhere, including at an ATM machine to retrieve cash. Some additional good news is that this new system is actually projected to save the state of Maryland at least $1.4 million in postage and paper alone.

Child support is one of many difficult issues that couples who have minor children and are facing a divorce must tackle. These issues can be emotionally charged, but as this new development regarding child support payments demonstrates, times are changing and new strategies are emerging to solve old problems. The collaborative law approach to divorce encourages open communication which can be very beneficial in the long run for everyone. Under this approach, issues are resolved without the need for protracted litigation in court.

Just as they no longer need to wait for the child support check to arrive in the mail, divorcing parents today need not go through a lengthy and potentially draining trial if they are in agreement about most issues and can discuss post-divorcement arrangements rationally.

Source: Maryland Department of Human Resources, "Maryland's Child Support Enforcement Administration Enhances Payment Services to Families," Jan. 24, 2013

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