The MoDoc Tribe’s child support enforcement office has opened at a new location on H Street across from Stables Casino.

Since April 1, the tribe’s child support enforcement office has collected nearly $500,000 in funds for children whose non-custodial parents have failed to provide financial support.

“With cooperation from the state child support enforcement division and the Court of Indian Offenses, TCSE can ensure that every Native American child in Oklahoma has an avenue available to them to receive support,” said program director Jerry Sweet. “The focus of the program is to establish paternity and child support orders for any Indian child residing within the services area.”

According to Sweet, it is the responsibility of not one but both parents in fulfilling their moral and legal obligation to provide for the emotional and financial welfare of their child(ren).

Currently, TCSE provides services to 521 families. “We expect that to eventually increase to over 2,000 families,” Sweet said.

TCSE can assist Native American children in the following ways:

• Determine paternity

• Locate an absent parent

• Establish a support order

• Modify an existing support order

• Enforce child support orders

TCSE will assist parents in the establishment of paternity through CFR and Tribal courts within the jurisdictional boundaries of our program. DNA testing is provided at a reduced or no cost to the parties of a paternity action.

“We have certified and trained child support specialist readily available to conduct DNA testing either at the courts direction or if both parties are in agreement,” said Sweet.

A custodial parent may open a case by going to the tribe’s Tribal Child Support Enforcement office and filling out an application. Application forms are available for pickup in the Miami office or can be mailed upon request.

To apply, TCSE will need the following:

• The child’s state birth certificate.

• The child’s CDIB card.

• The child’s Social Security card.

• Two most recent payroll stubs of the applicant.

• Applicant’s Divorce decree.

• All orders signed by the court.

• A copy of the paternity affidavit, if one is available.

The TCSE office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To contact the office by phone from Miami, call 540-1501.

Anyone living outside of the calling area can call toll free at 1-888-540-1501.