Child Support Enforcement Legislative History

The following provides a legislative history of Child Support Enforcement during the 113th Congress.  For prior legislative history, please see the 2012 Green Book.

113th Congress

Public Law 113-183, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, includes several CSE provisions.  It attempts to standardize and streamline the enforcement of child support in international cases by: (1) requiring the Secretary of HHS to use the authorities provided by law to ensure the compliance of the United States with any multilateral child support convention/treaty to which the United States is a party; (2) amending federal law so that the federal income tax refund offset program is available for use by a state to handle CSE requests from foreign reciprocating countries and foreign treaty countries; (3) requiring states to adopt the 2008 amendments to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) verbatim to ensure uniformity of procedures, requirements, and reporting forms; and (4) clarifying which state court has controlling jurisdiction in establishing, enforcing, and modifying child support orders.

Public Law 113-183 provides Indian tribes or tribal organizations access to the Federal Parent Locator Service by designating them as “authorized persons.”  It also allows Indian tribes or tribal organizations that operate a CSE program to be considered a state for purposes of authority to conduct an experimental pilot or demonstration project under the Section 1115 waiver authority to assist in promoting the objectives of the CSE program.

Public Law 113-183 includes a Sense of the Congress statement that specifies that: (1) establishing parenting time arrangements (also known as visitation) when obtaining child support orders is an important goal which should be accompanied by strong family violence safeguards; and (2) states should use existing funding sources to support the establishment of parenting time arrangements, including child support incentives, Access and Visitation Grants, and Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants.

Public Law 113-183 requires data standardization within the CSE program to improve the ability of two or more systems or entities to exchange information and to correctly use the information that has been exchanged.  Also, it requires the HHS Secretary, in conjunction with developing the CSE strategic plan, to review and provide recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the CSE program.  In addition, it requires all states to use electronic processing of automated systems for the collection and disbursement of child support payments via the State Disbursement Unit by the transmission of child support orders and notices to employers for income withholding purposes using uniform formats prescribed by the HHS Secretary and, at the option of the employer, using the electronic transmission methods prescribed by the Secretary.

This page was prepared on October 1, 2014 for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.