Every Rhode Island divorce has it share of difficulties. One of those difficulties could be the form known as the CSS-1. The CSS-1 form is the form filed with the court’s accounting unit to update all child support orders to make sure the amounts due and owing are kept up to date.
If the form isn’t filed and filled in appropriately then support amounts may continue to accrue at the wrong weekly or monthly garnished amount. Arrearages could accumulate with compounded interest.
Ultimately child support obligations can become confused, convoluted and even lead to contempt motions and potential incarceration for support obligations that may not even exist.
Rule of Thumb… don’t forget this important and forgettable form… and make sure it’s accurate, filed and not forgotten.
Without the CSS-1 you could be in hot water.
The CSS-1 form identifies for the Child Support Enforcement Accounting Unit the last Order that was issued by the Court, the amount of child support to be paid, or the amount and nature of modification of the support. The CSS-1 also tracks and updates arrearages of child support and medical support payments with details regarding who the payor is and where he or she may be found and the payee and also where he or she may be found.
The CSS-1 form identifies the parents and/or guardians and the child for whom the support is being collected for the State’s Child Support Enforcement Unit.
Why is it so important?
Imagine you are a father paying $250 per week in support for your child and you get laid off and are collecting unemployment. You file a Motion to Modify and thankfully get the court to modify your child support reduced down to $100 per week. Unfortunately you do not submit a completed CSS-1 form with the Court’s current Order showing you reduction.
It’s not until weeks later that you will realize the CSS-1 form wasn’t filed properly. Your unemployment gets garnished $250 per week because that’s the current Order per the last CSS-1 form filed with the court. Now you have to get the CSS-1 and a new Garnishment Order issued and submitted to the right parties. This could take 4 to 6 weeks. Meanwhile you’re being garnished $250 per week when you can’t afford it. Meanwhile, interest is also accruing each week at 12 percent per annum on the amount the computer says you owe when it should not be. The chances that you will get a refund of the money you have now overpaid are slim to none. At best you may get a credit for those monies. Yet you may still have to file a motion with the court to clear up the interest the computer says you have to pay all because they didn’t receive that CSS-1 form.
This is a MILD case of a CSS-1 difficulty. It is very likely that you will have to come back to court at your expense to explain why this happened and ask that the accrued interested be removed from your child support account because the form wasn’t filed.