Hancock Co. IV-D Child Support Office under the supervision of Brent E. Eaton, Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney
Child Support Administrator
Ms. Susan Sherwood
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Who We Are And What We Do
The Child Support Division of the Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was created through Title IV (D) of the Social Security Act. Thus, you may hear our office referred to as the “IV-D Office.” The actions of our office are established by State and Federal law.
The Child Support Division represents the State of Indiana. While the State’s interest may be similar to yours, the Child Support Division cannot give private legal advice or act as the attorney for a particular party. That being said, the custodial parent may find that we can be of assistance to him/her by providing child support establishment and enforcement procedures.
While we cannot force an irresponsible person to be responsible, we will use all available enforcement tools to secure the right of children in Hancock County to be supported by both parents. We acknowledge, though, that there are some circumstances in which, despite our best efforts and use of all available tools, we will be unable to reach this goal. In those circumstances, the Child Support Division refers documentation to the Criminal Division for consideration of filing a criminal charge of Non-Support of a Dependant Child.
Topics the Child Support Division is Authorized to Address
- Establishment of paternity
- Establishment of child support orders
- Enforcement of child support orders
- Modification of existing orders
- Locating of an absentee parent
Topics the Child Support Division is Not Authorized to Address
- Acceptance or distribution of child support payments
- Discussion or enforcement of custody issues
- Discussion or enforcement of parenting time or parenting style issues
- Disputes about whether a child is disabled or should be emancipated
- Disputes about which parent should be entitled to the child’s tax exemption
- Discussions or actions for termination of parental rights
From Where Do IV-D Support Cases Come?
Most of our cases are referrals from TANF. Any custodial parent receiving TANF in Hancock County is automatically referred to our office. Federal law requires that we open and pursue these cases. TANF recipients are required to cooperated with our office as a condition of receiving TANF. If a TANF recipient fails to cooperate with our office, his/her TANF benefits may be sanctioned.
If you are a custodial parent and your children are receiving Hoosier Healthwise or Medicaid, you may request our services. If you are a custodial parent and you are receiving Medicaid. There is no charge for our services if the custodial parent or the child(ren) receive TANF, Hoosier Healthwise or Medicaid.
The second source of IV-D cases is custodial parents who are not receiving public assistance. These custodial parents may sign on for our services by paying a $25 fee. If you would like an application packet, please contact our office and one will be sent to you.
When and How Should I Contact My Caseworker?
On average, our caseworkers work with 400 case files. Because of this volume, we cannot give daily attention to every case. Action on cases is handled on a first-come, first-served basis. While our staff welcomes your input, the final decision about how your case is handled is left to the determination of the Child Support Division.
It is important that you notify your caseworker at any time when you have a new address, a new telephone number, or a new employer. That being said, contacts that do not provide information that will impact our support enforcement case (for example, to request assistance that is outside of areas in which we are authorized to provide assistance) can slow the enforcement process, as these contacts take away time that caseworkers otherwise devote to addressing concerns in the areas which we are authorized to address.
You may find it easiest to contact your caseworker in writing, either by traditional mail or by e-mail. If you contact your caseworker in writing, please include the name of all parties in the case, your address, your daytime telephone number, and, if known, your case number. If you elect to call your caseworker, please be prepared to leave the name of all parties in the case, your daytime phone number, and a brief but direct summary of the topic of your call. Because of the nature of the judicial system, we may not be able to provide immediate responses to your questions.
Due to federal confidentiality laws, we will not respond to inquiries from third parties, regardless of the method of transmission of the inquiry.
Where Do I Go from Here?
- For questions about a child support payment, call the Kids Line at 800-840-8757. You may press 0 at any time during the recorded message to be directed to a live person.
- For questions regarding custody or parenting time issues, you should consult legal counsel of your choosing, either as a private counsel, through Legal Aid of Hancock County, or by acting as your own attorney. To preserve our limited resources for those topics which our office is permitted to address, our staff will not return communications relating to custody or parenting time issues