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New program could help a parent enforce a child support order

A proposed federal fund aims to support states in mandated record-keeping and enforcement. Since 1995, states are required to develop effective child support collection and enforcement programs by law. These programs help parents to enforce a child support order when the other parents fail to make payments. The new federal program could potentially provide upgrades to the existing system in Virginia. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has asked for $63 million from the federal government in 2019 for the creation of a shared service for child support enforcement. Currently, each state is responsible to do so, and many have struggled with the task. One state has finally given up after years of trying to make a program that works. When a state does succeed, the federal government typically reimburses a significant portion of the funds. 

The proposed funding would go toward building an IT service that will monitor and enforce support payments at the state level. The program will then be made available to the states. The one-time, upfront cost will eliminate future reimbursement payouts and also provide an effective program for all 50 states, allowing for more efficient tracking of support orders and payments.  

Sometimes it becomes necessary to enforce a child support order if the parent avoids making required payments. State programs support the efforts to complete payments, but sometimes a person requires more help. In Virginia, failure to make child support payments comes with penalties. An individual who is struggling to receive ordered payments may wish to consult with a lawyer for more help. 

Source:, "A shared service for child support enforcement?", Troy K. Schneider, Feb. 13, 2018

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