Child Support 101.2: Enforcement Monitoring


Baby FingerChild Support 101 is a compilation of online documents that explain the child support process and services.

It is divided into three series: state functions, enforcement and family centered services. The first series, Child Support 101: State Functions, offers information about state child support administration and the basics of child support. The second series, Child Support 101.2: Enforcement, features a collection of documents explaining the many aspects of and options for enforcement of child support. Child Support 101.3: Family Centered Services, the third of the series, is not yet available but will address various issues including child support prevention, fatherhood programs and economic stability. You may view the full contents of this project by visiting the comprehensive table of contents.

States with technological advances conduct much of the enforcement of a child support obligations with automated systems. For example, when reaching a threshold amount of arrears occurs, the automated system initiates administrative enforcement actions available in the state, such as automatic income withholding, license revocation, and referrals to the state or federal agencies for tax refund intercept programs. States with less automation rely on caseworkers to interview involved individuals, use personal contacts, make telephone collection calls, use billing systems, and produce delinquency notices. Use of a particular collection technique depends on the individual facts and circumstances of a case, such as past payment history, age of the established obligation, date since the last payment was received, location, income, and resources available to the noncustodial parent. These administrative and non-judicial enforcement techniques can minimize the use of court personnel and attorneys. Unsuccessful use of these enforcement techniques requires the IV-D agency to use its administrative authority or a court's authority to quickly enforce the obligation and establish regular payments.

*PLEASE NOTE: The National Conference of State Legislatures is an organization serving state legislators and their staff. We cannot offer legal advice or assistance with individual cases, but we do try to answer questions on general topics.

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at 303-364-7700 or

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C., track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at 202-624-5400 or

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.

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