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REQUIREMENT OF STATUTORILY PRESCRIBED PROCEDURES TO IMPROVE EFFECTIVENESS OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT

Sec466[42 U.S.C. 666] (a) In order to satisfy section 454(20)(A), each State must have in effect laws requiring the use of the following procedures, consistent with this section and with regulations of the Secretary, to increase the effectiveness of the program which the State administers under this part:

(1)(A) Procedures described in subsection (b) for the withholding from income of amounts payable as support in cases subject to enforcement under the State plan.

(B) Procedures under which the income of a person with a support obligation imposed by a support order issued (or modified) in the State before January 1, 1994, if not otherwise subject to withholding under subsection (b), shall become subject to withholding as provided in subsection (b) if arrearages occur, without the need for a judicial or administrative hearing.

(2) Expedited administrative and judicial procedures (including the procedures specified in subsection (c)) for establishing paternity and for establishing, modifying, and enforcing support obligations. The Secretary may waive the provisions of this paragraph with respect to one or more political subdivisions within the State on the basis of the effectiveness and timeliness of support order issuance and enforcement or paternity establishment within the political subdivision (in accordance with the general rule for exemptions under subsection (d)).

(3) Procedures under which the State child support enforcement agency shall request, and the State shall provide, that for the purpose of enforcing a support order under any State plan approved under this part—

(A) any refund of State income tax which would otherwise be payable to a noncustodial parent will be reduced, after notice has been sent to that noncustodial parent of the proposed reduction and the procedures to be followed to contest it (and after full compliance with all procedural due process requirements of the State), by the amount of any overdue support owed by such noncustodial parent;

(B) the amount by which such refund is reduced shall be distributed in accordance with section 457 in the case of overdue support assigned to a State pursuant to section 408(a)(3) or 471(a)(17), or, in any other case, shall be distributed, after deduction of any fees imposed by the State to cover the costs of collection, to the child or parent to whom such support is owed; and

(C) notice of the noncustodial parent’s social security account number (or numbers, if he has more than one such number) and home address shall be furnished to the State agency requesting the refund offset, and to the State agency enforcing the order.

(4) Liens.—Procedures under which—

(A) liens arise by operation of law against real and personal property for amounts of overdue support owed by a noncustodial parent who resides or owns property in the State; and

(B) the State accords full faith and credit to liens described in subparagraph (A) arising in another State, when the State agency, party, or other entity seeking to enforce such a lien complies with the procedural rules relating to recording or serving liens that arise within the State, except that such rules may not require judicial notice or hearing prior to the enforcement of such a lien.

(5) Procedures concerning paternity establishment.—

(A) Establishment process available from birth until age 18.—

(i) Procedures which permit the establishment of the paternity of a child at any time before the child attains 18 years of age.

(ii) As of August 16, 1984, clause (i) shall also apply to a child for whom paternity has not yet been established or for whom a paternity action was brought but dismissed because a statute of limitations of less than 18 years was then in effect in the State.

(B) Procedures concerning genetic testing.—

(i) Genetic testing required in certain contested cases.—Procedures under which the State is required, in a contested paternity case (unless otherwise barred by State law) to require the child and all other parties (other than individuals found under section 454(29) to have good cause and other exceptions for refusing to cooperate) to submit to genetic tests upon the request of any such party, if the request is supported by a sworn statement by the party—

(I) alleging paternity, and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the requisite sexual contact between the parties; or

(II) denying paternity, and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the nonexistence of sexual contact between the parties.

(ii) Other requirements.—Procedures which require the State agency, in any case in which the agency orders genetic testing—

(I) to pay costs of such tests, subject to recoupment (if the State so elects) from the alleged father if paternity is established; and

(II) to obtain additional testing in any case if an original test result is contested, upon request and advance payment by the contestant.

(C) Voluntary paternity acknowledgment.—

(i) Simple civil process.—Procedures for a simple civil process for voluntarily acknowledging paternity under which the State must provide that, before a mother and a putative father can sign an acknowledgment of paternity, the mother and the putative father must be given notice, orally, or through the use of video or audio equipment, and in writing, of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights (including, if 1 parent is a minor, any rights afforded due to minority status) and responsibilities that arise from, signing the acknowledgment.

(ii) Hospital–based program.—Such procedures must include a hospital–based program for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity focusing on the period immediately before or after the birth of a child.

(iii) Paternity establishment services.—

(I) State–offered services.—Such procedures must require the State agency responsible for maintaining birth records to offer voluntary paternity establishment services.

(II) Regulations.—

(aa) Services offered by hospitals and birth record agencies.—The Secretary shall prescribe regulations governing voluntary paternity establishment services offered by hospitals and birth record agencies.

(bb) Services offered by other entities.—The Secretary shall prescribe regulations specifying the types of other entities that may offer voluntary paternity establishment services, and governing the provision of such services, which shall include a requirement that such an entity must use the same notice provisions used by, use the same materials used by, provide the personnel providing such services with the same training provided by, and evaluate the provision of such services in the same manner as the provision of such services is evaluated by, voluntary paternity establishment programs of hospitals and birth record agencies.

(iv) Use of paternity acknowledgment affidavit.—Such procedures must require the State to develop and use an affidavit for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity which includes the minimum requirements of the affidavit specified by the Secretary under section 452(a)(7) for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and to give full faith and credit to such an affidavit signed in any other State according to its procedures.

(D) Status of signed paternity acknowledgment.—

(i) Inclusion in birth records.—Procedures under which the name of the father shall be included on the record of birth of the child of unmarried parents only if—

(I) the father and mother have signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; or

(II) a court or an administrative agency of competent jurisdiction has issued an adjudication of paternity.

Nothing in this clause shall preclude a State agency from obtaining an admission of paternity from the father for submission in a judicial or administrative proceeding, or prohibit the issuance of an order in a judicial or administrative proceeding which bases a legal finding of paternity on an admission of paternity by the father and any other additional showing required by State law.

(ii) Legal finding of paternity.—Procedures under which a signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is considered a legal finding of paternity, subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of—

(I) 60 days; or

(II) the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child (including a proceeding to establish a support order) in which the signatory is a party.

(iii) Contest.—Procedures under which, after the 60–day period referred to in clause (ii), a signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may be challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenger, and under which the legal responsibilities (including child support obligations) of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.

(E) Bar on acknowledgment ratification proceedings.—Procedures under which judicial or administrative proceedings are not required or permitted to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.

(F) Admissibility of genetic testing results.—Procedures—

(i) requiring the admission into evidence, for purposes of establishing paternity, of the results of any genetic test that is—

(I) of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies designated by the Secretary; and

(II) performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body;

(ii) requiring an objection to genetic testing results to be made in writing not later than a specified number of days before any hearing at which the results may be introduced into evidence (or, at State option, not later than a specified number of days after receipt of the results); and

(iii) making the test results admissible as evidence of paternity without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy, unless objection is made.

(G) Presumption of paternity in certain cases.—Procedures which create a rebuttable or, at the option of the State, conclusive presumption of paternity upon genetic testing results indicating a threshold probability that the alleged father is the father of the child.

(H) Default orders.—Procedures requiring a default order to be entered in a paternity case upon a showing of service of process on the defendant and any additional showing required by State law.

(I) No right to jury trial.—Procedures providing that the parties to an action to establish paternity are not entitled to a trial by jury.

(J) Temporary support order based on probable paternity in contested cases.—Procedures which require that a temporary order be issued, upon motion by a party, requiring the provision of child support pending an administrative or judicial determination of parentage, if there is clear and convincing evidence of paternity (on the basis of genetic tests or other evidence).

(K) Proof of certain support and paternity establishment costs.—Procedures under which bills for pregnancy, childbirth, and genetic testing are admissible as evidence without requiring third–party foundation testimony, and shall constitute prima facie evidence of amounts incurred for such services or for testing on behalf of the child.

(L) Standing of putative fathers.—Procedures ensuring that the putative father has a reasonable opportunity to initiate a paternity action.

(M) Filing of acknowledgments and adjudications in state registry of birth records.—Procedures under which voluntary acknowledgments and adjudications of paternity by judicial or administrative processes are filed with the State registry of birth records for comparison with information in the State case registry.

(6) Procedures which require that a noncustodial parent give security, post a bond, or give some other guarantee to secure payment of overdue support, after notice has been sent to such noncustodial parent of the proposed action and of the procedures to be followed to contest it (and after full compliance with all procedural due process requirements of the State).

(7) Reporting arrearages to credit bureaus.—

(A) In general.—Procedures (subject to safeguards pursuant to subparagraph (B)) requiring the State to report periodically to consumer reporting agencies (as defined in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)[213] )) the name of any noncustodial parent who is delinquent in the payment of support, and the amount of overdue support owed by such parent.

(B) Safeguards.—Procedures ensuring that, in carrying out subparagraph (A), information with respect to a noncustodial parent is reported—

(i) only after such parent has been afforded all due process required under State law, including notice and a reasonable opportunity to contest the accuracy of such information; and

(ii) only to an entity that has furnished evidence satisfactory to the State that the entity is a consumer reporting agency (as so defined).

(8)(A) Procedures under which all child support orders not described in subparagraph (B) will include provision for withholding from income, in order to assure that withholding as a means of collecting child support is available if arrearages occur without the necessity of filing application for services under this part.

(B) Procedures under which all child support orders which are initially issued in the State on or after January 1, 1994, and are not being enforced under this part will include the following requirements:

(i) The income of a noncustodial parent shall be subject to withholding, regardless of whether support payments by such parent are in arrears, on the effective date of the order; except that such income shall not be subject to withholding under this clause in any case where (I) one of the parties demonstrates, and the court (or administrative process) finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding, or (II) a written agreement is reached between both parties which provides for an alternative arrangement.

(ii) The requirements of subsection (b)(1) (which shall apply in the case of each noncustodial parent against whom a support order is or has been issued or modified in the State, without regard to whether the order is being enforced under the State plan).

(iii) The requirements of paragraphs (2), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), and (10) of subsection (b), where applicable.

(iv) Withholding from income of amounts payable as support must be carried out in full compliance with all procedural due process requirements of the State.

(9) Procedures which require that any payment or installment of support under any child support order, whether ordered through the State judicial system or through the expedited processes required by paragraph (2), is (on and after the date it is due)—

(A) a judgment by operation of law, with the full force, effect, and attributes of a judgment of the State, including the ability to be enforced,

(B) entitled as a judgment to full faith and credit in such State and in any other State, and

(C) not subject to retroactive modification by such State or by any other State;

except that such procedures may permit modification with respect to any period during which there is pending a petition for modification, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given, either directly or through the appropriate agent, to the obligee or (where the obligee is the petitioner) to the obligor.

(10) Review and adjustment of support orders upon request.—

(A) 3-year cycle.—

(i) In general.—Procedures under which every 3 years (or such shorter cycle as the State may determine), upon the request of either parent or if there is an assignment under part A, upon the request of the State agency under the State plan or of either parent, the State shall with respect to a support order being enforced under this part, taking into account the best interests of the child involved—

(I) review and, if appropriate, adjust the order in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a) if the amount of the child support award under the order differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the guidelines;

(II) apply a cost–of–living adjustment to the order in accordance with a formula developed by the State; or

(III) use automated methods (including automated comparisons with wage or State income tax data) to identify orders eligible for review, conduct the review, identify orders eligible for adjustment, and apply the appropriate adjustment to the orders eligible for adjustment under any threshold that may be established by the State.

(ii) Opportunity to request review of adjustment.—If the State elects to conduct the review under subclause (II) or (III) of clause (i), procedures which permit either party to contest the adjustment, within 30 days after the date of the notice of the adjustment, by making a request for review and, if appropriate, adjustment of the order in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a).

(iii) No proof of change in circumstances necessary in 3–year cycle review.—Procedures which provide that any adjustment under clause (i) shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.

(B) Proof of substantial change in circumstances necessary in request for review outside 3–year cycle.—Procedures under which, in the case of a request for a review, and if appropriate, an adjustment outside the 3–year cycle (or such shorter cycle as the State may determine) under clause (i), the State shall review and, if the requesting party demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances, adjust the order in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a).

(C) Notice of right to review.—Procedures which require the State to provide notice not less than once every 3 years to the parents subject to the order informing the parents of their right to request the State to review and, if appropriate, adjust the order pursuant to this paragraph. The notice may be included in the order.

(11) Procedures under which a State must give full faith and credit to a determination of paternity made by any other State, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through administrative or judicial processes.

(12) Locator information from interstate networks.—Procedures to ensure that all Federal and State agencies conducting activities under this part have access to any system used by the State to locate an individual for purposes relating to motor vehicles or law enforcement.

(13) Recording of social security numbers in certain family matters.—Procedures requiring that the social security number of—

(A) any applicant for a professional license, driver’s license, occupational license, recreational license, or marriage license be recorded on the application;

(B) any individual who is subject to a divorce decree, support order, or paternity determination or acknowledgment be placed in the records relating to the matter; and

(C) any individual who has died be placed in the records relating to the death and be recorded on the death certificate.

For purposes of subparagraph (A), if a State allows the use of a number other than the social security number to be used on the face of the document while the social security number is kept on file at the agency, the State shall so advise any applicants.

(14) High–volume, automated administrative enforcement in interstate cases.—

(A) In general.—Procedures under which—

(i) the State shall use high–volume automated administrative enforcement, to the same extent as used for intrastate cases, in response to a request made by another State to enforce support orders, and shall promptly report the results of such enforcement procedure to the requesting State;

(ii) the State may, by electronic or other means, transmit to another State a request for assistance in enforcing support orders through high–volume, automated administrative enforcement, which request—

(I) shall include such information as will enable the State to which the request is transmitted to compare the information about the cases to the information in the data bases of the State; and

(II) shall constitute a certification by the requesting State—

(aa) of the amount of support under an order the payment of which is in arrears; and

(bb) that the requesting State has complied with all procedural due process requirements applicable to each case;

(iii) if the State provides assistance to another State pursuant to this paragraph with respect to a case, neither State shall consider the case to be transferred to the caseload of such other State (but the assisting State may establish a corresponding case based on such other State’s request for assistance); and

(iv) the State shall maintain records of—

(I) the number of such requests for assistance received by the State;

(II) the number of cases for which the State collected support in response to such a request; and

(III) the amount of such collected support.

(B) High-volume automated administrative enforcement.—In this part, the term “high-volume automated administrative enforcement” in interstate cases, means, on request of another State, the identification by a State, through automated data matches with financial institutions and other entities where assets may be found, of assets owned by persons who owe child support in other States, and the seizure of such assets by the State, through levy or other appropriate processes.

(15) Procedures to ensure that persons owing overdue support work or have a plan for payment of such support.—Procedures under which the State has the authority, in any case in which an individual owes overdue support with respect to a child receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A, to issue an order or to request that a court or an administrative process established pursuant to State law issue an order that requires the individual to—

(A) pay such support in accordance with a plan approved by the court, or, at the option of the State, a plan approved by the State agency administering the State program under this part; or

(B) if the individual is subject to such a plan and is not incapacitated, participate in such work activities (as defined in section 407(d)) as the court, or, at the option of the State, the State agency administering the State program under this part, deems appropriate.

(16) Authority to withhold or suspend licenses.—Procedures under which the State has (and uses in appropriate cases) authority to withhold or suspend, or to restrict the use of driver’s licenses, professional and occupational licenses, and recreational and sporting licenses of individuals owing overdue support or failing, after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings.

(17) Financial institution data matches.—

(A) In general.—Procedures under which the State agency shall enter into agreements with financial institutions doing business in the State—

(i) to develop and operate, in coordination with such financial institutions, and the Federal Parent Locator Service in the case of financial institutions doing business in two or more States, a data match system, using automated data exchanges to the maximum extent feasible, in which each such financial institution is required to provide for each calendar quarter the name, record address, social security number or other taxpayer identification number, and other identifying information for each noncustodial parent who maintains an account at such institution and who owes past–due support, as identified by the State by name and social security number or other taxpayer identification number; and

(ii) in response to a notice of lien or levy, encumber or surrender, as the case may be, assets held by such institution on behalf of any noncustodial parent who is subject to a child support lien pursuant to paragraph (4).

(B) Reasonable fees.—The State agency may pay a reasonable fee to a financial institution for conducting the data match provided for in subparagraph (A)(i), not to exceed the actual costs incurred by such financial institution.

(C) Liability.—A financial institution shall not be liable under any Federal or State law to any person—

(i) for any disclosure of information to the State agency under subparagraph (A)(i);

(ii) for encumbering or surrendering any assets held by such financial institution in response to a notice of lien or levy issued by the State agency as provided for in subparagraph (A)(ii); or

(iii) for any other action taken in good faith to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (A).

(D) Definitions.—For purposes of this paragraph—

(i) Financial institution.—The term “financial institution” has the meaning given to such term by section 469A(d)(1).

(ii) Account.—The term “account” means a demand deposit account, checking or negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account, or money-market mutual fund account.

(18) Enforcement of orders against paternal or maternal grandparents.—Procedures under which, at the State’s option, any child support order enforced under this part with respect to a child of minor parents, if the custodial parent of such child is receiving assistance under the State program under part A, shall be enforceable, jointly and severally, against the parents of the noncustodial parent of such child.

(19) Health care coverage.—Procedures under which—

(A) effective as provided in section 401(c)(3) of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998, all child support orders enforced pursuant to this part shall include a provision for medical support for the child to be provided by either or both parents, and shall be enforced, where appropriate, through the use of the National Medical Support Notice promulgated pursuant to section 401(b) of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 (and referred to in section 609(a)(5)(C) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 in connection with group health plans covered under title I of such Act, in section 401(e) of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 in connection with State or local group health plans, and in section 401(f ) of such Act in connection with church group health plans);

(B) unless alternative coverage is allowed for in any order of the court (or other entity issuing the child support order), in any case in which a parent is required under the child support order to provide such health care coverage and the employer of such parent is known to the State agency —

(i) the State agency uses the National Medical Support Notice to transfer notice of the provision for the health care coverage of the child to the employer;

(ii) within 20 business days after the date of the National Medical Support Notice, the employer is required to transfer the Notice, excluding the severable employer withholding notice described in section 401(b)(2)(C) of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998, to the appropriate plan providing any such health care coverage for which the child is eligible;

(iii) in any case in which the parent is a newly hired employee entered in the State Directory of New Hires pursuant to section 653a(e) of this title, the State agency provides, where appropriate, the National Medical Support Notice, together with an income withholding notice issued pursuant to subsection (b), within two days after the date of the entry of such employee in such Directory; and

(iv) in any case in which the employment of the parent with any employer who has received a National Medical Support Notice is terminated, such employer is required to notify the State agency of such termination; and

(C) any liability of the obligated parent to such plan for employee contributions which are required under such plan for enrollment of the child is effectively subject to appropriate enforcement, unless the obligated parent contests such enforcement based on a mistake of fact.

all child support orders enforced pursuant to this part shall include a provision for the health care coverage of the child, and in the case in which a noncustodial parent provides such coverage and changes employment, and the new employer provides health care coverage, the State agency shall transfer notice of the provision to the employer, which notice shall operate to enroll the child in the noncustodial parent’s health plan, unless the noncustodial parent contests the notice.

Notwithstanding section 454(20)(B), the procedures which are required under paragraphs (3), (4), (6), (7), and (15) need not be used or applied in cases where the State determines (using guidelines which are generally available within the State and which take into account the payment record of the noncustodial parent, the availability of other remedies, and other relevant considerations) that such use or application would not carry out the purposes of this part or would be otherwise inappropriate in the circumstances.

(b) The procedures referred to in subsection (a)(1)(A) (relating to the withholding from income of amounts payable as support) must provide for the following:

(1) In the case of each noncustodial parent against whom a support order is or has been issued or modified in the State, and is being enforced under the State plan, so much of such parent’s income must be withheld, in accordance with the succeeding provisions of this subsection, as is necessary to comply with the order and provide for the payment of any fee to the employer which may be required under paragraph (6)(A), up to the maximum amount permitted under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673(b))[214]. If there are arrearages to be collected, amounts withheld to satisfy such arrearages, when added to the amounts withheld to pay current support and provide for the fee, may not exceed the limit permitted under such section 303(b), but the State need not withhold up to the maximum amount permitted under such section in order to satisfy arrearages.

(2) Such withholding must be provided without the necessity of any application therefor in the case of a child (whether or not eligible for assistance under a State program funded under part A) with respect to whom services are already being provided under the State plan under this part, and must be provided in accordance with this subsection on the basis of an application for services under the State plan in the case of any other child in whose behalf a support order has been issued or modified in the State. In either case such withholding must occur without the need for any amendment to the support order involved or for any further action (other than those actions required under this part) by the court or other entity which issued such order.

(3)(A) The income of a noncustodial parent shall be subject to such withholding, regardless of whether support payments by such parent are in arrears, in the case of a support order being enforced under this part that is issued or modified on or after the first day of the 25th month beginning after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, on the effective date of the order; except that such income shall not be subject to such withholding under this subparagraph in any case where (i) one of the parties demonstrates, and the court (or administrative process) finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate income withholding, or (ii) a written agreement is reached between both parties which provides for an alternative arrangement.

(B) The income of a noncustodial parent shall become subject to such withholding, in the case of income not subject to withholding under subparagraph (A), on the date on which the payments which the noncustodial parent has failed to make under a support order are at least equal to the support payable for one month or, if earlier, and without regard to whether there is an arrearage, the earliest of—

(i) the date as of which the noncustodial parent requests that such withholding begin,

(ii) the date as of which the custodial parent requests that such withholding begin, if the State determines, in accordance with such procedures and standards as it may establish, that the request should be approved, or

(iii) such earlier date as the State may select.

(4)(A) Such withholding must be carried out in full compliance with all procedural due process requirements of the State, and the State must send notice to each noncustodial parent to whom paragraph (1) applies—

(i) that the withholding has commenced; and

(ii) of the procedures to follow if the noncustodial parent desires to contest such withholding on the grounds that the withholding or the amount withheld is improper due to a mistake of fact.

(B) The notice under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall include the information provided to the employer under paragraph (6)(A).

(5) Such withholding must be administered by the State through the State disbursement unit established pursuant to section 454B, in accordance with the requirements of section 454B.

(6)(A)(i) The employer of any absent parent to whom paragraph (1) applies, upon being given notice as described in clause (ii), must be required to withhold from such noncustodial parent’s income the amount specified by such notice (which may include a fee, established by the State, to be paid to the employer unless waived by such employer) and pay such amount (after deducting and retaining any portion thereof which represents the fee so established) to the State disbursement unit within 7 business days after the date the amount would (but for this subsection) have been paid or credited to the employee, for distribution in accordance with this part. The employer shall withhold funds as directed in the notice, except that when an employer receives an income withholding order issued by another State, the employer shall apply the income withholding law of the State of the obligor’s principal place of employment in determining—

(I) the employer’s fee for processing an income withholding order;

(II) the maximum amount permitted to be withheld from the obligor’s income;

(III) the time periods within which the employer must implement the income withholding order and forward the child support payment;

(IV) the priorities for withholding and allocating income withheld for multiple child support obligees; and

(V) any withholding terms or conditions not specified in the order.

An employer who complies with an income withholding notice that is regular on its face shall not be subject to civil liability to any individual or agency for conduct in compliance with the notice.

(ii) The notice given to the employer shall be in a standard format prescribed by the Secretary, and contain only such information as may be necessary for the employer to comply with the withholding order.

(iii) As used in this subparagraph, the term “business day” means a day on which State offices are open for regular business.

(B) Methods must be established by the State to simplify the withholding process for employers to the greatest extent possible, including permitting any employer to combine all withheld amounts into a single payment to each appropriate agency or entity (with the portion thereof which is attributable to each individual employee being separately designated).

(C) The employer must be held liable to the State for any amount which such employer fails to withhold from income due an employee following receipt by such employer of proper notice under subparagraph (A), but such employer shall not be required to vary the normal pay and disbursement cycles in order to comply with this paragraph.

(D) Provision must be made for the imposition of a fine against any employer who—

(i) discharges from employment, refuses to employ, or takes disciplinary action against any noncustodial parent subject to income withholding required by this subsection because of the existence of such withholding and the obligations or additional obligations which it imposes upon the employer; or

(ii) fails to withhold support from income or to pay such amounts to the State disbursement unit in accordance with this subsection.

(7) Support collection under this subsection must be given priority over any other legal process under State law against the same income.

(8) For purposes of subsection (a) and this subsection, the term “income” means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, worker’s compensation, disability, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program, and interest.

(9) The State must extend its withholding system under this subsection so that such system will include withholding from income derived within such State in cases where the applicable support orders were issued in other States, in order to assure that child support owed by noncustodial parents in such State or any other State will be collected without regard to the residence of the child for whom the support is payable or of such child’s custodial parent.

(10) Provision must be made for terminating withholding.

(11) Procedures under which the agency administering the State plan approved under this part may execute a withholding order without advance notice to the obligor, including issuing the withholding order through electronic means.

(c) Expedited Procedures.—The procedures specified in this subsection are the following:

(1) Administrative action by state agency.—Procedures which give the State agency the authority to take the following actions relating to establishment of paternity or to establishment, modification, or enforcement of support orders, without the necessity of obtaining an order from any other judicial or administrative tribunal, and to recognize and enforce the authority of State agencies of other States to take the following actions:

(A) Genetic testing.—To order genetic testing for the purpose of paternity establishment as provided in section 466(a)(5).

(B) Financial or other information.—To subpoena any financial or other information needed to establish, modify, or enforce a support order, and to impose penalties for failure to respond to such a subpoena.

(C) Response to state agency request.—To require all entities in the State (including for–profit, nonprofit, and governmental employers) to provide promptly, in response to a request by the State agency of that or any other State administering a program under this part, information on the employment, compensation, and benefits of any individual employed by such entity as an employee or contractor, and to sanction failure to respond to any such request.

(D) Access to information contained in certain records.—To obtain access, subject to safeguards on privacy and information security, and subject to the nonliability of entities that afford such access under this subparagraph, to information contained in the following records (including automated access, in the case of records maintained in automated data bases):

(i) Records of other State and local government agencies, including—

(I) vital statistics (including records of marriage, birth, and divorce);

(II) State and local tax and revenue records (including information on residence address, employer, income and assets);

(III) records concerning real and titled personal property;

(IV) records of occupational and professional licenses, and records concerning the ownership and control of corporations, partnerships, and other business entities;

(V) employment security records;

(VI) records of agencies administering public assistance programs;

(VII) records of the motor vehicle department; and

(VIII) corrections records.

(ii) Certain records held by private entities with respect to individuals who owe or are owed support (or against or with respect to whom a support obligation is sought), consisting of—

(I) the names and addresses of such individuals and the names and addresses of the employers of such individuals, as appearing in customer records of public utilities and cable television companies, pursuant to an administrative subpoena authorized by subparagraph (B); and

(II) information (including information on assets and liabilities) on such individuals held by financial institutions.

(E) Change in payee.—In cases in which support is subject to an assignment in order to comply with a requirement imposed pursuant to part A, part E, or section 1912, or to a requirement to pay through the State disbursement unit established pursuant to section 454B, upon providing notice to obligor and obligee, to direct the obligor or other payor to change the payee to the appropriate government entity.

(F) Income withholding.—To order income withholding in accordance with subsections (a)(1)(A) and (b).

(G) Securing assets.—In cases in which there is a support arrearage, to secure assets to satisfy any current support obligation and the arrearage by—

(i) intercepting or seizing periodic or lump–sum payments from—

(I) a State or local agency, including unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, and other benefits; and

(II) judgments, settlements, and lotteries;

(ii) attaching and seizing assets of the obligor held in financial institutions;

(iii) attaching public and private retirement funds; and

(iv) imposing liens in accordance with subsection (a)(4) and, in appropriate cases, to force sale of property and distribution of proceeds.

(H) Increase monthly payments.—For the purpose of securing overdue support, to increase the amount of monthly support payments to include amounts for arrearages, subject to such conditions or limitations as the State may provide.

Such procedures shall be subject to due process safeguards, including (as appropriate) requirements for notice, opportunity to contest the action, and opportunity for an appeal on the record to an independent administrative or judicial tribunal.

(2) Substantive and procedural rules.—The expedited procedures required under subsection (a)(2) shall include the following rules and authority, applicable with respect to all proceedings to establish paternity or to establish, modify, or enforce support orders:

(A) Locator information; presumptions concerning notice.—Procedures under which—

(i) each party to any paternity or child support proceeding is required (subject to privacy safeguards) to file with the State case registry upon entry of an order, and to update as appropriate, information on location and identity of the party, including social security number, residential and mailing addresses, telephone number, driver’s license number, and name, address, and telephone number of employer; and

(ii) in any subsequent child support enforcement action between the parties, upon sufficient showing that diligent effort has been made to ascertain the location of such a party, the court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction shall may deem State due process requirements for notice and service of process to be met with respect to the party, upon delivery of written notice to the most recent residential or employer address filed with the State case registry pursuant to clause (i).

(B) Statewide jurisdiction.—Procedures under which—

(i) the State agency and any administrative or judicial tribunal with authority to hear child support and paternity cases exerts statewide jurisdiction over the parties; and

(ii) in a State in which orders are issued by courts or administrative tribunals, a case may be transferred between local jurisdictions in the State without need for any additional filing by the petitioner, or service of process upon the respondent, to retain jurisdiction over the parties.

(3) Coordination with erisa.—Notwithstanding subsection (d) of section 514 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974[215] (relating to effect on other laws), nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter, amend, modify, invalidate, impair, or supersede subsections (a), (b), and (c) of such section 514 as it applies with respect to any procedure referred to in paragraph (1) and any expedited procedure referred to in paragraph (2), except to the extent that such procedure would be consistent with the requirements of section 206(d)(3) of such Act (relating to qualified domestic relations orders) or the requirements of section 609(a) of such Act (relating to qualified medical child support orders) if the reference in such section 206(d)(3) to a domestic relations order and the reference in such section 609(a) to a medical child support order were a reference to a support order referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) relating to the same matters, respectively.

(d) If a State demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary, through the presentation to the Secretary of such data pertaining to caseloads, processing times, administrative costs, and average support collections, and such other data or estimates as the Secretary may specify, that the enactment of any law or the use of any procedure or procedures required by or pursuant to this section will not increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the State child support enforcement program, the Secretary may exempt the State, subject to the Secretary’s continuing review and to termination of the exemption should circumstances change, from the requirement to enact the law or use the procedure or procedures involved.

(e) For purposes of this section, the term “overdue support” means the amount of a delinquency pursuant to an obligation determined under a court order, or an order of an administrative process established under State law, for support and maintenance of a minor child which is owed to or on behalf of such child, or for support and maintenance of the noncustodial parent’s spouse (or former spouse) with whom the child is living if and to the extent that spousal support (with respect to such spouse or former spouse) would be included for section 454(4). At the option of the State, overdue support may include amounts which otherwise meet the definition in the first sentence of this subsection but which are owed to or on behalf of a child who is not a minor child. The option to include support owed to children who are not minors shall apply independently to each procedure specified under this section.

(f) Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.—In order to satisfy section 454(20)(A), on and after January 1, 1998, each State must have in effect the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, as approved by the American Bar Association on February 9, 1993, and as in effect on August 22, 1996, including any amendments officially adopted as of such date by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

(g) Laws Voiding Fraudulent Transfers.—In order to satisfy section 454(20)(A), each State must have in effect—

(1)(A) the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act of 1981;

(B) the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of 1984; or

(C) another law, specifying indicia of fraud which create a prima facie case that a debtor transferred income or property to avoid payment to a child support creditor, which the Secretary finds affords comparable rights to child support creditors; and

(2) procedures under which, in any case in which the State knows of a transfer by a child support debtor with respect to which such a prima facie case is established, the State must—

(A) seek to void such transfer; or

(B) obtain a settlement in the best interests of the child support creditor.


[213]  See Vol. II, P.L. 90-321, Title VI.

[214]  See Vol. II, P.L. 90-321, §303(b).

[215]  See Vol. II, P.L. 93-406, §514.