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A Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives

A Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives

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Published by DougDante
This is a Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives and how the various State child support agencies may react to them.
This is a Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives and how the various State child support agencies may react to them.

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Published by: DougDante on Dec 03, 2007
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11/15/2012

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A Quick Summary of Title IV-D Funding and Incentives
Doug DanteDougDante1@yahoo.comUpdated: March 11, 2009
US CODE TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 655.Payments to States
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000655----000-.html Provides for 66 percent payments to cover basically all expenses related to child support establishment, payment handling, etc.This is the big direct payment to the states from the federal government. The more work there is to do,the more the federal government repays the states. To maximize program income, the child supportenforcement agency should maximize the number of cases, and the number of dollars and processingtime per case. It is therefore necessary to discourage parents from making their own arrangements for  payment, and to strongly encourage divorces or a breakup of cohabitation between parents.Joint custody laws have been shown to cut the divorce rate. It is unsurprising that most child supportagencies often strongly oppose them, along with most family lawyers.From various newspaper articles, it seems that the Michigan Friend of the Court (Assists Michigancourts in enforcing child support and parenting time orders) sends to the federal governmentdocumentation for wages and benefits of full time equivalent employees. Each hour a that FOCenforcement officer works, 66% of his/her pay comes from the federal government (plus incentive payments based on performance). I do not believe that the FOC distinguishes between time spentcollecting fines, which go to the FOC itself, and time spent collecting child support, which go to the parents who care for the children. Other states likely have equivalent billing mechanisms.
US CODE TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 658a.Incentive payments to States
$483,000,000 for fiscal year 2008 to be shared amongst all states. (2)(A)Each state's portion is based on its "incentive base amount" which is supposed to be calculated from its paternity establishment performance level, support order performance level, current payment performance level, arrearage payment performance level, and cost effectiveness performance level.
 
All except the first are improved by getting higher child support orders per case, which means sole physical custody for the parent earning the least money.However, for states maximizing revenue, the state collections base, i.e. Support collected, is, I believe,the only value used to calculate performance (5)(A).There is what may be termed a “loophole” which is used by states to effectively get near 100% fundingof child support enforcement. This was closed under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, but wasrecently reopened for two years retroactive to October 2008 under the 2009 American Recovery andReinvestment Act (a.k.a. Stimulus Package).The “loophole” allows states to use federal incentive money to cover their 34% payment to get § 655funds. In effect, the states only needed to to pass the appropriate laws complying with Title IV-D,maintain a certain performance level, and then the federal government will pay for most, if not all, of their child support enforcement efforts. In some cases, the states could even profit by collecting morein incentive payments than was required to cover their 34% base share.http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/arra_public_review/#TB_inlineheight=220&width=370&inlineId=tb_external(See Section 2104)
US CODE TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 669b.Grants to States for access and visitation programs
90% federal match or $100,000 per state minimum.It seems to me that most states are missing the boat on getting the most money here. This is may be because they're aware that strong enforcement of parenting time may be an inhibitor to a futuredivorces, which can reduce child support awards and therefore cut into program income.http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000669---b000-.html In Michigan and other states, these funds are often directed into supervised visitation centers.http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/services/grants/AVFundingAppFY2008.pdf http://www.scribd.com/doc/477791/A-Review-of-the-CSPER-Report(See page 4)Unfortunately, in Michigan, as well as in other states, these funds are then directed away from front lineFriend of the Court workers who are actually tasked with enforcing parenting time.http://www.scribd.com/doc/550881/When-the-Friend-of-the-Court-Doesnt-Respond-to-Parenting-Time-Violations 
 
US CODE TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 654.State plan for child and spousal support 
This provision of federal law provides for a $25 annual fee to be deducted from child support paymentsfor each family after a minimum amount of $500 in support is received each year. Some of this fee isfor the states, and some is for the federal government.$25 application fees for assistance in support are also described here.http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000654----000-.html#6_B_ii
Fines, Reimbursements, Disbursements, and Other Fees
TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 654b. Collection and disbursement of support paymentshttp://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000654---b000-.htmlTITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER IV > Part D > § 657. Distribution of collected supporthttp://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000657----000-.html#aPrior to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 some parents complained that the local child supportagencies were collecting child support and then using that money to enforce court orders to pay for court fees, required counseling fees, lawyers fees, interest-like fines on child support arrears, etc. TheFederal Government then mandated that the disbursement of child support money collected go to therecipient parent child first, excluding cases where the state was owed money for assistance or when thechild was under state care, and excluding minor fees such as the $25 annual fee.Under federal law, there are percentage limits of the paying parent's income that can be collected for child support (50-60%) and arrears (an additional 5%) that can be garnished from wages or acquired byany legal process.http://uscode.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sec_15_00001673----000-.htmlHowever, it appears that some local courts are evading these limits, and requiring that parents regularly pay additional amounts via check.http://www.scribd.com/doc/458394/Michigan-Friend-of-the-Court-Child-Support-Modification-Request (Search for “Macomb”)It's not clear that these courts are respecting the disbursement laws in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act,and may be using these additional payments, received by check, to pay themselves interest-like fines onarrears.

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