[Background Material and Data on Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (Green Book)]
[Program Descriptions]
[Section 9. Child Support Enforcement Program]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]






 
[1996 Green Book] SECTION 9. CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM *
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    * The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation 
Act of 1996 changed this program; see appendix L for details.
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                                CONTENTS

Background
  Overview
  Demographic Trends
  Program Trends
The Federal Role
The State Role
The Child Support Enforcement Process
  Locating Absent Parents
  Establishing Paternity
  Establishing Orders
  Reviewing and Modifying Orders
  Promoting Medical Support
  Collecting Child Support
  Interstate Enforcement
Bankruptcy and Child Support Enforcement
Automated Systems
Audits and Financial Penalties
Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Collections
Funding of State Programs
How Effective is Child Support Enforcement?
  Impact on Taxpayers
  Impact on Poverty
  Impact on National Child Support Payments
Legislative History
Statistical Tables
References

                               BACKGROUND

                                Overview

    In 1950, when only a small minority of children were in 
mother-only families, the Federal Government took its first 
steps into the child support arena. Congress amended the Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) law by requiring State 
welfare agencies to notify law enforcement officials when 
benefits were being furnished to a child who had been abandoned 
by one of his parents. Presumably, local officials would then 
undertake to locate nonresident parents and make them pay child 
support. From 1950 to 1975, the Federal Government confined its 
child support efforts to these welfare children. With this 
exception, most Americans thought that child support 
establishment and collection was a domestic relations issue 
that should be dealt with at the State level by the courts.
    By the early 1970s, however, Congress recognized that the 
composition of the AFDC caseload had changed. In earlier years 
the majority of children needed financial assistance because 
their fathers had died; by the 1970s, the majority needed aid 
because their parents were separated or divorced or because 
their mother was never married to their father. The Child 
Support Enforcement and Paternity Establishment program (CSE), 
enacted in 1975, was a response by Congress to reduce public 
expenditures on welfare by obtaining support from noncustodial 
parents on an ongoing basis, to help non-AFDC families get 
support so they could stay off public assistance, and to 
establish paternity for children born outside marriage so child 
support could be obtained for them.
    The 1975 legislation (Public Law 93-647) added a new part D 
to title IV of the Social Security Act. This statute, as 
amended, authorizes Federal matching funds to be used for 
enforcing support obligations by locating nonresident parents, 
establishing paternity, establishing child support awards, and 
collecting money. Since 1981, child support agencies have also 
been permitted to collect spousal support on behalf of 
custodial parents, and in 1984 they were required to petition 
for medical support as part of most child support orders.
    Basic responsibility for administering the program is left 
to States, but the Federal Government plays a major role in: 
dictating the major design features of State programs; funding, 
monitoring and evaluating State programs; providing technical 
assistance; and giving direct assistance to States in locating 
absent parents and obtaining support payments. The program 
requires the provision of child support enforcement services 
for both AFDC and non-AFDC families and requires States to 
publicize frequently, through public service announcements, the 
availability of child support enforcement services, together 
with information about the application fee and a telephone 
number or address to obtain additional information. Local 
family and domestic courts and administrative agencies handle 
the actual establishment and enforcement of child support 
obligations according to Federal, State, and local laws.
    With minor exceptions, the child support program does not 
provide services aimed at other issues between parents, such as 
property settlement, custody, and access to children. These 
issues are handled by local courts with the help of private 
attorneys.
    Any parent who needs help in locating an absent parent, 
establishing paternity, establishing a support obligation, or 
enforcing a support obligation may apply for services. Parents 
receiving benefits (or who formerly received benefits) under 
the AFDC Program, the federally assisted foster care program, 
or the Medicaid Program, automatically receive services. 
Services are free to such recipients, but others are charged up 
to $25 for services. In the non-AFDC Program, States also can 
charge fees on a sliding scale, pay the fee out of State funds, 
or recover the fees from the noncustodial parent.

                           Demographic Trends

    The need for an effective child support program is clearly 
supported by a brief review of the demographic trends of the 
American family. By 1994, there were an estimated 11.4 million 
single-parent families with children under age 18; about 9.9 
million (87 percent) maintained by the mother and roughly 1.6 
million maintained by the father. It appears that the rate of 
growth in the number of single parents has stabilized (Office 
of Child Support, 1995a, p. 5). The average annual percent 
increase in the number of one-parent families was 3.9 percent 
from 1990-94 and 3.4 percent from 1980-90 as compared with 6 
percent from 1970-80. In 1994, one-parent families comprised 31 
percent of all families. The corresponding share of single-
parent families in 1970 was 13 percent. In 1994, about 39 
percent of the mothers had never been married, 36 percent were 
divorced, 21 percent were separated from their spouse, and 
about 5 percent were widowed (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1994, 
p. xviii).
    Of equal concern, dynamic estimates indicate that at least 
half of all children born in the United States during the late 
1970s and early 1980s will live with a single parent before 
reaching adulthood. For black children, the projection is about 
80 percent (Bumpass, 1984). Currently, nearly one-fourth of the 
69 million children under age 18 living in the United States 
reside in a one-parent family. Moreover, a 1990 current 
population survey indicated that about 16 percent of children 
living in married-coupled families were living with a 
stepparent. Although the number of families with a mother who 
has divorced has tripled since 1970, the number with a mother 
who has never married has increased fifteenfold from 248,000 to 
3,829,000. In these latter cases, paternity must be determined 
before the other parent has a legal obligation to financially 
support the child. The 3.8 million families maintained by a 
never-married mother in 1994 represent a major concern because 
only about one-third of the children in these families have had 
their paternity established; for the other two-thirds, a child 
support obligation cannot be established until a paternity 
determination is made.
    Poverty is endemic among mother-headed families. In 1994, 
44 percent of the 8.7 million families maintained solely by the 
mother with children under 18 had incomes below the poverty 
threshold. Almost 12 percent of these families were poor 
despite the fact that the mother worked year round, full time. 
Today, an unprecedented number of children live in single-
parent homes, nearly half are poor, and many lack adequate or 
any support from the nonresident parent.

                             Program Trends

    In response to these demographic trends, the Federal-State 
child support program grew rapidly. By 1995, about half of all 
child support eligible families were actually receiving 
government funded child support services. Most of the 
information in this chapter applies to the families receiving 
these government services.
    Table 9-1 summarizes trends for the child support program 
since 1978. In 1995, almost $3 billion was spent by State child 
support programs to collect $10.8 billion. The combined 
Federal-State program had more than 51,600 employees. A sum of 
$3.60 was collected for every $1 of administrative expense, up 
by 25 percent from the low point of only $2.89 per dollar of 
administrative expense in 1982, but down nearly 10 percent 
since 1992, the year of peak child support efficiency. In 
addition, over 5 million absent parents were located; 661,000 
paternities were established; over 1 million support orders 
were established; more than 3.4 million cases had collections; 
269,333 families were removed from AFDC because of child 
support collections (not shown in table 9-1); and 13.6 percent 
of AFDC payments were recovered as a result of child support 
enforcement.
    These program trends demonstrate that more and more child 
support activities and outcomes are achieved by the Federal-
State program. But whether these trends indicate program 
success is a complex matter. We turn now to a detailed 
explanation of the Federal-State child support program and both 
its achievements and problems.

                            THE FEDERAL ROLE

    The Federal statute requires the national child support 
program to be administered by a separate organizational unit 
under the control of a person designated by and reporting 
directly to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human 
Services (HHS). Presently, this office is known as the Federal 
Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). The Family Support 
Act of 1988 required the appointment of an Assistant Secretary 
for Family Support within HHS to administer a number of 
programs, including the Child Support Enforcement Program. 
Currently, this position is entitled the Assistant Secretary 
for the Administration for Children and Families.
    A primary responsibility of the assistant secretary is to 
establish standards for State programs for locating absent 
parents, establishing paternity, and obtaining child support 
and support for the spouse (or former spouse) with whom the 
child is living. In addition to this broad statutory mandate, 
the assistant secretary is required to establish minimum 
organizational and staffing requirements for State child 
support agencies, and to review and approve State plans.
    The statute also requires the assistant secretary to 
provide technical assistance to States to help them establish 
effective systems for collecting support and establishing 
paternity. To fulfill this requirement, OCSE operates a 
National Child Support Enforcement Reference Center as a 
central location for the collection and dissemination of 
information about State and local programs. OCSE also provides, 
under a contract with the American Bar Association Child 
Support Project, training and information dissemination on 
legal issues to persons working in the field of child support 
enforcement. Special initiatives, such as assisting major urban 
areas in improving program performance, have also been 
undertaken by OCSE.

                             TABLE 9-1.--SUMMARY OF NATIONAL CHILD SUPPORT PROGRAM STATISTICS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-95                            
                                                       [Numbers in thousands, dollars in millions]                                                      
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                                                                                            Year                                                        
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                                     1978     1980     1982     1984     1986     1988     1989     1990     1991     1992     1993     1994      1995  
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Total child support collections..   $1,047   $1,478   $1,770   $2,378   $3,246   $4,605   $5,241   $6,010   $6,886   $7,965   $8,907    $9,850   $10,753
    In 1995 dollars \1\..........    2,407    2,715    2,726    3,395    4,363    5,783    6,281    6,861    7,483    8,386    9,394    10,129    10,753
Total AFDC collections \2\.......      472      603      786    1,000    1,225    1,486    1,593    1,750    1,984    2,259    2,416     2,550     2,693
    Federal......................      311      246      311      402      369      449      458      533      626      738      777       762       824
    State........................      148      274      354      448      424      525      563      620      700      787      847       891       941
Total non-AFDC collections.......      575      874      984    1,378    2,019    3,119    3,648    4,260    4,902    5,705    6,491     7,300     8,060
Total administrative expenditures      312      466      612      723      941    1,171    1,363    1,606    1,804    1,995    2,241     2,556     2,991
    Federal......................      236      349      459      507      633      804      938    1,061    1,212    1,343    1,517     1,741     2,081
    State........................       76      117      153      216      308      366      426      545      593      652      724       816       910
Federal incentive payments to                                                                                                                           
 States and localities...........       54       72      107      134      158      222      266      264      278      299      339       407       400
Average number of AFDC cases in                                                                                                                         
 which a collection was made.....      458      503      597      647      582      621      658      701      755      836      879       926     1,050
Average number of non-AFDC cases                                                                                                                        
 in which a collection was made..      249      243      448      547      786    1,083    1,247    1,363    1,555    1,749    1,958     2,169     2,405
Number of parents located........      454      643      779      875    1,046    1,388    1,628    2,062    2,577    3,706    4,499     4,204     5,082
Number of paternities established      111      144      173      219      245      307      339      393      472      512      554       592       661
Number of support obligations                                                                                                                           
 established.....................      315      374      462      573      731      871      938    1,022  \4\ 821      879    1,026     1,025     1,050
Percent of AFDC assistance                                                                                                                              
 payments recovered through child                                                                                                                       
 support collections.............    (\3\)      5.2      6.8      7.0      8.6      9.8     10.0     10.3     10.7     11.4     12.0      12.5      13.6
Total child support collections                                                                                                                         
 per dollar of total                                                                                                                                    
 administrative expenses.........     3.35     3.17     2.89     3.29     3.45     3.93     3.84     3.74     3.82     3.99     3.98      3.86      3.60
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\1\ Adjusted for inflation using fiscal CPI.                                                                                                            
\2\ AFDC collections are divided into State/Federal shares and incentives are taken from the Federal share thereby reducing the Federal amounts.        
\3\ Not available.                                                                                                                                      
\4\ Data beginning in 1991 exclude modifications of support orders.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                              

    The Child Support Enforcement amendments of 1984 (Public 
Law 98-378) extended the research and demonstration authority 
in section 1115 of the Social Security Act to the Child Support 
Enforcement Program. This authority makes it possible for 
States to test innovative approaches to support enforcement so 
long as the modification does not disadvantage children in need 
of support nor result in an increase in Federal AFDC costs. The 
1984 amendments also authorize $15 million for each fiscal year 
after 1986 for special project grants to promote improvement in 
interstate enforcement.
    The Assistant Secretary for Children and Families has full 
responsibility for the evaluation of the Child Support 
Enforcement Program. Audits are required at least every 3 years 
to determine whether the standards and requirements prescribed 
by law and regulations have been met. Under the penalty 
provision, a State's AFDC matching funds must be reduced by an 
amount equal to at least 1 but not more than 2 percent for the 
first failure to comply substantially with the standards and 
requirements, at least 2 but not more than 3 percent for the 
second failure, and at least 3 but not more than 5 percent for 
the third and subsequent failures.
    The statute creates several Federal mechanisms to assist 
States in performing their paternity and child support 
enforcement functions. These include use of the Internal 
Revenue Service, the Federal courts, and the Federal Parent 
Locator Service (FPLS). The assistant secretary must approve a 
State's application for permission to use the courts of the 
United States to enforce orders upon a finding that either 
another State has not enforced the court order of the 
originating State within a reasonable time or Federal courts 
are the only reasonable method of enforcing the order. Although 
Congress authorized the use of Federal courts to enforce 
interstate cases, this mechanism has gone unused, apparently 
because States view it as costly and complex.
    Finally, the statute requires the establishment of a 
Federal Parent Locator Service to be used to find absent 
parents in order to secure and enforce child support 
obligations. Upon request, the Secretary of HHS must provide to 
an authorized person the most recent address and place of 
employment of any noncustodial parent if the information is 
contained in the records of the Department of Health and Human 
Services or can be obtained from any other department or agency 
of the United States or of any State. The Secretary also must 
make available the services of the FPLS to any State that 
wishes to locate a missing parent or child for the purpose of 
enforcing any Federal or State law involving the unlawful 
taking or restraint of a child or the establishment or 
maintenance of a child custody or visitation order.

                             THE STATE ROLE

    The Social Security Act requires every State operating an 
AFDC Program to conduct a child support enforcement program. 
Federal law requires applicants for, and recipients of, AFDC to 
assign their support rights to the State in order to receive 
benefits. In addition, each applicant or recipient must 
cooperate with the State to establish the paternity of a child 
born outside marriage and to obtain child support payments.
    AFDC recipients or applicants may be excused from the 
requirement of cooperation if the AFDC agency determines that 
good cause for noncooperation exists, taking into consideration 
the best interests of the child on whose behalf aid is claimed. 
This determination is made according to standards in Federal 
regulations, the so-called ``good cause'' regulations. If good 
cause is found not to exist and if the relative with whom a 
child is living still refuses to cooperate, the relative is to 
be disqualified from AFDC and the child's benefits are to be 
sent in the form of a protective payment to a person other than 
the caretaker relative. (The same is true of refusal to assign 
to the State support rights: the child will not be disqualified 
from AFDC, but will receive AFDC benefits only in the form of 
protective payments.) Cooperation may be found to be against 
the best interests of the child if cooperation can be 
anticipated to result in physical or emotional harm to the 
child or caretaker relative; if the child was conceived as a 
result of incest or rape; or if legal procedures are underway 
for the child's adoption.
    Each State is required to designate a single and separate 
organizational unit of State government to administer its child 
support program. Earlier child support legislation, enacted in 
1967, had required that the program be administered by the 
welfare agency. The 1975 act deleted this requirement in order 
to give each State the opportunity to select the most effective 
administrative mechanism. Most States have placed the child 
support agency within a social or human services umbrella 
agency which also administers the AFDC Program. However, 
Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and Alaska have 
placed the agency in the department of revenue and Guam, 
Hawaii, Texas, and the Virgin Islands have placed the agency in 
the office of the attorney general. The law allows the programs 
to be administered either on the State or local level. Ten 
programs are locally administered. A few programs are State 
administered in some counties and locally administered in 
others.
    States must have plans, approved by the director of OCSE, 
which set forth the details of their child support program. 
States must also enter into cooperative arrangements with 
courts and law enforcement officials to assist the child 
support agency in administering the program. These agreements 
may include provision for reimbursing courts and law 
enforcement officials for their assistance. States also must 
operate a parent locator service to find absent parents, and 
they must maintain full records of collections and 
disbursements and otherwise maintain an adequate reporting 
system.
    In order to facilitate the collection of support in 
interstate cases, a State must cooperate with other States in 
establishing paternity, locating absent parents, and securing 
compliance with an order issued by another State.
    States are required to use several enforcement tools. They 
must use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax refund offset 
procedure for AFDC and non-AFDC families, and they must also 
determine periodically whether any individuals receiving 
unemployment compensation owe child support. The State 
Employment Security Agency (part of the Federal-State 
Unemployment Insurance System), is required to withhold 
unemployment benefits, and to pay the child support agency any 
outstanding child support obligations established by an 
agreement with the individual or through legal processes.
    Other enforcement techniques States must use include:
 1. Imposing liens against real and personal property for 
        amounts of overdue support;
 2. Withholding State tax refunds payable to a parent who is 
        delinquent in support payments;
 3. Reporting the amount of overdue support to a consumer 
        credit bureau upon request;
 4. Requiring individuals who have demonstrated a pattern of 
        delinquent payments to post a bond or give some other 
        guarantee to secure payment of overdue support;
 5. Establishing expedited processes within the State judicial 
        system or under administrative processes for obtaining 
        and enforcing child support orders, and, at the option 
        of the State, determining paternity;
 6. Notifying each AFDC recipient at least once each year of 
        the amount of child support collected on behalf of that 
        recipient;
 7. Permitting the establishment of paternity until a child's 
        18th birthday; and
 8. At the option of the State, providing that payments in 
        cases not enforced by the State must be made through 
        the State's income withholding system if either the 
        custodial or noncustodial parent requests that they be 
        made in this manner.
    Each State's plan must provide that the child support 
agency will attempt to secure support for all AFDC children. 
The State must also provide in its plan that it will undertake 
to establish the paternity of an AFDC child born out of 
wedlock. These requirements apply to all cases except those in 
which the State finds, in accordance with standards established 
by the Secretary, the best interests of the child would be 
violated. For families whose AFDC eligibility ends due to the 
receipt of or an increase in child support, States must 
continue to provide child support enforcement services without 
imposing the application fee.
    Foster care agencies are required to take steps, where 
appropriate, to secure an assignment to the State of any rights 
to support on behalf of a child receiving foster care 
maintenance payments under title IV-E of the Social Security 
Act.
    State child support agencies are also required to petition 
to include medical support as part of any child support order 
whenever health care coverage is available to the noncustodial 
parent at a reasonable cost. And, if a family loses AFDC 
eligibility as the result of increased collection of support 
payments, the State must continue to provide Medicaid benefits 
for 4 calendar months beginning with the month of 
ineligibility. In addition, States must provide services to 
families covered by Medicaid who are referred to the State IV-D 
agency from the State Medicaid agency.
    With respect to non-AFDC families, States must provide, 
once an application is filed with the State agency, the same 
child support collection and paternity determination services 
which are provided for AFDC families. The State must charge 
non-AFDC families an application fee of up to $25. The amount 
of the maximum allowable fee may be adjusted periodically by 
the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to 
reflect changes in administrative costs. States may charge the 
fee against the custodial parent, pay the fee out of State 
funds, or recover it from the noncustodial parent.
    States also have the option of charging a late payment fee 
equal to between 3 and 6 percent of the amount of overdue 
support. Late payment fees may be charged to noncustodial 
parents and are to be collected only after the full amount of 
the support has been paid to the child. States may also recover 
costs in excess of the application fee from either the 
custodial or noncustodial parent. If a State chooses to make 
recovery from the custodial parent, it must have in effect a 
procedure whereby all persons in the State who have authority 
to order support are informed that such costs are to be 
collected from the custodial parent.
    Child support enforcement services must include the 
enforcement of spousal support, but only if a support 
obligation has been established with respect to the spouse, the 
child and spouse are living in the same household, and child 
support is being collected along with spousal support.
    Finally, each State must comply with any other requirements 
and standards that the Secretary determines to be necessary to 
the establishment of an effective child support program.

                 THE CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROCESS

    The goal of the child support program is to combine these 
Federal and State responsibilities and activities into an 
efficient machine that provides seven basic products: locating 
absent parents, establishing paternity, establishing child 
support orders, reviewing and modifying orders, promoting 
medical support, collecting and distributing support, and 
enforcing child support across State lines. Each of these 
services deserves extensive discussion.

                        Locating Absent Parents

    In pursuing cases, child support officials try to obtain a 
great deal of information and several documents from the 
custodial parent or other sources. These include the name and 
address of the noncustodial parent; the noncustodial parent's 
Social Security number; children's birth certificates; the 
child support order; the divorce decree or separation 
agreement; the name and address of the most recent employer of 
the noncustodial parent; the names of friends and relatives or 
organizations to which the noncustodial parent might belong; 
information about income and assets; and any other information 
about noncustodial parents that might help locate them. Once 
this information is provided, it is used in strictest 
confidence.
    If the Child Support Enforcement Program cannot locate the 
noncustodial parent with the information provided by the 
custodial parent, it must try to locate the noncustodial parent 
through the State parent locator service. The State uses 
various information sources such as telephone directories, 
motor vehicle registries, tax files, and employment and 
unemployment records. The State also can ask the Federal Parent 
Locator Service (FPLS) to locate the noncustodial parent. The 
FPLS can access data from the Social Security Administration, 
the Internal Revenue Service, the Selective Service System, the 
Department of Defense, the Veterans' Administration, the 
National Personnel Records Center, and State Employment 
Security Agencies. The FPLS provides Social Security numbers, 
addresses, and employer and wage information to State and local 
child support agencies to establish and enforce child support 
orders.
    The FPLS obtains employer addresses and wage and 
unemployment compensation information from the State employment 
security agencies. This information is very useful in helping 
child support officials work cases in which the custodial 
parent and children live in one State and the noncustodial 
parent lives or works in another State. Employment data are 
updated quarterly by employers reporting to their State 
employment security agency; unemployment data are updated 
continually from State unemployment compensation payment 
records.
    The FPLS conducts weekly or biweekly matches with most of 
the agencies listed above. Each agency runs the cases against 
its data base and the names and Social Security numbers that 
match are returned to FPLS and through FPLS to the requesting 
State or local child support office.
    Since October 1984, OCSE has participated in Project 1099 
which provides State child support agencies access to all of 
the earned and unearned income information reported to IRS 
employers and financial institutions. Project 1099, named after 
the IRS form on which both earned and unearned income is 
reported, is a cooperative effort involving State child support 
agencies, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, and 
the Internal Revenue Service. Examples of reported earned and 
unearned incomes include: interest paid on savings accounts, 
stocks and bonds, and distribution of dividends and capital 
gains; rent or royalty payments; prizes, awards, or winnings; 
fees paid directors or subcontractors; and unemployment 
compensation. The Project 1099 information is used to locate 
noncustodial parents and to verify income and employment. 
Project 1099 also helps locate additional nonwage income and 
assets of noncustodial parents who are employees as well as 
income and asset sources of self-employed and nonwage earning 
obligors.

                         Establishing Paternity

    Paternity establishment is a prerequisite for obtaining a 
child support order. In 1993, 31 percent of children born in 
the United States were born to unmarried women. According to 
the OCSE, paternity is established in less than one-third of 
these cases. Without paternity established, these children have 
no legal claim on their fathers' income. A major weakness of 
the child support program is its poor performance in securing 
paternity for such children. In addition to financial benefits, 
establishing paternity can provide social, psychological, and 
emotional benefits and in some cases the father's medical 
history may be needed to give a child proper care.
    In the 1980s, legislation was enacted that contained 
provisions aimed at increasing the number of paternities 
established. Public Law 98-378, the Child Support Enforcement 
Amendments of 1984, required States to implement laws that 
permitted paternity to be established until a child's 18th 
birthday. Under the Family Support Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-
485), States are required to initiate the establishment of 
paternity for all children under the age of 18, including those 
for whom an action to establish paternity was previously 
dismissed because of the existence of a statute of limitations 
of less than 18 years. The 1988 law encourages States to create 
simple civil procedures for establishing paternity in contested 
cases, requires States to have all parties in a contested 
paternity case take a genetic test upon the request of any 
party, requires the Federal Government to pay 90 percent of the 
laboratory costs of these tests, and permits States to charge 
persons not receiving AFDC for the cost of establishing 
paternity. The 1988 law also sets paternity establishment 
standards for the States and stipulates that each State is 
required, in administering any law involving the issuance of 
birth certificates, to require both parents to furnish their 
Social Security number, unless the State finds good cause for 
not doing so.
    Congress took additional action to improve paternity 
establishment in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. 
This law required States to have in effect, by October 1, 1993, 
the following:
 1. A simple civil process for voluntarily acknowledging 
        paternity under which the State must explain the rights 
        and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity and 
        afford due process safeguards. Procedures must include 
        a hospital-based program for the voluntary 
        acknowledgment of paternity during the period 
        immediately preceding or following the birth of a 
        child;
 2. A law under which the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity 
        creates a rebuttable, or at State option, conclusive 
        presumption of paternity, and under which such 
        voluntary acknowledgments are admissible as evidence of 
        paternity;
 3. A law under which the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity 
        must be recognized as a basis for seeking a support 
        order without requiring any further proceedings to 
        establish paternity;
 4. Procedures which provide that any objection to genetic 
        testing results must be made in writing within a 
        specified number of days prior to any hearing at which 
        such results may be introduced in evidence; if no 
        objection is made, the test results must be admissible 
        as evidence of paternity without the need for 
        foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or 
        accuracy;
 5. A law which creates a rebuttable or, at the option of the 
        State, conclusive presumption of paternity upon genetic 
        testing results indicating a threshold probability of 
        the alleged father being the father of the child;
 6. Procedures which require default orders in paternity cases 
        upon a showing that process has been served on the 
        defendant and whatever additional showing may be 
        required by State law; and
 7. Expedited processes for paternity establishment in 
        contested cases and full faith and credit to 
        determinations of paternity made by other States.
    The 1993 reforms also revised the mandatory paternity 
establishment requirements imposed on States by the Family 
Support Act of 1988. The most notable provision increased the 
mandatory paternity establishment percentage, which is backed 
up by financial penalties linked to a reduction of Federal 
matching funds for the State's AFDC Program (see Audits and 
Financial Penalties section).
    While employing these laws and procedures to establish 
paternity, States follow a predictable sequence of events. In 
cases for which paternity is not voluntarily acknowledged 
(which is still the majority of cases), the child support 
agency locates the alleged father and brings him to court or 
before an administrative agency where he can either acknowledge 
or dispute paternity. If he claims he is not the father, the 
court can require that he submit to parentage blood testing to 
establish the probability that he is the father. If the father 
denies paternity, a court usually decides the issue based on 
scientific and testimonial evidence. Through the use of testing 
techniques, a man may be excluded as a possible natural father, 
in which case no further action against him is warranted. Most 
States use one or more of several scientific methods for 
establishing paternity. These include: ABO blood typing system, 
human leukocyte antigen (HLA) testing, red cell enzyme and 
serum protein electrophoresis, and DNA testing.
    There are two types of testing procedures for paternity 
cases: (1) probability of exclusion tests, and (2) probability 
of paternity tests. Most laboratories perform probability of 
exclusion tests. This type of testing can determine with 90-99 
percent accuracy that a man is ``not'' the father of a given 
child. There is a very high probability the test will exonerate 
a falsely accused man (Office of Child Support Enforcement, 
1985).
    Since the question of paternity is essentially a scientific 
one, it is important that the verification process include 
available advanced scientific technology. Experts now agree 
that use of the highly reliable deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) 
fingerprinting test greatly increases the likelihood of correct 
identification of putative fathers. DNA tests can be used 
either to exclude unlikely fathers or to establish a high 
likelihood that a given man is the father (Office of Child 
Support, 1990, see pp. 59-74). One expert, speaking at a recent 
child support conference, summed up the effectiveness of DNA 
testing as follows:

    The DNA fingerprinting technique promises far superior 
reliability than current blood grouping or HLA (human leukocyte 
antigen) analyses. The probability of an unrelated individual 
sharing the same patterns is practically zero. The ``DNA 
fingerprinting'' test, developed in England in 1985, refines 
the favorable statistics to an even greater degree, reducing 
the probability that two unrelated individuals will have the 
same DNA fingerprint to one in a quadrillion (Georgeson, 1989, 
p. 568).

    If the putative father is not excluded on the basis of the 
scientific test results, authorities may still conclude on the 
basis of witnesses, resemblance, and other evidence that they 
do not have sufficient evidence to establish paternity and, 
therefore, will drop charges against him. Tests resulting in 
nonexclusion also may serve to convince the putative father 
that he is, in fact, the father. If this occurs, a voluntary 
admission often leads to a formal court order. When authorities 
believe there is enough evidence to support the mother's 
allegation, but the putative father continues to deny the 
charges, the case proceeds to a formal adjudication of 
paternity in a court of law (McKillop, 1981, pp. 22-23). Using 
the results of the blood test and other evidence, the court or 
the child support agency, often through an administrative 
process, may dismiss the case or enter an order of paternity, a 
prerequisite to obtaining a court order requiring a 
noncustodial parent to pay support (U.S. General Accounting 
Office, 1987).
    In fiscal year 1995, 661,000 paternities were established, 
up from 232,000 in fiscal year 1985. While the number of 
paternities established through child support agencies reached 
a record high in 1995, huge disparities exist among States. In 
that year, for example, the percentage of children in the child 
support program for whom paternity was established averaged 41 
percent nationally, but ranged from 4 percent in the District 
of Columbia to 80 percent in Wisconsin (see table 9-21 below).

                          Establishing Orders

    A child support order legally obligates noncustodial 
parents to provide financial support for their children and 
stipulates the amount of the obligation (current weekly 
obligation plus arrearages, if any) and how it is to be paid. 
Many States have statutes that provide that, in the absence of 
a child support award, the payment of AFDC benefits to the 
child of a noncustodial parent creates a debt due from the 
parent or parents in the amount of the AFDC provided. Other 
States operate under the common law principle, which maintains 
that a father is obligated to reimburse any person who has 
provided his child with food, shelter, clothing, medical 
attention, or education. States can establish child support 
obligations either by judicial or administrative process.
Judicial and administrative systems
    The courts have traditionally played a major role in the 
child support program. Judges have established orders, 
established paternity, and provided authority for all 
enforcement activity. The child support literature generally 
concludes that the judicial process offers several advantages, 
especially by providing more adequate protection for the legal 
rights of the noncustodial parent and by offering a wide range 
of enforcement remedies, such as civil contempt and possible 
incarceration. A major problem of using courts, however, is 
that they are often cumbersome, expensive, and time consuming.
    The advantages of an administrative process are very 
compelling. These include offering quicker service because 
documents do not have to be filed with the court clerk nor 
await the signature of the judge, eliminating time consuming 
problems in scheduling court time, providing a more uniform and 
consistent obligation amount, and saving money because of 
reduced court costs and attorney fees.
    The 1984 child support amendments required States to limit 
the role of the courts significantly by implementing 
administrative or judicial expedited processes. Most child 
support officials view this development as an improvement in 
the child support program. An expedited judicial process is a 
legal process in effect under a State's judicial system that 
reduces the processing time of establishing and enforcing a 
support order. To expedite case processing, a ``judge 
surrogate'' is given authority to: take testimony and establish 
a record, evaluate and make initial decisions, enter default 
orders if the noncustodial parent does not respond to 
``notice'' or other State ``service of process'' in a timely 
manner, accept voluntary acknowledgement of support liability 
and approve stipulated agreements to pay support, and if the 
State establishes paternity using the expedited judicial 
process, to accept voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. 
Judge surrogates often are referred to as court masters, 
referees, hearing officers, commissioners, or presiding 
officers.
    The purpose of an expedited administrative process is to 
increase effectiveness and meet specified processing times in 
child support cases and, if the State so chose, paternity 
actions. The Federal regulations implementing this law specify 
that 90 percent of cases must be processed within 3 months, 98 
percent within 6 months, and 100 percent within 12 months.
    The Federal regulations also contain additional 
requirements related to the expedited process. Proceedings 
conducted pursuant to either the expedited judicial or 
expedited administrative process must be presided over by an 
individual who is not a judge of the court. Orders established 
by expedited process must have the same force and effect under 
State law as orders established by full judicial process, 
although either process may provide that a judge first ratify 
the order. Within these broad limitations, each State is free 
to design an expedited process that is best suited to its 
administrative needs and legal traditions.
Determining the amount of support orders
    Before October 1989, the decision of how much a parent 
should pay for child support was left primarily to the 
discretion of the court. Typically, judges examined financial 
statements from mothers and fathers and established awards 
based on children's needs. The resulting awards varied greatly. 
Moreover, this case-by-case approach resulted in very low 
awards. As late as 1991, the average amount of child support 
received by custodial parents was $2,961, less than $250 per 
month.
    In an attempt to increase the use of objective criteria, 
the 1984 child support amendments required each State to 
establish, by October 1987, guidelines for determining child 
support award amounts ``by law or by judicial or administrative 
action'' \1\ and to make the guidelines available ``to all 
judges and other officials who have the power to determine 
child support awards within the State.'' Federal regulations 
made the provision more specific: State child support 
guidelines must be based on specific descriptive and numeric 
criteria and result in a computation of the support obligation. 
The 1984 provision did not make the guidelines binding on 
judges and other officials who had the authority to establish 
child support obligations. However, the Family Support Act of 
1988 required States to pass legislation making the State child 
support guidelines a ``rebuttable presumption'' in any judicial 
or administrative proceeding and establishing the amount of the 
order which results from the application of the State-
established guidelines as the correct amount to be awarded.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Fitzgerald v. Fitzgerald, No. 87-1259 (D.C. Ct. App. Oct. 10, 
1989): In October 1989, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals 
struck down child support guidelines adopted in October 1987 in 
response to the Federal requirement. The court held that the Superior 
Court Committee that drafted the guidelines lacked authority to do so. 
It did not rule on the fairness of the guidelines, which awarded 
children a fixed fraction of the gross income of the noncustodial 
parent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    States generally use one of three basic types of guidelines 
to determine award amounts: ``Income shares,'' which is based 
on the combined income of both parents (31 States); 
``percentage of income,'' in which the number of eligible 
children is used to determine a percentage of the noncustodial 
parents' income to be paid in child support (15 States); and 
``Melson-Delaware,'' which provides a minimum self-support 
reserve for parents before the cost of rearing the children is 
prorated between the parents to determine the award amount 
(Delaware, Hawaii, West Virginia). Two jurisdictions (the 
District of Columbia and Massachusetts) use variants of one or 
more of these three approaches (Williams, 1994; see table 9-24 
below).
    The income shares approach is designed to ensure that the 
children of divorced parents suffer the lowest possible decline 
in standard of living. The approach is intended to ensure that 
the child receives the same proportion of parental income that 
he would have received if the parents lived together. The first 
step in the income shares approach is to determine the combined 
income of the two parents. A percentage of that combined 
income, which varies by income level, is used to calculate a 
``primary support obligation.'' The percentages decline as 
income rises, although the absolute amount of the primary 
support obligation increases with income. Many States add child 
care costs and extraordinary medical expenses to the primary 
support obligation. The resulting total child support 
obligation is apportioned between the parents on the basis of 
their incomes. The noncustodial parent's share is the child 
support award (Office of Child Support, 1987, pp. II 67-80).
    The percentage of income approach is based on the 
noncustodial parent's gross income and the number of children 
to be supported (the child support obligation is not adjusted 
for the income of the custodial parent). The percentages vary 
by State. In Wisconsin, a highly publicized percentage of 
income guideline State, child support is based on the following 
proportions of the noncustodial parent's gross income: one 
child--17 percent; two children--25 percent; three children--29 
percent; four children--31 percent; and five or more children--
34 percent. There is no self support reserve in this approach 
nor is there separate treatment for child care or extraordinary 
medical expenses. The States that use a percentage of income 
approach are Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, 
Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North 
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
    The Melson-Delaware formula starts with net income. \2\ 
After determining net income for each parent, a primary support 
allowance is subtracted from each parent's income. This reserve 
represents the minimum amount required for adults to meet their 
own subsistence requirements. The next step is to determine a 
primary support amount for each dependent child. Work-related 
child care expenses and extraordinary medical expenses are 
added to the child's primary support amount. The child's 
primary support needs are then apportioned between the parents. 
To ensure that children share in any additional income the 
parents might have, a percentage of the parents' remaining 
income is allocated among the children (the percentage is based 
on the number of dependent children). The States that use the 
Melson-Delaware approach are Delaware, Hawaii, and West 
Virginia.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Net income equals income from employment and other sources plus 
business expense accounts if they provide the parent with an 
automobile, lunches, etc., minus income taxes based on maximum 
allowable exemptions, other deductions required by law, deductions 
required by an employer or union, legitimate business expenses, and 
benefits such as medical insurance maintained for dependents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Award rates
    In 1991, of the 11.5 million custodial parents of children 
under the age of 21 whose other parent was not living in the 
household, only 6.2 million or 54 percent had a child support 
award. Award rates were higher for mothers than for fathers: 56 
percent of the custodial mothers had an award versus 41 percent 
of custodial fathers. About one-third of the 5.3 million 
custodial parents without awards chose not to pursue a child 
support award. In other cases, custodial parents were unable to 
locate the noncustodial parent or the noncustodial parent was 
unable to pay. Never-married custodial parents were the group 
least likely to have a child support award. Only 27 percent of 
never-married custodial parents had support awards compared 
with 69 percent of divorced custodial parents. Moreover, black 
custodial parents and custodial parents of Hispanic origin were 
much less likely than their white counterparts to have child 
support awards. About 64 percent of whites had child support 
awards, compared with 35 percent of blacks and Hispanics (U.S. 
Bureau of the Census, 1995, p. 13).
Unresolved issues
    As noted by Garfinkel, Melli, and Robertson (1994), there 
are a host of controversial issues associated with child 
support awards. These include whether child care costs, 
extraordinary medical expenses, and college costs are taken 
into account in determining the support order; how the income 
of the noncustodial parent is allocated between first and 
subsequent families (e.g., whether the children from a second 
marriage are provided child support payments equal to those of 
the children from the first marriage); \3\ how the income of 
stepparents is treated; whether a minimum child support award 
level regardless of age or circumstance of the noncustodial 
parent should be imposed; whether income earned as a result of 
a custodial parent's participation in an AFDC work, education, 
and training program is taken into account; and the duration of 
the support order (i.e., does the support obligation end when 
the child reaches age 18; what happens to arrearages).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Traditionally, the courts have taken the position that the 
father's prior child support obligations take absolute precedence over 
the needs of the new family. They have disregarded the father's plea 
that his new responsibilities are a ``change in circumstance'' 
justifying a reduction in a prior child support award or at least 
averting an increase.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     Reviewing and Modifying Orders

    Without periodic modifications, child support obligations 
can become inadequate and inequitable. Historically, the only 
way to modify a child support order was to require a party to 
petition the court for a modification based on a ``change in 
circumstances.'' What constituted a change in circumstances 
sufficient to modify the order depended on the State and the 
court. The person requesting modification was responsible for 
filing the motion, serving notice, hiring a lawyer, and proving 
a change in circumstances of sufficient magnitude to satisfy 
statutory standards. The modification proceeding was a two step 
process. First the court determined whether a modification was 
appropriate. Next, the amount of the new obligation was 
determined.
    Because this approach to updating orders was so cumbersome, 
the Family Support Act of 1988 required States both to use 
guidelines as a rebuttable presumption in all proceedings for 
the award of child support and to review and adjust child 
support orders in accordance with the guidelines. These 
provisions reflected Congressional intent to simplify the 
updating of support orders by requiring a process in which the 
standard for modification was the State child support 
guidelines. They also reflect a recognition that the 
traditional burden of proof for changing the amount of the 
support order was a barrier to updating. Finally, the new law 
signaled a need for States to at least expand, if not replace, 
the traditional ``change in circumstances'' test as the legal 
prerequisite for updating support orders by making State 
guidelines the presumptively correct amount of support to be 
paid (Federal Register, 1992, p. 61560).
    The Family Support Act also requires States to review 
guidelines at least once every 4 years and have procedures for 
review and adjustment of orders, consistent with a plan 
indicating how and when child support orders are to be reviewed 
and adjusted. Review may take place at the request of either 
parent subject to the order or at the request of a State child 
support agency. Any adjustment to the award must be consistent 
with the State's guidelines, which must be used as a rebuttable 
presumption in establishing or adjusting the support order. The 
Family Support Act also required States to review all orders 
being enforced under the child support program within 36 months 
after establishment or after the most recent review of the 
order and to adjust the order in accord with the State's 
guidelines.
    Review is required in child support cases in which support 
rights are assigned to the State, unless the State has 
determined that review would not be in the best interests of 
the child and neither parent has requested a review. This 
provision applies to child support orders in cases in which 
benefits under the AFDC, foster care, or Medicaid Programs are 
currently being provided, but does not include orders for 
former AFDC, foster care, or Medicaid cases, even if the State 
retains an assignment of support rights for arrearages that 
accumulated during the time the family was on welfare. In child 
support cases in which there is no current assignment of 
support rights to the State, including former recipients of 
AFDC, foster care, or Medicaid benefits receiving continued 
child support services, review is required at least once ever 
36 months only if a parent requests it. If the review indicates 
that adjustment of the support amount is appropriate, the State 
must proceed to adjust the award accordingly.
    The Family Support Act also required States to notify 
parents in cases being enforced by the State both of their 
right to request a review at least 30 days before it begins and 
of any proposed adjustment or determination that there should 
be no change in the award amount. In the latter case, the 
parent must be given at least 30 days after notification to 
initiate proceedings to challenge the proposed adjustment or 
determination.
    The frequency of review and updating of support orders has 
increased greatly since the 1984 amendments. As a result, 
several issues have become apparent. When an initial child 
support amount is established under guidelines, it generally is 
reasonable to apply the guidelines to later modification. 
However, when newly adopted guidelines are used to modify old 
orders, some noncustodial parents may have to pay substantially 
higher child support. Noncustodial parents who decided to start 
second families based on financial calculations which assumed 
the amount of the original order argue that it is unfair for 
States to use new State-established guidelines to update or 
revise their preexisting award obligations (Malone, 1989, pp. 
31-32). Other issues associated with updating child support 
awards include the expected increased resources necessary to 
review and update orders, and the disinclination of child 
support staff to initiate downward modifications.
    Another major issue in the modification of awards was that 
18 States permitted retroactive modifications. The vast 
majority of such retroactive modifications had the effect of 
reducing the amount of child support ordered. Thus, for 
example, an order for $200 a month for child support, which was 
unpaid for 36 months, should accumulate an arrearage of $7,200. 
Yet, if the obligor was brought to court, having made no prior 
attempt to modify the order, the order might be reduced to $100 
a month retroactive to 36 months prior to the date of 
modification. This retroactive modification would reduce the 
arrearage from $7,200 to $3,600. Cases such as this, which had 
serious impacts on custodial parents and their children, 
convinced Congress to take action.
    Thus, in 1986 Congress enacted section 9103 of Public Law 
99-509 (section 466(a)(9) of the Social Security Act) to change 
State practices involving modification of child support 
arrears. The provision required States to change their laws so 
that any payment of child support, on and after the date due, 
is a judgment (the official decision or finding of a court on 
the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action) 
by operation of law. The provision further requires that the 
judgment be entitled to full faith and credit in the 
originating State and in any other State. Full faith and credit 
is a constitutional principle that the various States must 
recognize the judgments of other States within the United 
States and accord them the force and effect they would have in 
their home State.
    The 1986 provision also greatly restricts retroactive 
modification to make it more difficult for courts and 
administrative entities to forgive or reduce arrearages. More 
specifically, orders can be retroactively modified only for a 
period during which there is pending a petition for 
modification and only from the date that notice of the petition 
has been given to the custodial or noncustodial parent.

                       Promoting Medical Support

    Section 16 of Public Law 98-378, enacted in 1984, requires 
the Secretary of HHS to issue regulations to require that State 
child support agencies petition for the inclusion of medical 
support as part of any child support order whenever health care 
coverage is available to the noncustodial parent at reasonable 
cost. According to Federal regulations, any employment-related 
or other group coverage is considered reasonable, under the 
assumption that health insurance is inexpensive to the 
employee/noncustodial parent. A 1993 study by Cooper and 
Johnson that analyzed 1987 data from the Center for Health 
Expenditures and Insurance Studies indicated that, for low-wage 
(i.e., poor--income below poverty line) employees with 
employer-provided family health insurance coverage, 77 percent 
of the premium was paid for by the employer.
    On October 16, 1985, OCSE published regulations amending 
previous regulations and implementing section 16 of Public Law 
98-378. The regulations require State child support agencies to 
obtain basic medical support information and provide this 
information to the State Medicaid agency. If the custodial 
parent does not have satisfactory health insurance coverage, 
the child support agency must petition the court or 
administrative authority to include medical support in new or 
modified support orders and inform the State Medicaid agency of 
any new or modified support orders that include a medical 
support obligation. The regulations also require child support 
agencies to enforce medical support that has been ordered by a 
court or administrative process. In addition, these regulations 
permit the use of child support matching funds at the 66-
percent rate for required medical support activities. Before 
these regulations were issued, medical support activities were 
pursued by child support agencies only under optional 
cooperative agreements with Medicaid agencies.
    Some of the functions that the child support agency may 
perform under a cooperative agreement with the Medicaid agency 
include: receiving referrals from the Medicaid agency, locating 
noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, determining 
whether the noncustodial parent has a health insurance policy 
or plan that covers the child, obtaining sufficient information 
about the health insurance policy or plan to permit the filing 
of a claim with the insurer, filing a claim with the insurer or 
transmitting the necessary information to the Medicaid agency, 
securing health insurance coverage through court or 
administrative order (when it will not reduce the noncustodial 
parent's ability to pay child support), and recovering amounts 
necessary to reimburse medical assistance payments.
    On September 16, 1988, OCSE issued regulations expanding 
the medical support enforcement provisions. These regulations 
require the child support agency to develop criteria to 
identify existing child support cases that have a high 
potential for obtaining medical support, and to petition the 
court or administrative authority to modify support orders to 
include medical support for targeted cases even if no other 
modification is anticipated. The child support agency also is 
required to provide the custodial parent with information 
regarding the health insurance coverage obtained by the 
noncustodial parent for the child. Moreover, the regulation 
deletes the condition that child support agencies may secure 
health insurance coverage under a cooperative agreement only 
when it will not reduce the noncustodial parent's ability to 
pay child support. The purpose of the medical support 
provisions is to expand the number 
of children for whom private health insurance coverage is 
obtained by increasing the availability of third party 
resources to pay for medical care and thereby reduce Medicaid 
costs for both the States and the Federal Government.
    Before late 1993, employees covered under their employer's 
health care plans generally could provide coverage to their 
children only if the children lived with the employee. However, 
as a result of divorce proceedings, employees often lost 
custody of their children but were nonetheless required to 
provide their health care coverage. While the employee would be 
obliged to follow the court's directive, the employer that 
sponsored the employee's health care plan was under no similar 
obligation. Even if the court ordered the employer to continue 
health care coverage for the nonresident child of their 
employee, the employer would be under no legal obligation to do 
so (Shulman, 1994, pp. 1-2). Aware of this situation, Congress 
took the following legislative action in the Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act of 1993:
 1. Insurers were prohibited from denying enrollment of a child 
        under the health insurance coverage of the child's 
        parent on the grounds that the child was born out of 
        wedlock, is not claimed as a dependent on the parent's 
        Federal income tax return, or does not reside with the 
        parent or in the insurer's service area;
 2. Insurers and employers were required, in any case in which 
        a parent is required by court order to provide health 
        coverage for a child and the child is otherwise 
        eligible for family health coverage through the 
        insurer: (a) to permit the parent, without regard to 
        any enrollment season restrictions, to enroll the child 
        under such family coverage; (b) if the parent fails to 
        provide health insurance coverage for a child, to 
        enroll the child upon application by the child's other 
        parent or the State child support or Medicaid agency; 
        and (c) with respect to employers, not to disenroll the 
        child unless there is satisfactory written evidence 
        that the order is no longer in effect, or the child is 
        or will be enrolled in comparable health coverage 
        through another insurer that will take effect not later 
        than the effective date of the disenrollment;
 3. Employers doing business in the State, if they offer health 
        insurance and if a court order is in effect, were 
        required to withhold from the employee's compensation 
        the employee's share of premiums for health insurance 
        and to pay that share to the insurer. The Secretary of 
        HHS may provide by regulation for such exceptions to 
        this requirement (and other requirements described 
        above that apply to employers) as the Secretary 
        determines necessary to ensure compliance with an 
        order, or with the limits on withholding that are 
        specified in section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit 
        Protection Act;
 4. Insurers were prohibited from imposing requirements on a 
        State agency acting as an agent or assignee of an 
        individual eligible for medical assistance that are 
        different from requirements applicable to an agent or 
        assignee of any other individual;
 5. Insurers were required, in the case of a child who has 
        coverage through the insurer of a noncustodial parent: 
        (a) to provide the custodial parent with the 
        information necessary for the child to obtain benefits; 
        (b) to permit the custodial parent (or provider, with 
        the custodial parent's approval) to submit claims for 
        covered services without the approval of the 
        noncustodial parent; and (c) to make payment on claims 
        directly to the custodial parent, the provider, or the 
        State agency; and
 6. The State Medicaid agency was permitted to garnish the 
        wages, salary, or other employment income of, and to 
        withhold State tax refunds to, any person who: (a) is 
        required by court or administrative order to provide 
        health insurance coverage to an individual eligible for 
        Medicaid; (b) has received payment from a third party 
        for the costs of medical services to that individual; 
        and (c) has not reimbursed either the individual or the 
        provider. The amount subject to garnishment or 
        withholding is the amount required to reimburse the 
        State agency for expenditures for costs of medical 
        services provided under the Medicaid Program. Claims 
        for current or past due child support take priority 
        over any claims for the costs of medical services.
    These provisions appear to be having an impact on the 
number of children in single-parent families with medical 
coverage. According to OCSE data, 58 percent of support orders 
established in fiscal year 1994 included health insurance, up 
from 46 percent in fiscal year 1991. Nevertheless, only 32 
percent of support orders enforced or modified in fiscal year 
1994 included health insurance, down slightly from 35 percent 
in 1991. These figures indicate that many children still lack 
coverage. One way to increase medical support may be to require 
withholding of health insurance premiums in all cases with 
medical support orders (Gordon, 1994).

                        Collecting Child Support

    Local courts and child support enforcement agencies attempt 
to collect child support when the noncustodial parent does not 
pay. The most important collection method is wage withholding. 
Other techniques for enforcing payments include regular 
billings, delinquency notices, liens on property, offset of 
unemployment compensation payments, seizure and sale of 
property, reporting arrearages to credit agencies, garnishment 
of wages, seizure of State and Federal income tax refunds, and 
Federal imprisonment, fines or both.
    In addition to approaches authorized by the Federal 
Government through the child support program, States use a 
variety of other collection techniques. In fact, States have 
been at the forefront in implementing innovative approaches. 
Some States revoke or deny various types of licenses (drivers', 
business, occupational, recreational) to persons who are 
delinquent in their child support payments; some States attach 
lottery winnings and insurance settlements of debtor parents; 
and some States hire private collection agencies to collect 
child support payments. Some States even bring charges of 
criminal nonsupport or civil or criminal contempt of court 
against noncustodial parents who fail to pay child support. 
These court proceedings usually involve much time because of 
court backlogs, delays, and continuances. Once a court decides 
the case, noncustodial parents are often given probation or 
suspended sentences, and occasionally they are even awarded 
lower support payments and only partial payment of arrearages. 
To combat problems associated with court delays, the child 
support statute requires States to implement expedited 
processes under the State judicial system or State 
administrative processes for obtaining and enforcing support 
orders.
    Given the pivotal role of collections in the child support 
process, this section now turns to detailed discussion of the 
most effective collections procedures. Summary data on the 
effectiveness of four of the most effective collection methods 
are presented in table 9-2.
Wage withholding
    The Family Support Act of 1988 greatly expanded wage 
withholding by requiring immediate withholding to begin in 
November 1990 for all new or modified orders being enforced by 
States. Equally important, States were required to implement 
immediate wage withholding in all support orders initially 
issued on or after January 1, 1994, regardless of whether a 
parent has applied for child support services.
    The child support amendments of 1984 also required that 
States have in effect two distinct procedures for withholding 
wages of noncustodial parents. First, for existing cases 
enforced through the child support agency, States were required 
to impose wage withholding whenever an arrearage accrued that 
was equal to the amount of support payable for 1 month. Second, 
for all child support cases, all new or modified orders were 
required to include a provision for wage withholding when an 
arrearage occurs. The intent of the second procedure was to 
ensure that orders not enforced through the child support 
agency contain the authority necessary to permit wage 
withholding to be initiated by someone other than the child 
support agency.
    According to the Federal statute, State due process 
requirements govern the scope of notice that must be provided 
to an obligor (i.e., noncustodial parent) when withholding is 
triggered. As a general rule, the noncustodial parent is 
entitled to advance notice of the withholding procedure. This 
notice, where required, must inform the noncustodial parent of 
the following: the amount that will be withheld; the 
application of withholding to any current or subsequent period 
of employment; the procedures available for contesting the 
withholding and the sole basis for objection (i.e., mistake of 
fact); the period allotted to contest the withholding and the 
result of failure to contact the State within this timeframe 
(i.e., issuance of notification to the employer to begin 
withholding); and the steps the State will take if the 
noncustodial parent contests the withholding, including the 
procedure to resolve such contests.
    If the noncustodial parent contests the withholding notice, 
the State must conduct a hearing, determine if the withholding 
is valid, notify the noncustodial parent of the decision, and 
notify the employer to commence the deductions if withholding 
is upheld. All of this must occur within 45 days of the initial 
notice of withholding. Whether a State uses a judicial or an 
administrative process, the only basis for a hearing is a 
factual mistake about the amount owed (current, arrearage or 
both) or the identity of the noncustodial parent.

                       TABLE 9-2.--CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS MADE BY VARIOUS ENFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1989-95                      
                                                                  [Dollars in millions]                                                                 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Child support collections                Percent of total collections     
                       Enforcement technique                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      1989     1991     1993     1994     1995     1989    1991    1993    1994    1995 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wage withholding..................................................   $2,144   $3,266   $4,743   $5,429    $6,111    40.9    47.4    53.2    55.0    56.8
Federal income tax offset.........................................      411      476      570      623       734     7.9     6.9     6.4     6.3     6.8
State income tax offset...........................................       62       72       78       88        97     1.2     1.0     0.9     0.9     0.9
Unemployment compensation intercept...............................       54      143      286      223       187     1.0     2.1     3.2     2.3     1.7
Other \1\.........................................................    2,570    2,929    3,232    3,506     3,624    49.0    42.6    36.3    35.5    33.7
                                                                   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total collections...........................................   $5,241   $6,886   $8,907   $9,869   $10,753   100.0   100.0   100.0   100.0   100.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) does not designate the source of most of these collections. According to the OCSE, the majority of   
  collections in the other category came from noncustodial parents who were complying with their support orders by sending their payments to the child  
  support agency. Moreover, the OCSE officials maintain that reliability of collection data lessen when specified by techniques of collection.          
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                             

    When withholding is uncontested or when a contested case is 
resolved in favor of withholding, the administering agency must 
serve a withholding notice on the employer. The employer is 
required to withhold as much of the noncustodial parent's wages 
as is necessary to comply with the order, including the current 
support amount plus an amount to be applied toward liquidation 
of any arrearage. In addition, the employer may retain a fee to 
offset the administrative cost of implementing withholding. 
Employer fees per wage withholding transaction range from 
nothing to $3 per pay period to $5 per attachment to $10 per 
month (Office of Child Support, 1986, p. 7).
    The Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act limits 
garnishment to 50 percent of disposable earnings for a 
noncustodial parent who is the head of a household, and 60 
percent for a noncustodial parent who is not supporting a 
second family. These percentages increase by 5 percentage 
points, to 55 and 65 percent respectively, when the arrearages 
represent support that was due more than 12 weeks before the 
current pay period.
    Upon receiving a withholding notice, the employer must 
begin withholding the appropriate amount of the obligor's wages 
no later than the first pay period that occurs after 14 days 
following the date the notice was mailed. The 1984 amendments 
regulate the language in State statutes on the other rights and 
liabilities of the employer. For instance, the employer is 
subject to a fine for discharging a noncustodial parent or 
taking other forms of retaliation as a result of a withholding 
order. In addition, the employer is held liable for amounts not 
withheld as directed.
    In addition to being able to charge the noncustodial parent 
a fee for the administrative costs associated with wage 
withholding, the employer can combine all support payments 
required to be withheld for multiple obligors into a single 
payment and forward it to the child support agency or court 
with a list of the cases to which the payments apply. The 
employer need not vary from his normal pay and disbursement 
cycle to comply with withholding orders; however, support 
payments must be forwarded to the State or other designated 
agency within 10 days of the date on which the noncustodial 
parent is paid.
    When the noncustodial parent changes jobs, the previous 
employer must notify the court or agency that entered the 
withholding order. The State must then notify the new employer 
or income source to begin withholding from the obligor's wages. 
In addition, States must develop procedures to terminate income 
withholding orders when all of the children are emancipated and 
no arrearage exists.
    As shown in table 9-2, the Congressional emphasis on wage 
withholding has paid off handsomely. Not only has the total 
amount of support collected through wage withholding increased 
each year, reaching $6.1 billion in 1995, but the percentage of 
total collections achieved through wage withholding has also 
increased steadily, growing from about 41 percent in 1989 to 
nearly 57 percent in 1995.
Federal income tax refund offset
    Under this program, the IRS, operating on request from a 
State filed through the Secretary of HHS, simply intercepts tax 
returns and deducts the amount of certified child support 
arrearages. The money is then sent to the State for 
distribution. The availability of the IRS collection mechanism 
for child support was strengthened by the Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Public Law 97-35). IRS can now 
withhold past due support from Federal tax refunds upon a 
simple showing by the State that an individual owes at least 
$150 in past due support which has been assigned to the State 
as a condition of AFDC eligibility. The withheld amount is sent 
to the State agency, together with notice of the taxpayer's 
current address.
    The 1984 amendments created a similar IRS offset program 
for non-AFDC families owed child support. States must submit to 
the IRS for withholding the names of absent parents who have 
arrearages of at least $500 and who, on the basis of current 
payment patterns and the enforcement efforts that have been 
made, are unlikely to pay the arrearage before the IRS offset 
can occur. The law establishes specific notice requirements and 
mandates that the noncustodial parent and his spouse (if any) 
be informed of the impending use of the tax offset procedure. 
The purpose of this notice is to protect the unobligated 
spouse's portion of the tax refund. The 1988 provision applied 
to refunds payable after December 31, 1985, and before January 
1, 1991. Public Law 101-508, enacted in 1990, makes permanent 
the IRS offset program for non-AFDC families.
    In fiscal year 1995, according to IRS, more than 1 million 
cases were offset. The total amount intercepted was $804 
million, up by a factor of four since 1985.
State income tax refund offset
    The child support amendments of 1984 mandate that States 
increase the effectiveness of the child support program by, 
among other things, enacting several collection procedures. 
Among the required procedures is the interception of State 
income tax refunds payable to noncustodial parents up to the 
amount of overdue support. As in the case of liens and bonds, 
this procedure need not be used in cases found inappropriate 
under State guidelines.
    The State tax intercept program allows a State to collect 
overdue child support payments by intercepting State tax 
refunds due a noncustodial parent. The State tax refund is 
applied to a support arrearage to reduce or eliminate through 
an ``offset'' the debt of an obligor that is owed either to the 
State or to the custodial parent.
    In order for the State tax refund offset to work 
effectively, cooperation between the State's department of 
revenue and the child support agency is crucial. The names and 
Social Security numbers of delinquent noncustodial parents are 
submitted to the department of revenue for matching with tax 
return forms. If a match occurs and a refund is due, the refund 
or a portion of it is transferred from the State department of 
revenue to the child support agency and then credited to the 
appropriate noncustodial parent to offset his support debt. The 
child support agency must give advance notice of the impending 
offset to the noncustodial parent and must also inform him of 
the process for contesting and resolving the proposed action. 
If the custodial parent does not respond to the notice, the 
money is intercepted and forwarded to the child support agency 
for distribution.
    In fiscal year 1995, the State tax intercept program 
collected $97 million (table 9-2). Unlike the Federal program, 
which requires that States certify a specified amount before 
the offset can be applied ($150 for AFDC families and $500 for 
non-AFDC families), States choose their own level for 
certification. In many States, the amount is the same for both 
AFDC and non-AFDC families. Although the amounts vary greatly 
from State to State, the amount in the typical State is about 
$100.
Unemployment compensation intercept
    Public Law 97-35, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1981, requires State child support agencies to determine on a 
periodic basis whether individuals receiving unemployment 
compensation owe support obligations that are not being met. 
The Act also requires child support agencies to enforce support 
obligations in accord with State-developed guidelines for 
obtaining an agreement with the individual to have a specified 
amount of support withheld from unemployment compensation or, 
in the absence of an agreement, for bringing legal proceedings 
to require the withholding. The child support agency must 
reimburse the State employment security agency for the 
administrative costs attributable to withholding unemployment 
compensation.
    The unemployment compensation intercept program collected 
$187 million in fiscal year 1995 (table 9-2). A number of 
States, especially those with high levels of unemployment (but 
where the noncustodial parent has had some attachment to the 
labor force), are finding that the unemployment offset 
procedure can raise collections significantly.
Property liens
    A lien is a legal claim on someone's property as security 
against a just debt. The use of liens for child support 
enforcement was characterized during congressional debate on 
the child support amendments of 1984 as ``simple to execute and 
cost effective and a catalyst for an absent parent to pay past 
due support in order to clear title to the property in 
question'' (U.S. House, 1983). The Ways and Means Committee 
report stated that liens would complement the income 
withholding provisions of the 1984 law and be particularly 
helpful in enforcing support payments owed by noncustodial 
parents with substantial assets or income but who are not 
salaried employees.
    The 1984 legislation required States to enact laws and 
implement ``procedures under which liens are imposed against 
real property for amount of overdue support owed by an absent 
parent who resides or owns property in the State.'' Liens can 
apply to property such as land, vehicles, houses, antique 
furniture, and livestock. The law provides, however, that 
States need not use liens in cases in which, on the basis of 
guidelines that generally are available to the public, it 
determines that lien procedures would be inappropriate. This 
provision implicitly requires States to develop guidelines 
about use of liens.
    Generally, a lien for delinquent child support is a 
statutorily created mechanism by which an obligee obtains a 
nonpossessory interest in property belonging to the 
noncustodial parent. The interest of the custodial parent is a 
slumbering interest that allows the noncustodial parent to 
retain possession of the property, but affects the noncustodial 
parent's ability to transfer ownership of the property to 
anyone else. A child support lien converts the custodial parent 
from an unsecured to a secured creditor. As such, it gives the 
custodial parent priority over unsecured creditors and 
subsequent secured creditors. In some States a lien is 
established automatically upon entry of a support order and the 
first incidence of noncompliance by the obligor. Frequently, 
the mere imposition of a lien will motivate the delinquent 
parent to do whatever is necessary to remove the lien (i.e., 
pay past due support). When this is not the case, it may become 
necessary to enforce the lien. Liens are not self-executory. 
They merely impede the debtor's ability to transfer property. 
If a lien exists, a debtor must satisfy the judgment before the 
property may be sold or transferred. However, it is not 
necessary for the obligee to wait until the obligor tries to 
transfer the property before taking action. The obligee may 
enforce her judgment by execution and levy against the property 
if she believes the amount of equity in the property justifies 
execution.
    Several States have increased their use of liens by 
identifying individuals who possess appropriate assets through 
use of information obtained from Project 1099. Initiated in 
1984 to assist in location efforts, since the fall of 1988 
Project 1099 has routinely provided wage and employer 
information as well as location and asset information on 
noncustodial parents.
Bonds, securities, and other guarantees
    The 1984 child support amendments require States to have in 
effect and use procedures under which noncustodial parents must 
post security, bond, or some other guarantee to secure payment 
of overdue child support. This technique is useful where 
significant assets exist although the noncustodial parent's 
income is sporadic, seasonal, or derived from self-employment 
not accessible to more traditional enforcement methods. As in 
the case of liens, this procedure need not be used in cases 
found inappropriate under State guidelines. The State 
guidelines should define and target assets that can 
appropriately be sought to secure or guarantee payment (but not 
hinder or prevent the noncustodial parent from effectively 
pursuing his livelihood).
IRS full collection process
    Since 1975, Congress has authorized the Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) to collect certain child support arrearages as if 
they were delinquent Federal taxes. This method is known as the 
IRS full collection process. It works as follows. The Secretary 
of HHS must, upon the request of a State, certify to the 
Secretary of Treasury for collection by the IRS any amounts 
identified by the State as delinquent child support. The 
Secretary of HHS may certify only the amounts delinquent under 
a court or administrative order, and only upon a showing by the 
State that it has made diligent and reasonable efforts to 
collect amounts due using its own collection mechanisms. States 
must reimburse the Federal Government for any costs involved in 
making the collections. This full collection process is used 
only when there is a good chance that the IRS can make a 
collection and only for cases in which a child support 
obligation is delinquent and the amount owed has been certified 
to be at least $750. Use by the States of this regular IRS 
collection mechanism, which may include seizure of property, 
freezing of accounts, and use of other aggressive procedures, 
has been relatively infrequent. In fiscal year 1994, 
collections were made in only 327 cases nationwide, for a total 
collection of $532,618.
Credit bureau reporting
    The 1984 Federal child support legislation required States 
to develop procedures for providing child support debt 
information to credit reporting agencies (sometimes referred to 
as credit bureaus). The primary purposes for reporting 
delinquent child support payers to credit reporting agencies 
are to discourage noncustodial parents from not making their 
child support payments, to prevent the undeserved extension of 
credit, and to maintain the noncustodial parent's ability to 
pay his child support obligation. Other benefits include access 
by child support agencies to address, employment, and asset 
information.
    The 1984 amendments require States to report overdue child 
support obligations exceeding $1,000 to consumer reporting 
agencies if such information is requested by the credit bureau. 
States have the option of reporting in cases in which the 
noncustodial parent is less than $1,000 in arrears. States must 
provide noncustodial parents with advance notice of intent to 
release information on their child support arrearage and an 
opportunity for them to contest the accuracy of the 
information. The child support agency may charge the credit 
bureau a fee for the information.
    Although some States and counties had agreements in place 
with credit bureaus to obtain information about the location of 
absent parents, the 1984 provision requires States to authorize 
the routine transfer of information concerning overdue child 
support to credit bureaus on a much broader basis. Moreover, it 
is in the interest of credit bureaus to request such 
information because overdue child support adversely affects an 
obligated parent's ability to pay other debts.
    Public Law 102-537, the Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement 
Act of 1992, amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require 
consumer credit reporting agencies to include in any consumer 
report information on child support delinquencies. The 
information is provided by or verified by State or local child 
support agencies. Public Law 103-432, enacted in October 1994, 
includes a provision that requires States to periodically 
report to consumer reporting agencies the name of parents owing 
at least 2 months of overdue child support, and the amount of 
the child support overdue.
Federal garnishment
    The 1975 child support legislation included a provision 
allowing garnishment of wages and other payments by the Federal 
Government for enforcement of child support and alimony 
obligations. The law also provided that moneys, payable by the 
United States to any individual for employment, are subject to 
legal proceedings brought for the enforcement of child support 
or alimony. The law sets forth in detail the procedures that 
must be followed for service of legal process and specifies 
that the term ``based upon remuneration for employment'' 
includes wages, periodic benefits for the payment of pensions, 
retirement pay including Social Security, and other kinds of 
Federal payments. Several sources of Federal payments, however, 
may not be garnished. These include any payment as compensation 
for death under any Federal program, Federal black lung 
benefits, veterans' pensions or compensation benefits for a 
service-related disability or death, and amounts paid to defray 
employment-related expenses.
Military allotments
    Child support enforcement workers face unique difficulties 
when working on cases in which the absent parent is an active 
duty member of the military service. Learning to work through 
military channels can prove both challenging and frustrating, 
especially if the child support agency is not near a military 
base. As a result, military cases are often ignored or not 
given sufficient attention (Office of Child Support, 1991).
    Public Law 97-248, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility 
Act of 1982, requires allotments from the pay and allowances of 
any active duty member of the uniformed service who fails to 
make child or spousal support payments. This requirement arises 
when the service member fails to make support payments in an 
amount at least equal to the value of 2 months' worth of 
support. Provisions of the Federal Consumer Credit Protection 
Act apply, limiting the percentage of the member's pay that is 
subject to allotment. The amount of the allotment is the amount 
of the support payment, as established under a legally 
enforceable administrative or judicial order.
    Since October 1, 1995, the Department of Defense has 
consolidated its garnishment operations at the Defense Finance 
and Accounting Service in Cleveland, Ohio. Support orders 
received by the Service are processed immediately and notices 
are sent to the appropriate military pay center to start 
payments in the first pay cycle (Office of Child Support, 
1995c).
Small business loans
    The 103d Congress passed legislation, the Small Business 
Administration Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 1994 
(Public Law 103-403), which included the requirement that 
recipients of financial assistance from the Small Business 
Administration, including direct loans and loan guarantees, 
must certify that the recipient is not more than 60 days 
delinquent in the payment of child support. The new law 
requires the administration to promulgate, no later than 6 
months after enactment, regulations to enforce compliance with 
the provision.
Other provisions
    On February 27, 1995, President Clinton signed an Executive 
order establishing the executive branch of the Federal 
Government, including its civilian employees and the uniformed 
services members, as a model employer in promoting and 
facilitating the establishment and enforcement of child 
support. The Executive order states that the Federal Government 
is the Nation's largest single employer and as such should set 
an example of leadership and encouragement in ensuring that all 
children are properly supported. Among other measures, the 
order requires the Federal agencies and the uniformed services 
to cooperate fully in efforts to establish paternity and child 
support orders and to enforce the collection of child and 
medical support. The order also requires Federal agencies to 
provide information to their personnel concerning the services 
that are available to them and to ensure that their children 
are provided the support to which they are legally entitled 
(Office of Child Support, 1995b).

                         Interstate Enforcement

    The most difficult child support orders to enforce are 
interstate cases. States are required to cooperate in 
interstate child support enforcement, but problems arise from 
the autonomy of local courts. Family law has traditionally been 
under the jurisdiction of State and local governments, and 
citizens fall under the jurisdiction of the courts where they 
live.
    State laws require parents to be responsible for the 
financial support of their children. During the 1930s and 
1940s, such laws were used to establish and enforce support 
obligations when the noncustodial parent, custodial parent, and 
child lived in the same State. But when noncustodial parents 
lived out of State, enforcing child support was cumbersome and 
ineffective. Often the only option in these cases was to 
extradite the noncustodial parent and, when successful, to jail 
the person for nonsupport. Extradition is the process used to 
bring an obligor charged with or convicted of a crime (in this 
case, criminal nonsupport) from an asylum State back to the 
State where the children are located. This procedure, rarely 
used, generally punished the irresponsible parent, but left the 
abandoned family without financial support.
    A University of Michigan study (Hill, 1988) of separated 
parents found that 12 percent lived in different States 1 year 
after divorce or separation. That proportion increased to 25 
percent after 3 years, and to 40 percent after 8 years. 
Estimates based on the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program 
and other sources suggest that approximately 30 percent of all 
child support cases involve interstate residency of the 
custodial and noncustodial parents (Weaver & Williams, 1989, p. 
510). According to U.S. Census Bureau data (1991), 20 percent 
of noncustodial parents lived in a different State than their 
children, 3 percent lived overseas, and the residence of 11 
percent of the noncustodial parents was unknown.
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA)
    Starting in 1950, interstate cooperation was promoted 
through the adoption by the States of URESA. This act, which 
was first proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners 
on Uniform State Laws in 1950, has been enacted in all 50 
States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the 
Virgin Islands. The act was amended in 1952 and 1958 and 
revised in 1968. Thus, even though every State has passed some 
provisions of URESA, many provisions vary greatly from State to 
State. URESA, in short, is uniform in name only.
    The purpose of URESA was to provide a system for the 
interstate enforcement of support orders without requiring the 
person seeking support to go (or have her legal representative 
go) to the State in which the noncustodial parent resided. 
Where the URESA provisions between the two States are 
compatible, the law can be used to establish paternity, locate 
an absent parent, and establish, modify, or enforce a support 
order across State lines. However, some observers note that the 
use of URESA procedures often result in lower orders for both 
current support and arrearages. They also contend that few 
child support agencies attempt to use URESA procedures to 
establish paternity or to obtain a modification in a support 
order.
Long arm statutes
    Unlike URESA, interstate cases established or enforced by 
long arm statutes use the court system in the State of the 
custodial parent rather than that of the noncustodial parent. 
When a person commits certain acts in a State of which he is 
not a resident, that person may be subjecting himself to the 
jurisdiction of that State. The long arm of the law of the 
State where the event occurs may reach out to grab the out-of-
State person so that issues relating to the event may be 
resolved where it happened. Under the long arm procedure, the 
State must authorize by statute that the acts allegedly 
committed by the defendant are those that subject the defendant 
to the State's jurisdiction. An example is a paternity statute 
stating that if conception takes place in the State and the 
child lives in the State, the State may exercise jurisdiction 
over the alleged father even if he lives in another State. Long 
arm statute language usually extends the State's jurisdiction 
over an out-of-State defendant to the maximum extent permitted 
by the U.S. Constitution under the 14th amendment's due process 
clause. Long arm statutes may be used to establish paternity, 
establish support awards, and enforce support orders.
Federal courts
    The 1975 child support law mandated that the State plan for 
child support require States to cooperate with other States in 
establishing paternity, locating absent parents, and securing 
compliance with court orders. Further, it authorized the use of 
Federal courts as a last resort to enforce an existing order in 
another State if that State were uncooperative.
    Section 460 of the Social Security Act states that the 
district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction, 
without regard to any amount in controversy, to hear and 
determine any civil action certified by the Secretary of HHS 
under section 452(a)(8) of the act. A civil action under 
section 460 may be brought in any judicial district in which 
the claim arose, the plaintiff resides, or the defendant 
resides. Section 452(a)(8) states that the Secretary of HHS 
shall receive applications from States for permission to use 
the courts of the United States to enforce court orders for 
support against noncustodial parents. The Secretary must 
approve applications if she finds both that a given State has 
not enforced a court order of another State within a reasonable 
time and that using the Federal courts is the only reasonable 
method of enforcing the order.
    As a condition to obtaining certification from the 
Secretary, the child support agency of the initiating State 
must give the child support agency of the responding State at 
least 60 days to enforce the order as well as a 30-day warning 
of its intent to seek enforcement in Federal court. If the 
initiating State receives no response within the 30-day limit, 
or if the response is unsatisfactory, the initiating State may 
apply to the OCSE Regional Office for certification. The 
application must attest that all the requirements outlined 
above have been satisfied. Upon certification of the case, a 
civil action may be filed in the U.S. district court. Although 
this interstate enforcement procedure has been available since 
enactment of the child support program in 1975, there has only 
been one reported case of its use by a State (the initiating 
State was California; the responding State was Texas).
Interstate income withholding
    Interstate income withholding is a process by which the 
State of the custodial parent seeks the help of the State in 
which the noncustodial parent's income is earned to enforce a 
support order using the income withholding mechanism. Pursuant 
to the child support amendments of 1984, income withholding was 
authorized for all valid instate or out-of-State orders issued 
or modified after October 1, 1985, and for all orders in child 
support enforcement (i.e., IV-D) cases regardless of the date 
the order was issued. Although Federal law requires a State to 
enforce another State's valid orders through interstate 
withholding, there is no Federal mandate that interstate income 
withholding procedures be uniform. Approaches vary from the 
Model Interstate Income Withholding Act to URESA registration. 
The preferred way to handle an interstate income withholding 
request is to use the interstate action transmittal form from 
one child support agency to another. In child support 
enforcement cases, Federal regulations required that by August 
22, 1988, all interstate income withholding requests be sent to 
the enforcing State's central registry for referral to the 
appropriate State or local official. The actual wage 
withholding procedure used by the State in which the 
noncustodial parent lives is the same as that used in 
intrastate cases. In a 1992 report (U.S. General Accounting 
Office, 1992a, p. 4 & pp. 21-28), GAO indicated that the main 
reason for the failure of interstate income withholding was the 
lack of uniformity in its implementation.
Full faith and credit
    One of the most significant barriers to improved interstate 
collections is that, because a child support order is not 
considered a final judgment, the full faith and credit clause 
of the U.S. Constitution does not preclude modification. Thus, 
the order is subject to modification upon a showing of changed 
circumstances by the issuing court or by another court with 
jurisdiction. Congress could prohibit inter- or intrastate 
modifications of child support orders, but many students of 
child support hold that a complete ban on modifications would 
be unrealistic and unfair. A more likely approach would be one 
under which States were required to give full faith and credit 
to each other's child support orders under most circumstances.
    The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, Public Law 
99-509, took a step in this direction by requiring States to 
treat past due support obligations as final judgments entitled 
to full faith and credit in every State. Thus, a person who has 
a support order in one State does not have to obtain a second 
order in another State to obtain the money due should the 
debtor parent move from the issuing court's jurisdiction. The 
second State can modify the order prospectively if it finds 
that circumstances exist to justify a change, but the second 
State may not retroactively modify a child support order.
    Public Law 103-383, the Full Faith and Credit for Child 
Support Orders Act (signed into law Oct. 20, 1994), restricts a 
State court's ability to modify a child support order issued by 
another State unless the child and the custodial parent have 
moved to the State where the modification is sought or have 
agreed to the modification.
Commission on interstate child support enforcement
    The Family Support Act of 1988, Public Law 100-485, 
included several provisions affecting interstate child support 
enforcement. The law required States to establish automated 
statewide, comprehensive case tracking and monitoring systems, 
which would improve each State's ability to manage interstate 
cases. But most importantly, the law required the establishment 
of a 15-member commission to study interstate child support 
establishment and enforcement.
    The U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support's report to 
Congress, issued in 1992, includes 120 recommendations for 
improving the Child Support Enforcement Program. The report 
highlights several recommendations deemed essential to 
improving interstate enforcement:
 1. Establishment of an integrated, automated network linking 
        all States to provide quick access to locate and income 
        information (which would include new hire information 
        based on W-4 forms);
 2. Establishment of income withholding across State lines from 
        the person seeking enforcement directly to the income 
        source in the other State;
 3. Enactment by States of the Uniform Interstate Family 
        Support Act (UIFSA; which would replace URESA);
 4. State use of early, voluntary parentage determination for 
        children born outside marriage and uniform evidentiary 
        rules for contested paternity cases;
 5. Universal access to health care insurance for children of 
        separated parents;
 6. More emphasis on staff training and increased resources to 
        ensure that all cases are processed on a more timely 
        basis; and
 7. Revision of child support funding to ensure that action is 
        taken on cases most in need of attention (U.S. 
        Commission on Interstate Child Support, 1992, p. xiii).
Federal criminal penalties
    The Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 imposed a Federal 
criminal penalty for the willful failure to pay a past due 
child support obligation to a child who resides in another 
State and that has remained unpaid for longer than a year or is 
greater than $5,000. For the first conviction, the penalty is a 
fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 6 months, 
or both; for a second conviction, the penalty is a fine of not 
more than $250,000, imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both.
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
    One of the Commission on Interstate Child Support 
Enforcement's major recommendations to Congress was to replace 
URESA with UIFSA, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a 
model State law for handling interstate child support cases 
drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform 
State Laws and approved by the Commissioners in August 1992.
    UIFSA is designed to deal with desertion and nonsupport by 
instituting uniform laws in all 50 States and the District of 
Columbia. The core of UIFSA is limiting control of a child 
support case to a single State, thereby ensuring that only one 
child support order from one court or child support agency will 
be in effect at any give time. It follows that the controlling 
State will be able to effectively pursue interstate cases, 
primarily through the use of long arm statutes, because its 
jurisdiction is undisputed. Many, perhaps most, child support 
officials believe UIFSA will help eliminate jurisdictional 
disputes between States and lead to substantial increases in 
interstate collections.
    UIFSA allows: (1) direct income withholding by the 
controlling State without second State involvement; (2) 
administrative enforcement without registration; and (3) 
registered enforcement based on the substantive laws of the 
controlling State and the procedural laws of the registering 
State. The order cannot be adjusted if only enforcement is 
requested, and enforcement may begin upon registration (before 
notice and hearing) if the receiving State's due process rules 
allow. Under UIFSA, the controlling State may adjust the 
support order under its own standards. In addition, UIFSA 
includes some uniform evidentiary rules to make interstate case 
handling easier, such as using telephonic hearings, easing 
admissibility of evidence requirements, and admitting petitions 
into evidence without the need for live or corroborative 
testimony to make a prima facie case. As of February 1996, 26 
States and the District of Columbia had adopted UIFSA (Office 
of Child Support, 1992b, pp. 4-5).
Other procedures that aid interstate enforcement
    In 1948, the National Conference of Commissioners on 
Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association approved 
the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA), which 
simplifies the collection of child support arrearages in 
interstate cases. Revised in 1964 and adopted in only 30 
States, UEFJA provides that upon the filing of an authenticated 
foreign (i.e., out-of-State) judgment and notice to the 
obligor, the judgment is to be treated in the same manner as a 
local one. A judgment is the official decision or finding of a 
court on the respective rights of the involved parties. UEFJA 
applies only to final judgments. As a general rule, child 
support arrearages that have been reduced to judgment are 
considered final judgments and thus can be filed under UEFJA. 
An advantage of UEFJA is that it does not require reciprocity 
(i.e., it need only be in effect in the initiating State). A 
disadvantage is that UEFJA is limited to collection of 
arrearages; it cannot be used to establish an initial order or 
to enforce current orders.
Summary information on collection methods
    Table 9-2 shows that 66 percent of the roughly $10.8 
billion in child support payments collected in fiscal year 1995 
was obtained through four enforcement techniques: wage 
withholding; Federal income tax refund offset; State income tax 
refund offset; and unemployment compensation intercept. The 
remaining 34 percent is listed as collected by ``other'' means. 
Federal child support officials informed us that most of these 
``other'' collections came from noncustodial parents who comply 
with their support orders by sending their payments to the CSE 
agency. The ``other'' category also includes collections from 
noncustodial parents who voluntarily sent money for their 
children even though a support order had never been established 
(about 1 percent of all collections), and enforcement 
techniques such as liens against property, the posting of bonds 
or securities, and use of the full IRS collection procedure. 
Table 9-2 indicates that by fiscal year 1991 wage withholding 
had become the primary enforcement method, producing nearly 47 
percent of all child support collections. By 1995, the 
percentage had increased even further, reaching 57 percent.

                BANKRUPTCY AND CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT

    Giving debtors a fresh start is the goal of this country's 
bankruptcy system. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, a 
debtor may be able to discharge a debt completely, pay a 
percentage of the debt, or pay the full amount of the debt over 
a longer period of time. However, several debts may not be 
discharged, including debts for child support and alimony (U.S. 
Commission on Interstate Child Support, 1992, p. 209).
    The 1975 child support legislation included a provision 
stating that an assigned child support obligation was not 
dischargeable in bankruptcy. In 1978 this provision was 
incorporated into the 1978 uniform law on bankruptcy. The 
bankruptcy law also listed exceptions to discharge including 
alimony and maintenance or support due a spouse, former spouse, 
or child. In 1981, a provision stating that a child support 
obligation assigned to the State as a condition of eligibility 
for AFDC is not dischargeable in bankruptcy was reinstated. In 
1984, the provision was expanded so that child support 
obligations assigned to the State as part of the child support 
program may not be discharged in bankruptcy, regardless of 
whether the payments are to be made on behalf of an AFDC or a 
non-AFDC family and regardless of whether the debtor was 
married to the child's other parent.
    Some noncustodial parents seek relief from their financial 
obligations in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. Although child 
support payments may not be discharged via a filing of 
bankruptcy, the filing may cause long delays in securing child 
support payments. Pursuant to Public Law 103-394, enacted in 
1994, a filing of bankruptcy will not stay a paternity, child 
support, or alimony proceeding. In addition, child support and 
alimony payments will be priority claims and custodial parents 
will be able to appear in bankruptcy court to protect their 
interests without having to pay a fee or meet any local rules 
for attorney appearances.

                           AUTOMATED SYSTEMS

    In 1980, Congress authorized 90 percent Federal matching 
funds on an open-ended basis for States to design and implement 
automated data systems. Funds go to States that establish an 
automated data processing and information retrieval system 
designed to assist in administration of the State child support 
plan, and to control, account for, and monitor all factors in 
the enforcement, collection, and paternity determination 
processes. Funds may be used to plan, design, develop, and 
install or enhance the system. The Secretary of HHS must 
approve the State system as meeting specified conditions before 
matching is available.
    In 1984, Congress made the 90-percent rate available to pay 
for the acquisition of computer hardware and necessary 
software. The 1984 legislation also specified that if a State 
met the Federal requirement for 90 percent matching, it could 
use its funds to pay for the development and improvement of 
income withholding and other procedures required by the 1984 
law. In May 1986, OCSE established a transfer policy requiring 
States seeking the 90 percent Federal matching rate to transfer 
existing automated systems from other States rather than to 
develop new ones, unless there were a compelling reason not to 
use the systems developed by other States.
    In 1988, Congress required States without comprehensive 
statewide automated systems to submit an advance planning 
document to the OCSE by October 1, 1991, for the development of 
such a system. Congress required that all States have a fully 
operating system by October 1, 1995, at which time the 90 
percent matching rate was to end. The 1988 law allowed many 
requirements for automated systems to be waived under certain 
circumstances. For instance, the HHS Secretary could waive a 
requirement if a State demonstrated that it had an alternative 
system enabling it to substantially comply with program 
requirements or a State provided assurance that additional 
steps would be taken to improve its program.
    As of May 1, 1996, OCSE had approved the automated data 
systems of only five States--Delaware, Georgia, Montana, 
Virginia, and Washington. Most observers agree that States were 
delayed primarily by the lateness of Federal regulations 
specifying the requirements for the data systems and by the 
complexity of getting their final systems into operation. Thus, 
on October 12, 1995, Congress enacted Public Law 104-35 which 
extended for 2 years, from October 1, 1995 to October 1, 1997, 
the deadline by which States are required to have statewide 
automated systems for their child support programs. On October 
1, 1995, however, the 90 percent matching rate ended; State 
spending on data systems is now matched at the basic 
administrative rate of 66 percent.
    The purpose of requiring States to operate statewide 
automated and computerized systems is to ensure that child 
support functions are carried out effectively and efficiently. 
These requirements include case initiation, case management, 
financial management, enforcement, security, privacy, and 
reporting. Implementing these requirements can facilitate 
locating noncustodial parents and monitoring child support 
cases. For example, by linking automated child support systems 
to other State databases, information can be obtained quickly 
and cheaply about a noncustodial parent's current address, 
assets, and employment status. Systems can also be connected to 
the court system to access information on child support orders 
(U.S. General Accounting Office, 1992b).

                     AUDITS AND FINANCIAL PENALTIES

    Audits are required at least every 3 years to determine 
whether the standards and requirements prescribed by law and 
regulations have been met by the child support program of every 
State. If a State fails the audit, Federal AFDC matching funds 
must be reduced by an amount equal to at least 1 but not more 
than 2 percent for the first failure to comply, at least 2 but 
not more than 3 percent for the second failure, and at least 3 
but not more than 5 percent for the third and subsequent 
failures. According to OCSE, two States that had followup 
reports issued in fiscal year 1993 and failed to achieve 
substantial compliance had a 1 percent penalty imposed during 
fiscal year 1994.
    If a penalty is imposed after a followup review, a State 
may appeal the audit penalty to the HHS Departmental Appeals 
Board. Payment of the penalty is delayed while the appeal is 
pending. The appeals board reviews the written records which 
may be supplemented by informal conferences and evidentiary 
hearings.
    The penalty may be suspended for up to 1 year to allow a 
State time to implement corrective actions to remedy the 
program deficiency. At the end of the corrective action period, 
a followup audit is conducted in the areas of deficiency. If 
the followup audit shows that the deficiency has been 
corrected, the penalty is rescinded. However, if the State 
remains out of compliance with Federal requirements, a 
graduated penalty, as provided by law, is assessed against the 
State. The actual amount of the penalty--between 1 and 5 
percent of the State's AFDC matching funds (see above)--depends 
on the severity and the duration of the deficiency. If a State 
is under penalty, a comprehensive audit is conducted annually 
until the cited deficiencies are corrected (Office of Child 
Support, 1994, pp. 14-16). Penalty disallowance collections 
from five States (Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Wyoming, and 
the District of Columbia) totaled $1.253 million in fiscal year 
1994.

        ASSIGNMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS

    Two parties have claims on child support collections made 
by the State. The children and custodial parent on behalf of 
whom the payments are made, of course, have a claim on payments 
by the noncustodial parent. However, in the case of families 
that have received public aid, taxpayers who paid to support 
the destitute family by providing a host of welfare benefits 
also have a legitimate claim on the money.
    Thus, over the years a series of somewhat complex rules 
have developed to determine who actually gets the money. It is 
helpful to think of these rules in two categories. First, there 
are rules in both Federal and State law that stipulate who has 
a legal claim on the payments owed by the noncustodial parent. 
These are called assignment rules. Second, there are rules that 
determine the order in which child support collections are paid 
in accord with the assignment rules. These are called 
distribution rules.
    As long as families remain on welfare, the distribution of 
child support is straightforward. When families apply for AFDC, 
the custodial parent must assign to the State the right to 
collect any child support obligations that accumulated before 
the family joined welfare as well as support that comes due 
while the family is receiving welfare benefits. As long as the 
family remains on welfare, then, all but the first $50 (see 
below and table 9-10 for information about the $50 passthrough) 
is kept by the State and split with the Federal Government.
    Consider a simple example. Suppose that when a given mother 
signed up for welfare, the child support agency was successful 
in locating the father, establishing a support order for $200 
per month, and collecting the payments. Each month, the State 
would ``pass through'' $50 to the mother and children and 
retain $150, which in turn would be split with the Federal 
Government. In addition, the amount of welfare reimbursement 
owed to the State by the noncustodial parent would be reduced 
by $200 each month. If the AFDC benefit were $300 per month, 
the amount owed to the State by the noncustodial parent would 
increase by only $100 each month rather than the full $300.
    Once families leave welfare, the amount of support assigned 
to the State is the amount that equals total AFDC payments to 
the family minus any child support paid by the noncustodial 
parent while the family was on welfare. At the moment the 
family leaves welfare, then, the noncustodial parent usually 
owes child support to both the government and the family. The 
amount owed the family is the amount of payments that 
accumulated before the family went on welfare plus any amount 
that accumulates because of nonpayment after the family leaves 
welfare.
    The real issue, of course, is the order in which these 
debts will be paid once the family leaves AFDC. The first rule 
is straightforward: Payments against current support always go 
to the family. In the case above, no matter how long the mother 
was on welfare, the first $200 of monthly payments is assigned 
to and distributed to the mother once the family leaves 
welfare. If the father never pays against arrearages, the 
government never gets repaid for the AFDC benefits it provided 
and the mother never gets repaid for arrearages that accrued 
before or after the family was on welfare.
    Now assume that the father begins to make payments in 
excess of the current support amount of $200. The issue arises 
of whether the State can keep the amount above the current 
support order as repayment for AFDC benefits or whether the 
State must give the arrearage payments to the family. Here we 
see that distribution law trumps assignment law under some 
circumstances; namely, whenever two or more parties have been 
assigned child support that is past due. Both parties have 
legal claims; the issue is which one is paid first.
    Not surprisingly, Federal law allows States to make their 
own distribution rules to determine who gets arrearage 
collections. If the State so chooses, once current support has 
been paid to the family, it can keep the entire arrearage (part 
of which must be paid to the Federal Government) to pay for 
AFDC benefits previously paid to the family. Once the State and 
Federal Governments have been repaid the entire amount of AFDC 
benefits provided to the family, the State must pay arrearages 
to the family.
    On the other hand, the State may allow the family to keep 
the arrearage payments. This decision may not be as costly to 
the State as at first appears. The extra money could be enough 
of a boost to the mother's financial position that she would be 
able to continue avoiding welfare, in which case the State 
would save the money that would otherwise have been paid as 
AFDC benefits--and perhaps as Medicaid and other welfare 
benefits as well.
    At the moment, the Federal policy of allowing States to 
decide who gets arrearage payments once the family leaves 
welfare is under intense criticism. With the increased emphasis 
on helping mothers leave welfare and achieve self support, the 
additional money mothers could receive from past due child 
support has taken on additional meaning.

                       FUNDING OF STATE PROGRAMS

    The child support program conducted by States is financed 
by three major streams of money. The first and largest is the 
Federal Government's commitment to reimburse States for 66 
percent of all allowable expenditures on child support 
activities. Allowable expenditures include outlays for locating 
parents, establishing paternity (with an exception noted 
below), establishing orders, and collecting payments.
    There are two mechanisms through which Federal financial 
control of State expenditures is exercised. First, States must 
submit plans to the Secretary of HHS outlining the specific 
child support activities they intent to pursue. The State plan 
provides the Secretary with the opportunity to review and 
approve or disapprove child support activities that will 
receive the 66 percent Federal reimbursement. Second, as 
discussed previously, HHS conducts a financial audit of State 
expenditures.
    In addition to the general matching rate of 66 percent, the 
Federal Government provides 90 percent matching for two 
especially important child support activities. First, until 
October 1, 1995, the Federal Government paid 90 percent of 
approved State expenditures on developing and improving 
management information systems. Congress decided to pay this 
enhanced match rate because data management, the construction 
of large data bases containing information on location, income, 
and assets of child support obligors, and computer access to 
such large data bases were seen as the keys to a cost effective 
child support system. In spending the additional Federal 
dollars on these data systems, Congress hoped to provide an 
incentive for States to adopt and aggressively employ efficient 
data management technology.
    Congress also provides 90 percent funding for laboratory 
costs in blood testing. As in the case of data management 
systems, Congress justified enhanced funding of blood tests 
because paternity establishment is an activity vital to 
successful child support enforcement. Historically, 
establishing paternity in cases of births outside marriage has 
proven to be surprisingly difficult. Especially since the 
1960s, more and more children have been born outside marriage; 
today nearly a third of all children are born to unwed mothers, 
and nearly 50 percent of these babies wind up on welfare. Thus, 
establishing paternity has become more and more important 
because a growing fraction of the AFDC caseload is children 
whose paternity has not been established. Congress hopes to 
stimulate the use of blood tests as a way of improving State 
performance in establishing paternity, especially given that 
recent experience in the States shows that many men voluntarily 
acknowledge paternity once blood tests reveal a high 
probability of their paternity.
    In addition to the Federal administrative matching 
payments, the second stream of financing for State programs is 
child support collections. As we have seen, when mothers apply 
for AFDC, they assign the child's claim rights against the 
father to the State. As long as the family receives AFDC 
payments, the State can retain all but $50 of child support 
payments up to the cumulative amount of the welfare payments. 
AFDC law requires that the first $50 of collections be given to 
the custodial parent and that this $50 be disregarded in 
calculating AFDC eligibility and benefit level. Congress 
enacted this $50 passthrough primarily to provide the mother 
with an incentive to cooperate with the child support program. 
As explained in detail in the section on ``Distribution of 
Child Support Payments,'' States retain the right to pursue 
repayment for AFDC benefits from the father even after the 
family leaves welfare.
    Recovered payments are split between the State and the 
Federal Government in accord with the percentage of Federal 
reimbursement of AFDC payments. Recall that in the AFDC 
Program, States set the benefit levels and the Federal 
Government then reimburses States a percentage that varies 
inversely with State per capita income--poor States have a high 
Federal reimbursement percentage, wealthy States have a lower 
Federal reimbursement percentage. Mississippi, for example, one 
of the poorest States, receives a reimbursement of about 80 
percent for its AFDC expenditures. By contrast, States like 
California and New York that have high per capita income 
receive the minimum Federal reimbursement of 50 percent.
    Since Federal dollars are used to finance a portion of the 
State AFDC payment, States are required to split child support 
collections from AFDC cases with the Federal Government. The 
rate at which States reimburse the Federal Government is the 
Federal matching rate in the AFDC Program. Thus, Mississippi 
must send 80 percent of child support collections made on 
behalf of AFDC families to the Federal Government because 80 
percent of its AFDC benefit payments are reimbursed by Federal 
dollars. New York and California send only 50 percent of AFDC 
collections back to Washington.
    The third stream of child support financing is Federal 
incentive payments. The current incentive system is designed to 
encourage States to collect child support from both AFDC and 
non-AFDC cases. Under the incentive formula, each State 
receives a payment equal to at least 6 percent of both AFDC 
collections and of non-AFDC collections. States that perform 
efficiently as indicated by the ratio of collections to 
administrative expenditures can receive incentive payments of 
up to 10 percent of collections in both the AFDC and non-AFDC 
Programs. The specific incentive percentage between 6 and 10 
for which a State qualifies is based on the collections-to-
expenditures ratios (see table 9-3).

                 TABLE 9-3.--INCENTIVE PAYMENT STRUCTURE                
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Incentive  
                                                              payment   
                Collection-to-cost ratio                     received   
                                                             (percent)  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Less than 1.4 to 1......................................             6.0
At least 1.4 to 1.......................................             6.5
At least 1.6 to 1.......................................             7.0
At least 1.8 to 1.......................................             7.5
At least 2.0 to 1.......................................             8.0
At least 2.2 to 1.......................................             8.5
At least 2.4 to 1.......................................             9.0
At least 2.6 to 1.......................................             9.5
At least 2.8 to 1.......................................            10.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health  
  and Human Services.                                                   

    Incentive payments for non-AFDC collections have been 
controversial since the inception of the child support program, 
especially given the guarantee of an incentive payment equal to 
6 percent of collections (table 9-3). Until fiscal year 1985, 
non-AFDC collections were not eligible for incentive payments 
at all. Congress adopted this policy because AFDC collections 
are retained and split between State and Federal Governments 
while all non-AFDC collections are paid to custodial parents.
    In 1984 (effective in fiscal year 1985 and years 
thereafter), Congress extended incentive payments to non-AFDC 
collections. To limit Federal costs and to retain a substantial 
incentive for AFDC collections, non-AFDC incentive payments 
were capped as a percentage of AFDC incentive payments. The 
1984 law (Public Law 98-378) stipulated that non-AFDC incentive 
payments were not to exceed AFDC incentive payments in fiscal 
years 1986 and 1987, were not to exceed 105 percent of AFDC 
incentive payments in 1988, and were not to exceed 110 percent 
in 1989. Since 1990, the 1984 law has allowed States to receive 
incentive payments in the non-AFDC Program of up to 115 percent 
of those in the AFDC Program.
    Table 9-4 summarizes both child support income and 
expenditures for every State. The first three columns show 
State income from each of three funding streams just described; 
the fourth column shows State spending on child support. As 
demonstrated in the fifth column, the sum of the three streams 
of income exceeds expenditures in all but 13 States. In other 
words, most States make a profit on their child support 
program. States are free to spend this profit in any manner the 
State sees fit.

         TABLE 9-4.--FINANCING OF THE FEDERAL/STATE CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, FISCAL YEAR 1994         
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              State income                                                      
                                ----------------------------------------      State                 Collections-
             State                   Federal     State share   Federal   administrative  State net    to-costs  
                                 administrative       of      incentive   expenditures                  ratio   
                                    payments     collections   payments      (costs)                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama........................        29,697         4,692       3,012        44,191      (6,790)       2.89   
Alaska.........................         7,866         5,954       2,504        11,842       4,482        3.87   
Arizona........................        30,017         5,386       3,348        43,514      (4,763)       1.78   
Arkansas.......................        14,788         3,017       2,516        21,004        (683)       2.63   
California.....................       225,619       165,888      52,631       335,444     108,694        2.42   
Colorado.......................        21,940        11,715       4,627        31,649       6,633        2.54   
Connecticut....................        22,500        18,262       5,426        33,743      12,445        2.92   
Delaware.......................         8,087         3,129       1,070        12,087         199        2.45   
District of Columbia...........         9,124         2,314       1,063        12,795        (294)       1.88   
Florida........................        63,043        32,296      13,712        94,809      14,242        3.54   
Georgia........................        37,260        13,351      14,170        54,793       9,988        4.19   
Guam...........................         2,159           291         266         3,224        (508)       2.20   
Hawaii.........................        11,242         4,330       1,436        15,445       1,563        2.92   
Idaho..........................         9,512         2,528       1,790        13,031         799        2.83   
Illinois.......................        59,418        23,217       8,939        87,862       3,712        2.30   
Indiana........................        18,241        15,601      10,733        25,847      18,728        5.87   
Iowa...........................        17,035        12,879       7,095        24,309      12,700        5.05   
Kansas.........................        20,600         8,752       3,591        29,978       2,965        2.89   
Kentucky.......................        23,636         8,626       5,285        34,225       3,322        3.55   
Louisiana......................        23,732         5,319       3,755        34,479      (1,673)       3.42   
Maine..........................         8,156         6,476       4,614        12,157       7,089        4.21   
Maryland.......................        35,310        18,818       7,106        51,972       9,262        4.82   
Massachusetts..................        51,335        32,492      10,656        74,551      19,932        2.74   
Michigan.......................        79,055        61,557      24,826       115,008      50,430        7.81   
Minnesota......................        43,508        23,716       8,512        63,382      12,354        3.89   
Mississippi....................        21,528         3,565       3,262        31,042      (2,687)       2.01   
Missouri.......................        38,045        17,891       8,034        54,664       9,306        3.92   
Montana........................         4,926         1,479         977         7,564        (182)       2.82   
Nebraska.......................        12,515         3,064       1,453        17,953        (921)       4.52   
Nevada.........................        10,381         3,139       1,902        14,973         449        2.92   
New Hampshire..................         7,588         3,822       1,268        11,357       1,321        3.22   
New Jersey.....................        69,507        36,937      12,014       104,757      13,701        4.20   
New Mexico.....................        11,493         3,098       1,967        15,569         989        1.93   
New York.......................       112,436        76,867      24,743       168,138      45,908        3.39   
North Carolina.................        48,294        19,861      10,735        70,425       8,465        3.22   
North Dakota...................         3,652         1,509       1,021         5,294         888        4.13   
Ohio...........................        92,904        36,273      15,440       138,252       6,365        5.71   
Oklahoma.......................        12,738         5,394       3,117        18,628       2,621        3.09   
Oregon.........................        18,331         9,565       5,520        26,527       6,889        5.36   
Pennsylvania...................        68,544        43,899      17,078       100,426      29,095        8.58   
Puerto Rico....................        10,986           180         599        14,779      (3,014)       6.97   
Rhode Island...................         6,448         6,247       2,360         9,300       5,755        3.22   
South Carolina.................        18,990         5,897       3,833        27,359       1,361        3.31   
South Dakota...................         3,019         1,472       1,099         4,387       1,203        4.87   
Tennessee......................        22,072         9,130       4,967        30,843       5,326        4.58   
Texas..........................        98,654        22,951      11,826       145,785     (12,354)       2.52   
Utah...........................        15,153         4,635       2,959        22,406         341        2.73   
Vermont........................         4,627         2,431       1,029         6,960       1,127        2.58   
Virgin Islands.................         1,058            71          68         1,477        (280)       3.77   
Virginia.......................        33,089        14,674       5,308        48,540       4,531        3.77   
Washington.....................        66,502        41,521      15,132        99,160      23,995        3.43   
West Virginia..................        15,728         2,368       1,663        21,970      (2,211)       2.48   
Wisconsin......................        33,121        22,863      12,484        49,171      19,297        7.74   
Wyoming........................         5,449         1,279         777         7,327         178        2.21   
                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total......................     1,740,658       892,688     375,318     2,556,374     452,290        4.02   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--The ``State net'' column in this table is not the same as the comparable figure presented in annual      
  reports of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (see for example, 1996, p. 78) because estimated Federal   
  incentive payments are used in the annual reports while final Federal incentive payments were used in this    
  table.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      

    The method of financing child support enforcement has 
received considerable attention in recent years. Perhaps the 
most important issue is that States have little incentive to 
control their administrative spending. The last column of table 
9-4 presents a measure of State program efficiency obtained by 
dividing total collections by total administrative expenses. 
The table shows the dramatic differences among States in how 
much child support is collected for each dollar of 
administrative expenditure--a crude measure of efficiency--
ranging from only $1.78 in Arizona to $8.58 in Pennsylvania. 
And yet, most States, including those that spend up to three or 
four times as much per dollar of collections as more efficient 
States, still make a profit on the program.
    Table 9-5 shows one consequence of child support's 
financing system. The first two columns of the table show the 
net impact of program financing on the Federal and State 
governments respectively. The Federal Government has lost money 
on child support every year since 1979, and the losses have 
grown every year since 1984. Overall, losses have jumped 
sharply from $43 million in 1979 to $1.257 billion in 1995.
    State governments by contrast have made a profit on the 
program every year. In 1979, the first year for which data are 
available, States cleared $244 million on child support. By 
1995, States cleared $431 million. As Federal losses have 
mounted, State profits have increased.

TABLE 9-5.--FEDERAL AND STATE SHARE OF CHILD SUPPORT ``SAVINGS,'' FISCAL
                              YEARS 1979-95                             
                              [In millions]                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Federal      State               
                                       share of    share of             
            Fiscal year                 child       child     Net public
                                       support     support   savings \1\
                                     savings \1\   savings              
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1979...............................        -$43        $244        $201 
1980...............................        -103         230         127 
1981...............................        -128         261         133 
1982...............................        -148         307         159 
1983...............................        -138         312         174 
1984...............................        -105         366         260 
1985...............................        -231         317          86 
1986...............................        -264         274           9 
1987...............................        -337         342           5 
1988...............................        -355         381          26 
1989...............................        -480         403         -77 
1990...............................        -528         338        -190 
1991...............................        -586         385        -201 
1992...............................        -605         434        -170 
1993...............................        -740         462        -278 
1994...............................        -978         482        -496 
1995...............................      -1,257         431        -826 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Negative ``savings'' are costs.                                     
                                                                        
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Annual Reports to Congress,
  1994 and various years.                                               

    The last column in table 9-5 portrays an unfortunate 
historical progression in child support financing. Beginning in 
the very first year of the child support program and for a 
decade thereafter, the net impact of Federal losses and State 
profits was a net savings for taxpayers. Thus, in 1979, 
although the Federal Government lost money, State savings more 
than made up for the loses. As a result, from a public finance 
perspective, taxpayers were ahead by $201 million (see last 
column). Total Federal and State child support expenditures, in 
other words, were more than offset by collections from parents 
whose children had been supported by AFDC payments. These AFDC 
collections were retained and used to reimburse the Federal and 
State governments for previous AFDC expenditures. The savings 
produced in this manner exceeded overall expenditures.
    Unfortunately, net public savings declined over the years. 
A major explanation for the negative public savings was that 
beginning in 1985, as explained above, new Federal legislation 
required States to give the first $50 per month of collections 
in AFDC cases to the custodial parent. This $50 passthrough had 
an immediate impact; in its first year, combined Federal-State 
savings fell to $86 million from $260 million the previous 
year. By 1989 the overall ``savings'' in the combined program 
went negative. For the first time that year, Federal losses 
exceeded State gains--by $77 million. The net losses have 
increased almost every year, reaching $826 million in 1995 (see 
table 9-5).
    Reflecting on these numbers, two perspectives should be 
considered. One perspective, the finance perspective, attends 
simply to the measurable costs and benefits of the child 
support program. But a second, broader perspective includes 
more diffuse social benefits of child support that are 
difficult to measure.
    From the public finance perspective, perhaps the most 
important question about child support financing is why the 
Federal Government, which loses money on the program every 
year, should provide such a high reimbursement level for State 
expenditures when nearly all States make a profit on their 
child support program. In the past, this issue has prompted 
Congress to reduce the basic administrative reimbursement rate 
on several occasions. As a result, the rate has declined from 
its original level of 75 percent to 66 percent. But some 
Members of Congresss have suggested that, because most States 
are still making a profit while the Federal Government is 
losing money, Congress should reduce the Federal administrative 
reimbursement rate below 66 percent. Defenders of child support 
financing respond by pointing out that allowing States to 
profit from the program makes it very popular with State 
policymakers who control funding of the State share of 
expenditures. Without financing arrangements favorable to State 
interests, according to this view, the child support program 
would not have posted the impressive gains that have 
characterized the program since its inception in 1975.
    The 66 percent Federal reimbursement of State 
administrative expenditures raises a second issue of program 
financing: Why is such a large percentage of State expenditures 
financed without regard to performance? Even if States spend a 
great deal of money on activities of dubious value in 
collecting child support, they can nonetheless count on 66 
percent reimbursement from the Federal Government. The flat 66 
percent reimbursement rate may provide States with an incentive 
to spend money inefficiently. A potential solution would be for 
the Federal Government to provide States with less money based 
on gross spending and relatively more money based on 
performance.
    However, there is widespread criticism of the performance 
measures now used to determine the stream of Federal incentive 
payments. Critics of child support financing question whether 
incentives should be provided for non-AFDC collections. With 
regard to program financing, there is a striking difference 
between the AFDC and non-AFDC Programs; namely, government 
retains part of AFDC collections but non-AFDC collections are 
given entirely to the family. When Congress enacted the child 
support program in 1975, the floor debate shows that members of 
the House and Senate supported the program primarily because 
retaining AFDC collections would help offset AFDC expenditures.
    But program trends since 1975 show that the non-AFDC 
Program is actually much bigger than the AFDC Program and grows 
faster each year than the AFDC Program. As shown in table 9-1 
above, AFDC collections have grown from about $0.5 billion in 
1978 to $2.7 billion in 1995, for a constant dollar growth by a 
factor of about five. But non-AFDC collections have grown from 
about $0.6 billion to more than $8 billion over the same 
period, for a growth factor of nearly 14.
    The point here is that although AFDC collections are 
growing, non-AFDC collections are growing much faster. And 
since the State and Federal Governments receive virtually no 
direct reimbursement for non-AFDC expenditures, the child 
support program loses more and more money every year. Why, 
then, critics ask, should the Federal Government encourage 
greater expenditures by providing incentives for non-AFDC 
collections. Ignoring for the moment possible social benefits 
from the non-AFDC Program and based entirely on a public 
finance perspective, some critics argue that non-AFDC 
incentives encourage inefficiency.
    Another issue raised about the current incentive system is 
that it does not necessarily base rewards on the best measure 
of performance. Just as the basic 66 percent reimbursement rate 
ignores efficiency by relying exclusively on expenditures, the 
incentive system ignores efficiency by relying exclusively on 
collections. A better measure of efficiency may be one that 
combines expenditures and collections in a single measure. If 
incentive payments were based on child support collections per 
dollar of administrative expenditure, States would have 
incentive to collect more money while holding down 
expenditures. An incentive system based just on expenditures or 
just on collections is at best half an incentive system.
    A final issue of program financing is whether government 
should pay such a high percentage of costs in the non-AFDC 
Program. States must charge an application fee that can be no 
more than $25 for the non-AFDC Program, but this amount doesn't 
even pay the full cost of opening a case file. In 1995, more 
than 2.4 million non-AFDC families received services resulting 
in child support collections that averaged around $3,300 per 
case. By collecting this money, government is providing a 
useful service to millions of families, many of which are not 
poor. Rather than have taxpayers pick up the cost of this 
service, some critics argue that families receiving the 
services should pay more of the costs. Federal law allows 
States to charge additional fees, but few do so. States argue 
that, because many of the non-AFDC families are poor or low-
income, charging them for child support services would decrease 
their already tenuous financial stability. States also argue 
that setting up an administrative system to establish and 
collect the fees would cost more money than the fees actually 
collected.
    The account of child support from the finance perspective 
given above relies on measurable spending and collections. 
However, defenders of the current child support program argue 
that it may produce social benefits that are not captured by 
mere spending and collections data. These program defenders 
claim that a strong child support program produces ``cost 
avoidance'' by demonstrating to noncustodial parents who would 
try to avoid child support that the system will eventually 
catch up with them.
    Although there is little evidence that would allow an 
estimate of the cost avoidance effect, there is nonetheless 
good reason to believe that at least some noncustodial parents 
make child support payments in part because they fear detection 
and prosecution. Even more to the point, a strong child support 
program may change the way society thinks about child support. 
As in the cases of civil rights and smoking, a persistent 
effort over a period of years may convince millions of 
Americans, both those who owe child support and those concerned 
with the condition of single-parent families, that making 
payments is a moral and civic duty. Those who avoid it would 
then be subject to something even more potent than legal 
prosecution--social ostracism.
    To the extent that this reasoning is correct, the public 
and policymakers may come to regard child support enforcement 
as a long-term investment similar in many respects to 
education, job training, and other policies that help families 
support their children. In each of these cases, there is 
expectation that society will be better off in the long run 
because the government invests in helping individuals and 
families. But the expectation that investments will lead to 
immediate payoffs, or even that we can devise evaluation 
methods that adequately capture the long-term payoffs, is much 
less than the expectation of immediate and measurable payoffs 
that characterizes the kind of public finance reasoning 
outlined above. Of course, even if the public is willing to 
continue paying for child support enforcement as a social 
investment, Congress and child support administrators may 
nonetheless find it desirable to intensify their efforts to 
make the program as efficient as possible.

              HOW EFFECTIVE IS CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT?

    Since the inception of the Federal-State child support 
program in 1975, there appears to have been growing public 
awareness of the problem of nonpayment of child support and 
increased willingness by taxpayers to spend money trying to 
improve child support enforcement. As measured either by 
expenditures or total collections, the Federal-State program 
has grown about tenfold since 1978. To the extent that private 
arrangements fail to ensure child support payments, our laws 
and, increasingly, our practices bring child support cases into 
the public domain. In view of these quite remarkable changes in 
law and practice, it seems useful to provide a broad assessment 
of the performance of the Nation's child support system in 
general and of the IV-D program in particular.

                          Impact on Taxpayers

    One useful measure of the Federal-State program is the 
impact of collections on AFDC costs. As outlined above, States 
retain and split with the Federal Government collections from 
parents whose children are on AFDC. In addition, States can 
often retain part of collections from parents whose children 
were on AFDC in the past as repayment for taxpayer-provided 
AFDC benefits.
    As shown in table 9-1 above, AFDC collections have in fact 
been rising every year since 1978, growing from less than $0.5 
billion in that year to nearly $2.7 billion in 1995. Equally 
important, the child support agencies collected a level of 
payments on behalf of AFDC parents that equalled 13.6 percent 
of all AFDC benefits in 1995. This figure, which has been 
rising every year since 1980, seems especially impressive in 
view of the fact that even if States could collect all of the 
child support due, it would not be possible for some States to 
recover 100 percent of AFDC benefits because AFDC benefit 
payments usually exceed child support award levels.
    Of course, it will be recalled that despite this impressive 
rise in AFDC collections and cost offset, the overall impact of 
the child support program on taxpayers is negative. As shown in 
table 9-5, taxpayers lost over $0.8 billion on the program in 
1995 and the loss has increased every year since 1988. Even so, 
the rise of AFDC collections and cost offset ratios suggest 
that with reform, the child support program could become more 
efficient.

                           Impact on Poverty

    Another good measure of child support performance is the 
impact of collections on poverty. In 1991, 1.26 million (24 
percent) of the 5.3 million women and men rearing children 
alone who were supposed to receive child support payments had 
incomes below the poverty level. If full payment had been made 
to these custodial parents and if none of these families had 
received welfare payments, only 140,000 of them would have 
received enough income from child support payments to put them 
above the poverty level (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995, pp. 7 
& 26). Thus, the potential of child support to greatly reduce 
poverty appears to be modest. Of course, if the child support 
program could obtain orders and collect support for a 
substantial fraction of the additional 5.3 million single 
parents who don't even have an award, the antipoverty impact of 
child support could be increased somewhat.
    Despite the modest impact of child support on poverty, many 
families on welfare have received enough of a financial boost 
from child support payments that they were able to leave the 
rolls. In 1994, 269,000 families with child support 
collections, representing about 5 percent of the caseload, 
became ineligible for AFDC. Similarly, about 3 percent of 
families in the non-AFDC child support program were lifted out 
of poverty by child support payments. This 3 percent figure is 
more impressive than it appears at first because a substantial 
fraction of the non-AFDC caseload had incomes above the poverty 
level before receiving any child support payments. For a number 
of these nonpoor families, incomes and standards of living were 
improved by child support payments. Presumably, even poor 
families that received child support but remained in poverty 
had their standard of living improved by the child support 
payments.

               Impact on National Child Support Payments

    Perhaps the most important measure of the Federal-State 
program is its impact on overall national rates of paying child 
support. Although the original intent of Congress in creating 
the child support program was primarily to offset welfare 
payments, both Congress and the American public have come to 
see the program as a means of improving the Nation's system of 
ensuring that parents who no longer live with their children 
continue to provide for their financial support. An examination 
of whether the IV-D program has had an impact on national child 
support payments must begin with an assessment of the record of 
noncustodial parents in paying child support.
    The U.S. Census Bureau periodically collects national 
survey information on child support. By interviewing a random 
sample of single-parent families, the Census Bureau is able to 
generate a host of numbers that can be used to assess the 
performance of noncustodial parents in paying child support. 
Table 9-6 provides detailed information for 1991, the most 
recent year for which national data are available, on child 
support payments by fathers to families headed by mothers. 
Although the 1991 survey was the first to include custodial 
fathers, the following discussion is focused solely on 
custodial mothers. Several points bear emphasis, the most 
important of which is that many female-headed families do not 
receive child support. As shown in the top line of table 9-6, 
of the 9.9 million female-headed families eligible for support, 
only 56 percent even had a support award. Most observers would 
say that a major failure of the Nation's child support system 
is that entirely too many mothers do not have a child support 
award.
    Of the 4.9 million mothers who do have an award and who 
were supposed to receive payments in 1991, about three-quarters 
actually received at least one payment. However, as shown in 
tables appended to this chapter, only about half of those due 
money actually received everything that was due. So in addition 
to its failure to get orders for a near majority of mothers, 
critics assert that a second failure of the child support 
system is that a large proportion of the money owed is not 
paid.
    Table 9-6, which also summarizes child support information 
by ethnic group, by years of schooling, and by poverty level, 
suggests a number of interesting and important features of 
child support payments. White mothers have almost twice as high 
a probability of having a support order as black and Hispanic 
mothers (64 percent versus about 36 percent). Similarly, 
mothers with a college degree have nearly a 75 percent chance 
of having an order as compared with less than 35 percent for 
high school dropouts and less than 60 percent for high school 
graduates. As for payments, white mothers receive nearly $3,200 
per year on average as compared with around only $2,100 for 
black mothers and $2,200 for Hispanic mothers. College 
graduates receive almost $4,900 per year in support as compared 
with $1,700 and $2,600 for high school dropouts and graduates 
respectively.
    Clearly, mothers who are already financially worse off get 
less from child support than mothers who are financially better 
off. This generalization is made especially clear by two 
further pieces of information depicted in the table. First, 
never-married mothers, one of the poorest demographic groups in 
the Nation, are only about one-third as likely to have an award 
as divorced mothers (27 percent versus 73 percent); even never-
married mothers who actually receive support get less than half 
as much as divorced mothers ($1,500 versus $3,600). Second, as 
shown by the data at the bottom of the table, poor mothers are 
less likely to have orders and receive less money than nonpoor 
mothers. Table 9-7 shows similar data for the award of health 
insurance. While demonstrating that only about 40 percent of 
all mothers have health insurance included in their award, the 
table also shows that the probability of health insurance 
coverage is greatly reduced for never-married women, black and 
Hispanic women, and women with less schooling.

       TABLE 9-6.--CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS AWARDED AND RECEIVED BY WOMEN WITH CHILDREN PRESENT, BY SELECTED      
                                              CHARACTERISTICS, 1991                                             
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Supposed to receive child support in 
                                                                                           1991                 
                                                              Percent   ----------------------------------------
                                                 Total        awarded                  Received support in 1991 
          Characteristics of women            (thousands)      child                 ---------------------------
                                                              support       Total                Mean           
                                                           payments \1\  (thousands)  Percent   child     Mean  
                                                                                               support   income 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ALL WOMEN                                                                                     
                                                                                                                
      Total.................................      9,918          55.9        4,883       76.3   $3,011   $18,144
                                                                                                                
           Current marital status                                                                               
                                                                                                                
Married \2\.................................      2,707          69.7        1,679       75.8    2,831    15,852
Divorced....................................      3,052          72.8        2,027       78.3    3,623    23,121
Separated...................................      1,514          46.4          563       74.2    2,753    13,876
Widowed \3\.................................         80          48.8           30        (B)      (B)       (B)
Never married...............................      2,565          27.0          583       74.1    1,534    10,681
                                                                                                                
          Race and Hispanic origin                                                                              
                                                                                                                
White.......................................      6,966          64.0        3,976       77.8    3,193    18,949
Black.......................................      2,698          35.5          791       69.9    2,102    13,696
Hispanic origin \4\.........................      1,043          35.3          324       68.2    2,200    13,457
                                                                                                                
          Years of school completed                                                                             
                                                                                                                
Less than 12 years..........................      2,272          33.5          648       69.8    1,686     8,062
High school: 4 years........................      4,092          57.8        2,123       77.2    2,589    14,813
College:                                                                                                        
    Some college, no degree.................      1,931          64.4        1,117       73.1    3,479    20,235
    Associate degree........................        649          70.9          401       76.8    2,883    22,872
    Bachelors degree or more................        974          73.2          594       86.2    4,861    31,531
                                                                                                                
             WOMEN BELOW POVERTY                                                                                
                                                                                                                
      Total.................................      3,513          38.9        1,200       70.4    1,922     5,687
                                                                                                                
           Current marital status                                                                               
                                                                                                                
Married \2\.................................        338          55.3          169       73.4    1,477     3,708
Divorced....................................        877          55.4          448       69.4    2,474     6,889
Separated...................................        836          39.2          268       68.3    1,786     4,917
Widowed.....................................         14           (B)            4        (B)      (B)       (B)
Never married \3\...........................      1,449          24.8          311       72.3    1,515     5,725
                                                                                                                
                    Race                                                                                        
                                                                                                                
White.......................................      1,979          45.3          804       68.4    1,869     5,475
Black.......................................      1,433          30.2          361       74.2    2,083     6,246
Hispanic origin \4\.........................        563          24.9          126       66.7    2,580     5,022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Award status as of spring 1991.                                                                             
\2\ Remarried women whose previous marriage ended in divorce.                                                   
\3\ Widowed women whose previous marriage ended in divorce.                                                     
\4\ Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.                                                              
                                                                                                                
Note.--Women with own children under 21 years of age present from an absent father as of spring 1992. (B) = base
  less than 75,000.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995.                                                                        


 TABLE 9-7.--CHILD SUPPORT AWARD STATUS AND INCLUSION OF HEALTH INSURANCE IN AWARD, BY SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS 
                                                 OF WOMEN, 1991                                                 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Awarded child support payments  
                                                                             -----------------------------------
                                                                                              Health insurance  
                                                                                             included in child  
                         Characteristic                             Total                      support award    
                                                                 (thousands)     Total    ----------------------
                                                                              (thousands)                Percent
                                                                                              Number    of total
                                                                                           (thousands)   awarded
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total....................................................       9,918        5,542        2,271       41.0
                                                                                                                
                   Current marital status \1\                                                                   
Remarried \2\..................................................       2,707        1,888          752       39.8
Divorced.......................................................       3,052        2,221        1,044       47.0
Separated......................................................       1,514          702          300       42.7
Never married..................................................       2,565          693          167       24.1
                                                                                                                
                    Race and Hispanic origin                                                                    
                                                                                                                
White..........................................................       6,966        4,459        1,967       44.1
Black..........................................................       2,698          958          249       26.0
Hispanic \3\...................................................       1,043          368          107       29.1
                                                                                                                
                              Age                                                                               
                                                                                                                
15 to 17 years.................................................          88           11   ...........  ........
18 to 29 years.................................................       3,022        1,269          405       31.9
30 to 39 years.................................................       4,379        2,691        1,205       44.8
40 years and over..............................................       2,429        1,571          661       42.1
                                                                                                                
                   Years of school completed                                                                    
                                                                                                                
Less than 12 years.............................................       2,272          761          222       29.2
High school: 4 years...........................................       4,092        2,365          973       41.1
College:                                                                                                        
    Some college, no degree....................................       1,931        1,243          562       45.2
    Associate degree...........................................         649          460          185       40.2
    Bachelors degree or more...................................         974          713          329       46.1
                                                                                                                
      Number of own children present from an absent father                                                      
                                                                                                                
One child......................................................       5,090        2,884        1,078       37.4
Two children...................................................       3,085        1,892          868       45.9
Three children.................................................       1,166          587          234       39.9
Four children or more..........................................         577          179           91       50.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Excludes a small number of current widowed women whose previous marriage ended in divorce.                  
\2\ Remarried women whose previous marriage ended in divorce.                                                   
\3\ Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.                                                              
                                                                                                                
Note.--Women 15 years and older with own children under 21 years of age present from absent fathers as of spring
  1992.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995.                                                                        

    Table 9-8, which summarizes several child support measures 
for selected years between 1978 and 1991, complements and 
extends the conclusions drawn from the 1991 data. \4\ More 
specifically, the pattern of poor women being less likely to 
have an order and receive support is nothing new; the years 
since 1978 show no change in this pattern. In part because a 
higher proportion of female-headed families are never-married, 
the percentage of mothers with an award is lower now than in 
1978, the percentage that actually receive any payment or full 
payment is only slightly higher, and the aggregate payments 
have grown less rapidly than the number of demographically 
eligible mothers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ The Census Bureau changed its interview procedures before 
obtaining the 1991 data. Specifically, Census asked whether adults had 
any children under age 21 in their household who had a parent living 
elsewhere. This question may have excluded some mothers who would have 
answered the child support questions in previous surveys. In the 
interviews for the years 1978 through 1989, all never-married mothers 
were asked the child support questions. Because of this and other 
differences in procedure, the Census Bureau recommends ``extreme 
caution'' (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995, p. 40) in comparing data 
from the 1992 interview with data from previous interviews. We present 
the data from all the surveys and recommend that readers draw their own 
conclusions.

  TABLE 9-8.--CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS FOR ALL WOMEN, WOMEN ABOVE THE POVERTY LEVEL, AND WOMEN BELOW THE POVERTY  
                                          LEVEL, SELECTED YEARS 1978-91                                         
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           1978    1981    1983    1985    1987    1989    1991 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All women:                                                                                                      
    Total (in thousands)................................   7,094   8,387   8,690   8,808   9,415   9,955   9,918
    Percent awarded \1\.................................    59.1    59.2    57.7    61.3    59.0    57.7    55.9
    Percent actually received payment...................    34.6    34.6    34.9    36.8    39.0    37.4    38.1
    Percent received full payment.......................    23.6    22.5    23.2    24.0    26.3    25.6    25.7
Women above poverty level:                                                                                      
    Total (in thousands)................................   5,121   5,821   5,792   6,011   6,224   6,749   6,405
    Percent awarded \1\.................................    67.3    67.9    65.3    71.0    66.5    64.6    65.2
    Percent actually received payment...................    41.1    41.4    42.6    44.1    44.8    43.1    45.9
Women below poverty level:                                                                                      
    Total (in thousands)................................   1,973   2,566   2,898   2,797   3,191   3,206   3,513
    Percent awarded \1\.................................    38.1    39.7    42.5    40.4    44.3    43.3    38.9
    Percent actually received payment...................    17.8    19.3    19.6    21.3    27.7    25.4    24.1
Aggregate payment (in billions of dollars): \2\                                                                 
    Child support due...................................    13.8    15.0    13.7    13.8    17.5    17.9    16.5
    Child support received..............................     8.9     9.2     9.7     9.1    12.0    12.3    11.2
    Aggregate child support deficit.....................     4.9     5.8     4.1     4.7     5.5     5.6     5.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Award status as of spring 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990.                                           
\2\ In 1991 dollars.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                
Note.--Payments for women with own children under age 21.                                                       
                                                                                                                
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1995).                                   

    In summary, it appears that the performance of the Nation's 
child support system is modest and that few if any of the 
measures of national performance have improved in nearly two 
decades. By contrast, as shown at the beginning of this chapter 
(see table 9-1), the Federal-State child support program has 
shown improved performance on a number of important measures 
virtually every year since 1978. To promote comparison of 
performance changes in the IV-D program with overall national 
trends in child support performance, table 9-9 summarizes 
several measures from both the IV-D program as revealed in 
reports from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement 
and the national system of child support as revealed in U.S. 
Census Bureau Surveys. The data are surprising and, at first, 
confusing. As shown in the top panel, the Federal-State program 
is showing impressive improvement on every measure. Total 
collections, parents located, paternities established, and 
awards established are all up by over 200 percent since 1978.
    By contrast, the measures of overall national trends show 
little improvement. In fact, both the likelihood of having an 
award and of being legally entitled to a payment have actually 
declined slightly. The percentage of those with an award who 
received at least one payment has been stagnant. The percentage 
of mothers who received the full amount due has increased, but 
only marginally, from 49 to 52 percent. On the other hand, 
total collections increased by about 33 percent. This increase, 
however, is dwarfed by the 245 percent increase in IV-D 
collections. The increase must also be interpreted in view of 
the fact that the number of single mothers demographically 
eligible for child support increased by nearly 40 percent over 
the same period.
    Clearly, although the IV-D program has been growing 
steadily since 1978, and although its performance on many 
measures of child support has been improving, the improvement 
appears to have had only modest impact on the national picture. 
How can these two trends be reconciled?
    The last panel of table 9-9 suggests an answer. This panel 
shows collections by the Federal-State program as a percentage 
of overall national child support payments. In 1978, less than 
one-fourth of child support payments were collected through the 
IV-D program. This percentage, however, has increased every 
year since 1978. By 1991, more than 60 percent of all child 
support payments were made through the IV-D program. The 
implication of this trend is that the IV-D program may be 
recruiting more and more cases from the private sector, 
bringing them into the public sector, providing them with 
subsidized services (or substituting Federal spending for State 
spending), but not greatly improving child support collections. 
Whatever the explanation, it seems that improved effectiveness 
of the IV-D program has not led to significant improvement of 
the Nation's child support performance.
    The data in table 9-9 suffer from a potentially important 
flaw. Given that Congress passed major child support 
legislation in 1988, and that many authorities believe it took 
3 or 4 years for the full impact of the legislation to become 
apparent, the 1991 Census data may not capture the full effects 
of the innovative reforms enacted in 1988.
    Two additional statistics must be considered in any general 
assessment of national child support payments. First, according 
to Sorensen (1994), noncustodial parents owe over $30 billion 
in overdue child support. Some perspective on the magnitude of 
this figure is provided by recalling that the entire Federal 
outlay on the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program 
in 1995 was about $15 billion.

           TABLE 9-9.--COMPARISON OF MEASURES OF IV-D EFFECTIVENESS WITH CENSUS SUPPORT DATA, 1978-91           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Year                        Percent
                       Measure                        -------------------------------------------------- change,
                                                       1978  1981  1983  1985   1987    1989   1991 \1\  1978-91
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Federal-State IV-D Program                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total collections (1991 dollars, in billions) \2\....   2.2   2.4   2.7   3.4     4.7     5.8       6.9    214  
Parents located (thousands)..........................   454   696   831   878   1,145   1,624     2,577    468  
Paternities established (thousands)..................   111   164   208   232     269     339       472    325  
Awards established (thousands).......................   315   414   496   669     812     936  \3\ 1,02         
                                                                                                      2    224  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 National Trends                                                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total collections (1991 dollars, in billions) \2\....   9.8   9.0   9.7   9.1    12.0    12.3      11.2     26  
Of demographically eligible:                                                                                    
    Percent with awards..............................    59    59    58    61      59      58        56     -5  
    Percent supposed to receive payment..............    48    48    46    50      51      50        49      2  
    Percent who received some payment................    35    35    35    37      39      37        38      9  
Of mothers supposed to receive payment, percent who                                                             
 received full amount................................    49    47    50    48      51      51        52      6  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            IV-D Collections as a Percentage of National Collections                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IV-D collections as a percent of total collections...    24    27    29    37      39      47        62    158  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Census Bureau collected data on custodial fathers for the first time for 1991; only the data on         
  custodial mothers is included here.                                                                           
\2\ Constant 1991 dollars using the consumer price index.                                                       
\3\ Fiscal year 1990 data. The definition of support orders established changed in 1991.                        
                                                                                                                
Note.--Demographically eligible means women with own children under 21 years of age living with them from an    
  absent father.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
Sources: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Annual Reports to Congress, 1994 and various years; U.S. Bureau of
  the Census (1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1995).                                                        

    But many critics of the child support system contend that 
this figure on arrearages, which is based on child support 
orders currently in place, is actually an underestimate of the 
shortcomings of the Nation's child support system. These 
critics hold that too few noncustodial parents have orders, 
that the amount of orders is too low, and that not enough of 
the amount owed is actually paid. Considerations of this sort 
have led to several studies of what might be called ``child 
support collections potential''--the amount that could be 
collected by a perfectly efficient child support system.
    The most recent of these studies, conducted by researchers 
at the Urban Institute (Sorensen, 1995), produced the estimate 
that $47 billion could be collected in child support each year. 
The assumptions underlying this estimate are that all custodial 
parents had an order, that payments averaged $5,400 per year, 
and that the full amount of every order was actually paid. Of 
course, no one expects any program to be perfectly efficient. 
Even so, comparing the $47 billion that could be generated by a 
perfect system with the actual payments of around $14 billion 
in 1994 provides a useful index of how far we need to go as a 
Nation if we are to provide custodial parents and children with 
the measure of financial security that is the major goal of our 
child support system.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

                                  1950

    The first Federal child support enforcement legislation was 
Public Law 81-734, the Social Security Act amendments of 1950, 
which added Section 402(a)(11) to the Social Security Act (42 
USC 602(a)(11)). The legislation required State welfare 
agencies to notify appropriate law enforcement officials upon 
providing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to a 
child who was abandoned or deserted by a parent.
    Also that year, the National Conference of Commissioners on 
Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association approved 
the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (subsequent 
amendments to this Act were approved in 1952, 1958, and 1968).

                                  1965

    Public Law 89-97, the Social Security amendments of 1965, 
allowed a State or local welfare agency to obtain from the 
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare the address and 
place of employment of an absent parent who owed child support 
under a court order for support.

                                  1967

    Public Law 90-248, the Social Security amendments of 1967, 
allowed States to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service 
(IRS) the address of nonresident parents who owed child support 
under a court order for support. In addition, each State was 
required to establish a single organizational unit to establish 
paternity and collect child support for deserted children 
receiving AFDC. States were also required to work cooperatively 
with each other under child support reciprocity agreements and 
with courts and law enforcement officials.

                                  1975

    Public Law 93-647, the Social Security amendments of 1974, 
created Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act (Sections 
451, et seq.; 42 USC 651, et seq.). The key child support 
enforcement provisions, which reflect 3 years of intense 
Congressional attention, are as follows: The Secretary of the 
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the 
Department of Health and Human Services or HHS) has primary 
responsibility for the Program and is required to establish a 
separate organizational unit to operate the program. 
Operational responsibilities include: (1) establishing a parent 
locator service; (2) establishing standards for State program 
organization, staffing, and operation; (3) reviewing and 
approving State plans for the program; (4) evaluating State 
program operations by conducting audits of each State's 
program; (5) certifying cases for referral to the Federal 
courts to enforce support obligations; (6) certifying cases for 
referral to the IRS for support collections; (7) providing 
technical assistance to States and assisting them with 
reporting procedures; (8) maintaining records of program 
operations, expenditures, and collections; and (9) submitting 
an annual report to the Congress.
    Primary responsibility for operating the Child Support 
Enforcement Program was placed on the States pursuant to the 
State plan. The major requirements of a State plan are that: 
(1) the State designate a single and separate organizational 
unit to administer the program; (2) the State undertake to 
establish paternity and secure support for individuals 
receiving AFDC and others who apply directly for child support 
enforcement services; (3) child support payments be made to the 
State for distribution; (4) the State enter into cooperative 
agreements with appropriate courts and law enforcement 
officials; (5) the State establish a State parent locator 
service that uses State and local parent location resources and 
the Federal Parent Locator Service; (6) the State cooperate 
with any other State in locating an absent parent, establishing 
paternity, and securing support; and (7) the State maintain a 
full record of collections and disbursements made under the 
plan.
    In addition, the 1975 legislation established procedures 
for the distribution of child support collections received on 
behalf of families on AFDC, created an incentive system to 
encourage States to collect payments from parents of children 
on AFDC, and subjected moneys due and payable to Federal 
employees to garnishment for the collection of child support.
    New eligibility requirements were added to the AFDC Program 
requiring applicants for, or recipients of, AFDC to make an 
assignment of support rights to the State, to cooperate with 
the State in establishing paternity and securing support, and 
to furnish their Social Security number to the State. The 
effective date of Public Law 93-647 was July 1, 1975, except 
for the provision regarding garnishment of Federal employees, 
which was effective upon enactment. However, several problems 
were identified prior to the effective date and Congress passed 
Public Law 94-46 to extend the effective date to August 1, 
1975. In addition, Public Law 94-88 was passed in August 1975 
to allow States to obtain waivers from certain program 
requirements under certain conditions until June 30, 1976 and 
to receive Federal reimbursement at a reduced rate. This law 
also eased the requirement for AFDC recipients to cooperate 
with State child support agencies when such cooperation would 
not be in the best interests of the child and provided for 
supplemental payments to AFDC recipients whose grants would be 
reduced due to the implementation of the Child Support 
Enforcement Program.

                                  1976

    Public Law 94-566, effective October 20, 1976, required 
State employment agencies to provide absent parents' addresses 
to State child support enforcement agencies.

                                  1977

    Public Law 95-30, effective May 23, 1977, made several 
amendments to Title IV-D. Provisions relating to the 
garnishment of a Federal employee's wages for child support 
were amended to: (1) include employees of the District of 
Columbia; (2) specify the conditions and procedures to be 
followed to serve garnishments on Federal agencies; (3) 
authorize the issuance of garnishment regulations by the three 
branches of the Federal Government and by the District; and (4) 
clarify several terms used in the statute. Public Law 95-30 
also amended section 454 of the Social Security Act (42 USC 
654) to require the State plan to provide bonding for employees 
who receive, handle, or disburse cash and to insure that the 
accounting and collection functions are performed by different 
individuals. In addition, the incentive payment provision, 
under section 458(a) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 
658(a)), was amended to change the rate to 15 percent of AFDC 
collections (from 25 percent for the first 12 months and 10 
percent thereafter).
    Public Law 95-142, the Medicare-Medicaid Antifraud and 
Abuse amendments of 1977, established a medical support 
enforcement program under which States could require Medicaid 
applicants to assign to the State their rights to medical 
support. State Medicaid agencies were allowed to enter into 
cooperative agreements with any appropriate agency of any 
State, including the IV-D agency, for assistance with the 
enforcement and collection of medical support obligations. 
Incentives were also made available to localities making child 
support collections for States and for States securing 
collections on behalf of other States.

                                  1978

    Public Law 95-598, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, 
repealed section 456(b) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 
656(b)), which had barred the discharge in bankruptcy of 
assigned child support debts. (This section of the Act (now 
546(h)) was restored by Public Law 97-35 in 1981.)

                                  1980

    Public Law 96-178 extended Federal Financial Participation 
(FFP) for non-AFDC services to March 31, 1980, retroactive to 
October 1, 1978.
    Public Law 96-265, the Social Security Disability 
amendments of 1980, increased Federal matching funds to 90 
percent, effective July 1, 1981, for the costs of developing, 
implementing, and enhancing approved automated child support 
management information systems. Federal matching funds were 
also made available for child support enforcement duties 
performed by certain court personnel. In another provision, the 
law authorized IRS to collect child support arrearages on 
behalf of non-AFDC families. Finally, the law provided State 
and local IV-D agencies access to wage information held by the 
Social Security Administration and State employment security 
agencies for use in establishing and enforcing child support 
obligations.
    Public Law 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child 
Welfare Act of 1980, contained four amendments to Title IV-D of 
the Social Security Act. First, the law made FFP for non-AFDC 
services available on a permanent basis. Second, it allowed 
States to receive incentive payments on all AFDC collections as 
well as interstate collections. Third, as of October 1, 1979, 
States were required to claim reimbursement for expenditures 
within 2 years, with some exceptions. The fourth change 
postponed until October, 1980 the imposition of the 5 percent 
penalty on AFDC reimbursement for States not having effective 
Child Support Enforcement Programs.

                                  1981

    Public Law 97-35, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1981, amended IV-D in five ways. First, IRS was authorized to 
withhold all or part of certain individuals' Federal income tax 
refunds for collection of delinquent child support obligations. 
Second, IV-D agencies were required to collect spousal support 
for AFDC families. Third, for non-AFDC cases, IV-D agencies 
were required to collect fees from absent parents who were 
delinquent in their child support payments. Fourth, child 
support obligations assigned to the State no longer were 
dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings. Fifth, States were 
required to withhold a portion of unemployment benefits from 
absent parents delinquent in their support payments.

                                  1982

    Public Law 97-248, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility 
Act of 1982, included the following provisions, affecting the 
IV-D program: FFP was reduced from 75 to 70 percent, effective 
October 1, 1982; incentives were reduced from 15 to 12 percent, 
effective October 1, 1983; the provision for reimbursement of 
costs of certain court personnel that exceed the amount of 
funds spent by a State on similar court expenses during 
calendar year 1978 was repealed; the mandatory non-AFDC 
collection fee imposed by Public Law 97-35 was repealed, 
retroactive to August 13, 1981, and States were given the 
option of recovering costs by imposing fees on non-AFDC 
parents; States were allowed to collect spousal support in 
certain non-AFDC cases; as of October 1, 1982, members of the 
uniformed services on active duty were required to make 
allotments from their pay when support arrearages reached the 
equivalent of a 2-month delinquency; beginning October 1, 1982, 
States were allowed to reimburse themselves for AFDC grants 
paid to families for the first month in which the collection of 
child support is sufficient to make a family ineligible for 
AFDC.
    Public Law 97-253, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1982, provided for the disclosure of information obtained under 
authority of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to various programs, 
including State child support enforcement agencies.
    Public Law 97-252, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' 
Protection Act, authorized treatment of military retirement or 
retainer pay as property to be divided by State courts in 
connection with divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal 
separation proceedings.

                                  1984

    Public Law 98-378, the Child Support Enforcement amendments 
of 1984, featured provisions that required improvements in 
State and local Child Support Enforcement Programs in four 
major areas:
Mandatory enforcement practices
    All States must enact statutes to improve enforcement 
mechanisms, including: (1) mandatory income withholding 
procedures; (2) expedited processes for establishing and 
enforcing support orders; (3) State income tax refund 
interceptions; (4) liens against real and personal property, 
security or bonds to assure compliance with support 
obligations; and (5) reports of support delinquency information 
to consumer reporting agencies. State law must allow for the 
bringing of paternity actions any time prior to a child's 18th 
birthday and all support orders issued or modified after 
October 1, 1985, must include a provision for wage withholding.
Federal financial participation and audit provisions
    To encourage greater reliance on performance-based 
incentives, Federal matching funds were reduced by 2 percent in 
1988 (to 68 percent) and another 2 percent in 1990 (to 66 
percent). Federal matching funds at 90 percent were made 
available for the development and installation of automated 
systems, including computer hardware purchases, to facilitate 
income withholding and other newly required procedures. State 
incentive payments were reset at 6 percent for both AFDC and 
non-AFDC collections. These percentages could rise as high as 
10 percent for each category for cost-effective States, but a 
State's non-AFDC incentive payments could not exceed its AFDC 
incentives. States were required to pass incentives through to 
local child support enforcement agencies if these agencies had 
accumulated child support enforcement costs. Annual State 
audits were replaced with audits conducted at least once every 
3 years. The focus of the audits was altered to evaluate a 
State's effectiveness on the basis of program performance as 
well as operational compliance. Penalties for noncompliance are 
from 1 to 5 percent of the Federal share of the State's AFDC 
funds. The Federal Government may suspend imposition of a 
penalty based on a State's filing of, and complying with, an 
acceptable corrective action plan.
Improved interstate enforcement
    States were required to apply a host of enforcement 
techniques to interstate cases as well as intrastate cases. 
Both States involved in an interstate case may take credit for 
the collection when reporting total collections for the purpose 
of calculating incentives. Special demonstration grants were 
authorized beginning in 1985 to fund innovative methods of 
interstate enforcement and collection. Federal audits were 
focused on States' effectiveness in establishing and enforcing 
obligations across State lines.
Equal services for welfare and non-AFDC families
    Several specific requirements were directed at improving 
State services to non-AFDC families. All of the mandatory 
practices must be made available for both classes of cases; the 
interception of Federal income tax refunds was extended to non-
AFDC cases; incentive payments for non-AFDC cases became 
available for the first time; States were required to continue 
child support services to families terminated from the welfare 
rolls without charging an application fee; and States were 
required to publicize the availability of support enforcement 
services for non-AFDC parents.
Other provisions
    States were required to: (1) collect support in certain 
foster care cases; (2) collect spousal support in addition to 
child support where both are due in a case; (3) notify AFDC 
recipients, at least yearly, of the collections made in their 
behalf; (4) establish State commissions to study the operation 
of the State's child support system and report findings to the 
State's Governor; (5) formulate guidelines for determining 
appropriate child support obligation amounts and distribute the 
guidelines to judges and other individuals who possess 
authority to establish obligation amounts; (6) offset the costs 
of the program by charging various fees to non-AFDC families 
and to delinquent nonresident parents; (7) allow families whose 
AFDC eligibility is terminated as a result of the payment of 
child support to remain eligible to receive Medicaid for 4 
months (sunsets on October 1, 1988); and (8) establish medical 
support orders in addition to monetary awards. The Federal 
Parent Locator Service was made more accessible and effective 
in locating absent parents. Sunset provisions were included in 
the extension of Medicaid eligibility and Federal tax offsets 
for non-AFDC families.
    Public Law 98-369, the Tax Reform Act of 1984, included two 
tax provisions pertaining to alimony and child support. Under 
prior law, alimony was deductible by the payor and includable 
in the income of the payee. The 1984 law revised the rules 
relating to the definition of alimony. Generally, only cash 
payments that terminate on the death of the payee spouse 
qualify as alimony. Alimony payments, if in excess of $10,000 
per year, generally must be payable for at least 6 years and 
must not decline by more than $10,000. The prior law 
requirement that the payment be based on a legal support 
obligation was repealed and payors were required to furnish to 
the IRS the Social Security number of the payee spouse. A $50 
penalty for failure to do so was imposed. The provision was 
effective for divorce or separation agreements or orders 
executed after 1984. The 1984 law also provided that the $1,000 
dependency exemption for a child of divorced or separated 
parents be allocated to the custodial parent unless the 
custodial parent signs a written declaration that she will not 
claim the exemption for the year. For purposes of computing the 
medical expense deduction for years after 1984, each parent may 
claim the medical expenses that he or she pays for the child.

                                  1986

    Public Law 99-509, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1986, included one child support enforcement amendment 
prohibiting the retroactive modification of child support 
awards. Under this new requirement, State laws must provide for 
either parent to apply for modification of an existing order 
with notice provided to the other parent. No modification is 
permitted before the date of this notification.

                                  1987

    Public Law 100-203, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 
of 1987, required States to provide child support enforcement 
services to all families with an absent parent who receives 
Medicaid and have assigned their support rights to the State, 
regardless of whether they are receiving AFDC.

                                  1988

    Public Law 100-485, the Family Support Act of 1988, 
emphasized the duties of parents to work and support their 
children and, in particular, emphasized child support 
enforcement as the first line of defense against welfare 
dependence. The key child support provisions include:
Guidelines for child support awards
    Judges and other officials are required to use State 
guidelines for child support unless they rebut the guidelines 
by a written finding that applying them would be unjust or 
inappropriate in a particular case. States must review 
guidelines for awards every four years. Beginning 5 years after 
enactment, States generally must review and adjust individual 
case awards every 3 years for AFDC cases. The same applies to 
other IV-D cases, except review and adjustment must be at the 
request of a parent.
Establishment of paternity
    States are required to meet Federal standards for the 
establishment of paternity. The primary standard relates to the 
percentage obtained by dividing the number of children in the 
State who are born out of wedlock, are receiving cash benefits 
or IV-D child support services, and for whom paternity has been 
established by the number of children who are born out of 
wedlock and are receiving cash benefits or IV-D child support 
services. To meet Federal requirements, this percentage in a 
State must: (1) be at least 50 percent; (2) be at least equal 
to the average for all States; or (3) have increased by 3 
percentage points from fiscal years 1988 to 1991 and by 3 
percentage points each year thereafter. States are mandated to 
require all parties in a contested paternity case to take a 
genetic test upon request of any party. The Federal matching 
rate for laboratory testing to establish paternity is set at 90 
percent.
Disregard of child support
    The child support enforcement disregard authorized under 
the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 is clarified so that it 
applies to a payment made by the noncustodial parent in the 
month it was due even though it was received in a subsequent 
month.
Requirement for prompt State response
    The Secretary of HHS was required to set time limits within 
which States must accept and respond to requests for assistance 
in establishing and enforcing support orders as well as time 
limits within which child support payments collected by the 
State IV-D agency must be distributed to the families to whom 
they are owed.
Requirement for automated tracking and monitoring system
    Every State that does not have a statewide automated 
tracking and monitoring system in effect must submit an advance 
planning document that meets Federal requirements by October 1, 
1991. The Secretary must approve each document within 9 months 
after submission. By October 1, 1995, every State must have an 
approved system in effect. States were awarded 90 percent 
Federal matching rates for this activity until September 30, 
1995.
Interstate enforcement
    A Commission on Interstate Child Support was created to 
hold national conferences on interstate child support 
enforcement reform and to report to Congress no later than 
October 1, 1990 on recommendations for improvements in the 
system and revisions in the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of 
Support Act.
Computing incentive payments
    Amounts spent by States for interstate demonstration 
projects are excluded from calculating the amount of the 
States' incentive payments.
Use of INTERNET system
    The Secretaries of Labor and HHS are required to enter into 
an agreement to give the Federal Parent Locator Service prompt 
access to wage and unemployment compensation claims information 
useful in locating absent parents.
Wage withholding
    With respect to IV-D cases, each State must provide for 
immediate wage withholding in the case of orders that are 
issued or modified on or after the first day of the 25th month 
beginning after the date of enactment unless: (1) one of the 
parties demonstrates, and the court finds, that there is good 
cause not to require such withholding; or (2) there is a 
written agreement between both parties providing for an 
alternative arrangement. Prior law requirements for mandatory 
wage withholding in cases where payments are in arrears apply 
to orders that are not subject to immediate wage withholding. 
States are required to provide for immediate wage withholding 
for all support orders initially issued on or after January 1, 
1994, regardless of whether a parent has applied for IV-D 
services.
Work and training demonstration programs for noncustodial parents
    The Secretary of HHS is required to grant waivers to up to 
five States to allow them to provide services to noncustodial 
parents under the JOBS Program. No new power is granted to the 
States to require participation by noncustodial parents.
Data collection and reporting
    The Secretary of HHS is required to collect and maintain 
State-by-State statistics on paternity establishment, location 
of absent parent for the purpose of establishing a support 
obligation, enforcement of a child support obligation, and 
location of absent parents for the purpose of enforcing or 
modifying an established obligation.
Use of Social Security number
    Each State must, in the administration of any law involving 
the issuance of a birth certificate, require each parent to 
furnish his or her Social Security number (SSN), unless the 
State finds good cause for not requiring the parent to furnish 
it. The SSN shall appear in the birth record but not on the 
birth certificate, and the use of the SSN obtained through the 
birth record is restricted to child support enforcement 
purposes, except under certain circumstances.
Notification of support collected
    Each State is required to inform families receiving AFDC of 
the amount of support collected on their behalf on a monthly 
basis, rather than annually as provided under prior law. States 
may provide quarterly notification if the Secretary of HHS 
determines that monthly reporting imposes an unreasonable 
administrative burden. This provision is effective 4 years 
after the date of enactment. The Medicaid transition benefit in 
child support cases is extended from October 1, 1988 to October 
1, 1989.

                                  1989

    Public Law 101-239, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 
of 1989, made permanent the requirement that Medicaid benefits 
continue for 4 months after a family loses AFDC eligibility as 
a result of collection of child support payments.

                                  1990

    Public Law 101-508, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 
of 1990, permanently extended the Federal provision that allows 
States to ask the IRS to collect child support arrearages of at 
least $500 out of income tax refunds otherwise due to 
noncustodial parents. The minor child restriction is eliminated 
for adults with a current support order who are disabled, as 
defined under OASDI or SSI. The IRS offset can be used for 
spousal support when spousal and child support are included in 
the same support order. The life of the Interstate Child 
Support Commission was extended from July 1, 1991 to July 1, 
1992, and the Commission was required to submit its report no 
later than May 1, 1992. The Commission was allowed to hire its 
own staff.

                                  1992

    Public Law 102-521, the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, 
imposed a Federal criminal penalty for the willful failure to 
pay a past due child support obligation with respect to a child 
who resides in another State that has remained unpaid for 
longer than a year or is greater than $5,000. For the first 
conviction the penalty is a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment 
for not more than 6 months, or both; for a second conviction, 
the penalty is a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment 
for up to 2 years, or both.
    Public Law 102-537, the Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement 
Act of 1992, amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require 
consumer credit reporting agencies to include in any consumer 
report information on child support delinquencies provided by 
or verified by State or local child support agencies, which 
antedates the report by 7 years.

                                  1993

    Public Law 103-66, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1993, increased the percentage of children, from 50 to 75, for 
whom the State must establish paternity and required States to 
adopt laws requiring civil procedures to voluntarily 
acknowledge paternity (including hospital-based programs). The 
Act also required States to adopt laws to ensure the compliance 
of health insurers and employers in carrying out court or 
administrative orders for medical child support and included a 
provision that forbids health insurers to deny coverage to 
children who are not living with the covered individual or who 
were born outside marriage.

                                  1994

    Public Law 103-383, the Full Faith and Credit for Child 
Support Orders Act, requires each State to enforce, according 
to its terms, a child support order by a court (or 
administrative authority) of another State, with conditions and 
specifications for resolving issues of jurisdiction.
    Public Law 103-394, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, 
stipulates that a filing of bankruptcy does not stay a 
paternity, child support, or alimony proceeding. In addition, 
child support and alimony payments are made priority claims and 
custodial parents are able to appear in bankruptcy court to 
protect their interests without paying a fee or meeting any 
local rules for attorney appearances.
    Public Law 103-403, the Small Business Administration 
amendments of 1994, makes parents who fail to pay child support 
ineligible for small business loans.
    Public Law 103-432, the Social Security Act amendments of 
1994, includes a provision that requires States to implement 
procedures that require the State to periodically report to 
consumer reporting agencies the name of debtor parents owing at 
least 2 months of overdue child support, and the amount of 
child support overdue.

                                  1995

    Public Law 104-35 extends for 2 years the deadline by which 
States are required to have in effect an automated data 
processing and information retrieval system for use in the 
administration of their Child Support Enforcement Program (from 
October 1, 1995, to October 1, 1997). The 90 percent Federal 
funding was not extended.

                           STATISTICAL TABLES

        TABLE 9-10.--PERCENTAGE OF AFDC FAMILIES AFFECTED BY $50 PASSTHROUGH: 1985, 1990, 1993, AND 1995        
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Percent of families affected        Number of
                                                           -------------------------------------------  families
                           State                                                                       affected,
                                                                1985       1990      1993      1995       1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................................         11.7      19.1      36.3      45.0     20,622
Alaska....................................................         11.9      20.7      18.8      20.7      2,171
Arizona...................................................          4.8       4.9       3.9      11.1      7,583
Arkansas..................................................         15.9      19.7      29.5      29.3      7,027
California................................................         13.8      12.7      11.5      15.3    115,698
                                                                                                                
Colorado..................................................         14.1      15.1      20.7      26.1      9,854
Connecticut...............................................         25.6      19.3      20.3      21.8     12,623
Delaware..................................................         21.7      18.0      22.3      24.6      2,625
District of Columbia......................................          5.8       7.5       7.6       7.3      1,931
Florida...................................................         11.4      24.0      15.3      19.0     42,915
                                                                                                                
Georgia...................................................          5.3      19.6      19.2      22.8     31,449
Guam......................................................         10.5      19.9      35.9      28.6        546
Hawaii....................................................         20.5      13.2      17.4       9.6      1,947
Idaho.....................................................         46.7      46.6      52.7      52.0      4,449
Illinois..................................................          5.5       7.9       8.1       8.8     19,835
                                                                                                                
Indiana...................................................         25.9      27.8      34.6     118.1     74,769
Iowa......................................................         22.7      22.8      26.6      30.4     10,008
Kansas....................................................         15.2      24.0      34.9      48.2     12,813
Kentucky..................................................          7.6      13.4      17.0      14.2     10,057
Louisiana.................................................          6.9       8.5       9.3      10.2      8,016
                                                                                                                
Maine.....................................................         25.6      39.3      34.7      51.4     10,161
Maryland..................................................         15.0      10.9      18.1      20.2     14,666
Massachusetts.............................................         20.2      16.3      11.5      15.4     14,830
Michigan..................................................         17.2      25.3      27.1      30.3     54,031
Minnesota.................................................         22.5      28.0      35.1      44.0     23,018
                                                                                                                
Mississippi...............................................          4.8       9.2      13.3      15.4      8,024
Missouri..................................................          8.2      18.5      17.5      16.6     14,436
Montana...................................................         13.9      15.2      18.1      18.3      1,924
Nebraska..................................................         11.3      20.6      29.2      38.5      5,411
Nevada....................................................         33.6      29.8      33.3      29.3      4,474
                                                                                                                
New Hampshire.............................................         12.6      13.5      34.1      35.4      3,729
New Jersey................................................         15.4      15.8      20.8      23.0     26,501
New Mexico................................................          7.6      11.8       9.9      13.4      4,412
New York..................................................          9.2      11.8      11.7      10.9     47,586
North Carolina............................................         15.0      19.5      19.0      20.5     25,139
                                                                                                                
North Dakota..............................................         25.1      36.7      39.2      38.9      1,973
Ohio......................................................         11.6      19.9      15.0      19.4     41,123
Oklahoma..................................................          8.4      13.4       9.7      12.0      5,323
Oregon....................................................         16.0      17.6      25.8      31.0     11,225
Pennsylvania..............................................         16.3      20.8      26.2      25.9     50,901
                                                                                                                
Puerto Rico...............................................          4.7       4.2       3.1       4.2      2,303
Rhode Island..............................................         13.9      17.9      12.7      17.2      3,693
South Carolina............................................          8.9      26.3      25.3      30.8     14,899
South Dakota..............................................         17.6      21.4      26.5      39.0      2,436
Tennessee.................................................          9.8      15.2      10.7      11.5     10,864
                                                                                                                
Texas.....................................................          3.1       5.8       6.7       8.0     21,149
Utah......................................................         26.9      23.7      25.9      32.4      5,355
Vermont...................................................         21.9      36.5      40.1      25.3      2,087
Virgin Islands............................................         10.2      11.6      12.8      11.6        152
Virginia..................................................         14.9      24.9      23.9      44.6     31,941
                                                                                                                
Washington................................................         18.0      24.8      32.0      35.2     30,381
West Virginia.............................................          6.6       7.1      11.0      13.0      4,287
Wisconsin.................................................         37.8      38.9      40.6      45.5     30,663
Wyoming...................................................          8.0      21.7      24.3      27.0      1,385
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
  Nationwide total........................................         13.2      16.3      16.8      20.5    927,420
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--These estimates are based on the number of ``paying'' child support cases adjusted for comparability with
  AFDC families.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                
 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                     


                                    TABLE 9-11.--STATE PROFILE OF COLLECTIONS AND EXPENDITURES, FISCAL YEAR 1995 \1\                                    
                                                                [In millions of dollars]                                                                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                  Child support collections             
                                                                                                                per dollar of administrative            
                                                              Total         AFDC       Non-AFDC       Total             expenditures           Incentive
                          State                            collections  collections  collections  expenditures ------------------------------  payments 
                                                                                                                           AFDC/FC  Non-AFDC  (estimate)
                                                                                                                  Total     total     total             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..................................................      $141.2        $21.9       $120.7        $62.9        2.24      0.34      1.91       $3.4 
Alaska...................................................        51.7         16.2         35.5         17.6        2.93      0.91      2.02        2.6 
Arizona..................................................        93.8         24.1         70.0         63.4        1.48      0.38      1.10        3.8 
Arkansas.................................................        63.9         16.9         47.3         23.2        2.75      0.73      2.03        2.9 
California...............................................       857.3        414.0        460.4        394.3        2.17      1.02      1.16       58.2 
Colorado.................................................        91.9         31.2         60.7         36.1        2.54      0.86      1.68        5.9 
Connecticut..............................................       117.7         52.7         64.3         40.9        2.88      1.32      1.56        5.0 
Delaware.................................................        31.6          8.0         23.5         15.5        2.04      0.52      1.52        1.3 
District of Columbia.....................................        26.0          5.9         20.1         12.8        2.03      0.46      1.57        1.1 
Florida..................................................       374.0         89.2        290.1        106.0        3.53      0.80      2.73       15.6 
Georgia..................................................       244.4         93.7        159.4         69.9        3.50      1.22      2.28       17.2 
Guam.....................................................         6.0          1.8          4.4          4.5        1.33      0.38      0.95        0.9 
Hawaii...................................................        48.8         11.4         37.8         20.7        2.36      0.55      1.81        1.6 
Idaho....................................................        40.7         10.9         29.8         17.1        2.39      0.64      1.75        1.8 
Illinois.................................................       219.3         65.4        154.6         98.6        2.23      0.66      1.56        9.6 
Indiana..................................................       174.4         51.0        124.7         33.7        5.18      1.51      3.67       11.5 
Iowa.....................................................       136.1         41.1         95.4         28.9        4.72      1.42      3.30        6.9 
Kansas...................................................        97.6         27.6         70.0         57.7        1.69      0.48      1.21        4.0 
Kentucky.................................................       130.6         42.0         89.7         40.7        3.21      0.96      2.24        6.6 
Louisiana................................................       129.6         23.9        102.4         38.5        3.37      0.73      2.64        4.0 
Maine....................................................        57.4         28.4         28.9         13.4        4.28      2.12      2.16        3.5 
Maryland.................................................       265.3         44.3        216.7         65.2        4.07      0.73      3.34        5.8 
Massachusetts............................................       223.6         77.1        146.5         63.1        3.54      1.22      2.32       11.1 
Michigan.................................................       859.6        167.2        692.0        119.3        7.20      1.41      5.80       27.3 
Minnesota................................................       283.5         64.5        219.2         71.6        3.96      0.90      3.06        8.7 
Mississippi..............................................        68.2         19.8         46.0         31.5        2.16      0.70      1.46        3.1 
Missouri.................................................       238.7         58.9        180.9         69.9        3.41      0.83      2.59        8.6 
Montana..................................................        25.5          7.5         18.1          8.9        2.87      0.84      2.03        0.9 
Nebraska.................................................        90.1         11.3         78.8         26.2        3.44      0.43      3.01        1.7 
Nevada...................................................        50.1          7.6         42.4         24.1        2.08      0.32      1.76        1.9 
New Hampshire............................................        42.6         10.8         31.8         17.0        2.50      0.63      1.87        1.3 
New Jersey...............................................       480.3         88.9        391.3         78.3        6.13      1.14      5.00       12.5 
New Mexico...............................................        26.9          9.9         18.3         17.5        1.54      0.53      1.01        1.5 
New York.................................................       619.5        185.5        433.2        182.8        3.39      1.02      2.37       27.3 
North Carolina...........................................       233.1         73.1        160.6         97.2        2.40      0.77      1.63       10.7 
North Dakota.............................................        25.5          6.4         19.2          6.2        4.13      1.03      3.11        1.0 
Ohio.....................................................       886.8        120.7        767.4        157.4        5.63      0.76      4.87       17.1 
Oklahoma.................................................        63.9         22.3         41.6         23.7        2.70      0.94      1.76        3.1 
Oregon...................................................       156.8         30.6        126.3         32.6        4.81      0.94      3.87        5.9 
Pennsylvania.............................................       895.7        139.3        763.9        109.9        8.15      1.23      6.92       17.5 
Puerto Rico..............................................       107.4          2.4        106.9         27.1        3.96      0.09      3.87        0.6 
Rhode Island.............................................        32.6         17.6         14.9          9.5        3.45      1.87      1.58        2.5 
South Carolina...........................................       102.9         28.6         74.8         36.2        2.84      0.77      2.07        4.0 
South Dakota.............................................        24.8          6.1         18.7          4.7        5.27      1.30      3.97        1.0 
Tennessee................................................       156.9         39.6        109.7         41.8        3.75      1.14      2.61        6.0 
Texas....................................................       448.5         89.4        359.9        149.2        3.01      0.59      2.41       12.8 
Utah.....................................................        63.4         20.9         42.5         32.3        1.96      0.65      1.32        2.8 
Vermont..................................................        21.2          8.3         13.1          7.9        2.69      1.05      1.64        1.5 
Virgin Islands...........................................         5.4          0.3          5.0          6.3        0.86      0.06      0.80        0.0 
Virginia.................................................       226.7         48.8        179.7         62.4        3.63      0.77      2.86        6.5 
Washington...............................................       375.3        109.8        265.5        112.1        3.35      0.98      2.37       16.0 
West Virginia............................................        72.8         14.7         59.1         22.5        3.24      0.62      2.62        1.9 
Wisconsin................................................       427.5         94.6        333.0         70.2        6.09      1.35      4.74        9.6 
Wyoming..................................................        17.3          5.3         11.4          9.9        1.76      0.47      1.28        0.8 
                                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      U.S. totals........................................   $10,752.4     $2,709.4     $8,078.1     $2,990.9        3.60      0.90      2.69     $400.4 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Totals may not add due of rounding.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                        
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                              


                   TABLE 9-12.--TOTAL CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-95                  
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               State                   1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...........................      6,854     66,174     80,952     98,141    113,273    127,908     141,212
Alaska............................      3,844     26,788     30,721     35,613     39,148     45,851      51,734
Arizona...........................      6,411     27,837     33,277     46,447     66,580     77,419      93,812
Arkansas..........................      3,921     26,010     32,783     42,065     49,147     55,215      63,875
California........................    199,945    522,646    591,243    653,681    736,855    811,493     857,282
Colorado..........................      4,020     39,601     46,997     58,030     67,723     80,288      91,870
Connecticut.......................     23,033     66,724     75,778     84,190     93,454     98,448     117,723
Delaware..........................      5,814     20,161     22,692     25,926     26,663     29,663      31,551
District of Columbia..............      1,086     13,598     16,578     19,733     21,798     24,079      26,040
Florida...........................     10,524    176,603    214,153    252,473    289,976    327,296     374,015
Georgia...........................      5,554    113,095    143,014    174,467    205,566    229,822     244,367
Guam..............................        160      1,440      3,162      4,697      5,003      7,079       6,037
Hawaii............................      5,150     27,638     30,096     34,404     37,327     45,107      48,751
Idaho.............................      2,501     22,909     23,442     27,846     32,127     36,942      40,747
Illinois..........................     10,740    136,019    150,134    183,308    183,889    202,191     219,340
Indiana...........................      9,073     96,145    110,117    124,614    141,164    151,626     174,450
Iowa..............................     13,017     70,982     80,693     96,046    109,278    122,705     136,138
Kansas............................      3,975     44,958     54,832     66,053     59,601     86,744      97,571
Kentucky..........................      4,881     59,998     73,928     93,902    103,587    121,427     130,640
Louisiana.........................     12,678     60,527     67,988     84,373    103,054    118,008     129,609
Maine.............................      4,574     35,741     36,554     38,005     44,963     51,184      57,361
Maryland..........................     20,856    151,352    163,626    194,009    219,085    244,645     265,344
Massachusetts.....................     36,338    176,915    169,545    185,086    195,374    203,986     223,560
Michigan..........................    248,414    644,734    697,634    782,804    874,483    898,372     859,629
Minnesota.........................     21,370    139,345    160,363    189,495    214,480    246,252     283,538
Mississippi.......................      1,662     30,532     40,277     48,289     53,505     62,379      68,205
Missouri..........................      5,829    129,851    141,372    166,339    189,161    214,362     238,700
Montana...........................      1,213      8,822     12,968     17,436     20,150     21,363      25,532
Nebraska..........................      2,468     52,378     57,055     66,177     71,708     81,082      90,055
Nevada............................      3,487     16,210     23,346     32,080     37,641     43,722      50,066
New Hampshire.....................      2,089     20,604     22,659     27,360     31,497     36,538      42,570
New Jersey........................     94,005    281,923    326,879    372,506    407,849    439,748     480,327
New Mexico........................      1,680     14,416     16,792     19,088     27,117     30,082      26,938
New York..........................    136,361    373,718    437,371    487,738    536,374    569,682     619,489
North Carolina....................      9,168    120,344    140,222    167,894    197,254    226,632     233,145
North Dakota......................      1,723     10,414     12,309     15,599     18,693     21,878      25,522
Ohio..............................     22,832    489,515    552,649    665,999    714,132    789,319     886,843
Oklahoma..........................      1,826     32,169     39,922     46,540     52,170     57,578      63,908
Oregon............................     88,502     78,374     91,252    107,435    124,929    142,227     156,829
Pennsylvania......................    186,718    614,222    699,676    775,782    814,480    861,653     895,720
Puerto Rico.......................      1,916     74,535     77,252     84,329     97,357     98,628     107,397
Rhode Island......................      3,575     20,044     21,609     24,880     26,671     29,900      32,634
South Carolina....................      3,545     52,320     58,857     68,798     79,280     90,628     102,912
South Dakota......................      1,407     11,024     13,119     15,881     18,112     21,357      24,838
Tennessee.........................      8,976     71,502     77,032     84,818    116,152    141,388     156,904
Texas.............................      8,207    132,318    192,797    251,157    309,502    367,171     448,463
Utah..............................      6,624     38,071     43,895     52,610     56,199     61,135      63,426
Vermont...........................      1,449      9,353     11,023     13,518     15,831     17,950      21,234
Virgin Islands....................        260      3,131      3,338      4,049      4,992      5,562       5,399
Virginia..........................      9,197    110,560    129,919    145,114    151,919    182,787     226,682
Washington........................     27,018    175,750    222,409    267,455    307,251    340,488     375,257
West Virginia.....................      1,592     21,658     23,527     35,561     49,016     54,402      72,796
Wisconsin.........................     34,267    241,272    276,712    293,460    332,814    380,584     427,487
Wyoming...........................        520      7,155      9,079     11,220     13,810     16,184      17,350
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nationwide total..............  1,332,847  6,010,125  6,885,619  7,964,522  8,909,166  9,850,159  10,752,824
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


                       TABLE 9-13.--TOTAL AFDC COLLECTIONS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-95                       
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               State                    1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama............................      6,830     19,484     22,788     23,001     22,539     21,148     21,115
Alaska.............................        334      8,160      9,940     11,145     11,722     13,645     16,138
Arizona............................        642      6,102      7,401     12,693     18,616     21,175     24,217
Arkansas...........................      2,428     11,799     13,800     15,766     16,249     15,662     16,831
California.........................    117,532    248,440    286,261    314,232    335,235    374,548    401,573
Colorado...........................      3,525     16,765     19,281     23,287     26,197     29,415     31,192
Connecticut........................     11,416     27,405     33,816     37,744     41,292     41,465     54,100
Delaware...........................      1,386      5,826      6,661      7,306      7,798      7,855      8,029
District of Columbia...............        907      4,118      4,407      4,927      5,197      5,614      5,923
Florida............................      8,598     48,364     57,071     69,765     78,081     80,368     85,244
Georgia............................      4,772     45,937     57,765     74,546     84,627     84,820     84,932
Guam...............................        159        520      1,635      2,524      2,344      1,948      1,723
Hawaii.............................      2,544      8,343      7,699      8,161      9,058      9,951     11,367
Idaho..............................      2,047      6,952      7,482      8,543      8,746     10,086     10,912
Illinois...........................      9,916     44,149     48,968     58,842     55,749     61,112     65,091
Indiana............................      8,116     38,124     45,030     49,247     52,040     51,945     50,962
Iowa...............................     10,654     28,552     30,585     35,401     36,775     40,105     41,007
Kansas.............................      3,454     15,209     17,454     20,869     22,402     24,732     27,567
Kentucky...........................      4,615     22,286     27,502     34,702     36,565     37,979     39,299
Louisiana..........................      5,244     20,861     23,089     25,975     26,827     26,714     28,133
Maine..............................      4,133     21,089     21,063     21,477     25,683     27,783     28,435
Maryland...........................     10,929     42,318     37,162     46,348     51,313     48,031     47,419
Massachusetts......................     29,145     68,968     66,969     71,784     77,292     76,899     77,085
Michigan...........................     76,375    145,251    153,690    168,317    169,581    176,100    167,673
Minnesota..........................     14,510     43,950     47,802     53,305     55,961     61,418     64,406
Mississippi........................      1,556     14,530     19,494     21,523     21,641     22,962     22,067
Missouri...........................      4,165     38,056     37,021     49,653     51,153     55,959     57,788
Montana............................        685      4,394      5,251      6,413      6,464      6,118      7,452
Nebraska...........................      2,083      6,990      7,431      9,195      9,797     10,158     11,337
Nevada.............................        517      3,311      4,465      6,807      7,021      7,271      7,643
New Hampshire......................      2,089      3,606      4,385      6,337      7,638      9,446     10,776
New Jersey.........................     28,622     61,473     76,644     83,509     84,020     86,357     88,932
New Mexico.........................      1,160      5,573      6,421      7,850     12,922     13,389      9,257
New York...........................     56,588    134,040    157,582    174,587    184,583    183,707    187,205
North Carolina.....................      7,714     46,176     54,712     64,004     70,304     76,808     75,209
North Dakota.......................      1,379      5,103      5,600      6,016      6,098      6,148      6,334
Ohio...............................     21,974     76,888     84,304    100,833    105,719    113,425    120,127
Oklahoma...........................      1,260     11,875     14,894     17,682     18,784     20,817     22,287
Oregon.............................     12,977     18,877     21,989     25,637     28,357     30,119     30,586
Pennsylvania.......................     33,190     96,328    113,735    123,784    124,490     26,932    134,995
Puerto Rico........................        439      1,707      1,600      1,428      1,344      1,445      2,418
Rhode Island.......................      3,438     10,168     10,550     13,486     14,954     16,539     17,704
South Carolina.....................      3,065     15,933     17,779     21,066     24,588     27,063     27,933
South Dakota.......................      1,137      3,717      4,213      4,888      5,056      5,645      6,129
Tennessee..........................      3,871     22,926     27,865     22,777     33,422     34,852     47,576
Texas..............................      6,370     39,659     47,255     59,165     66,199     75,830     88,507
Utah...............................      5,442     14,999     16,261     18,939     19,488     20,691     20,948
Vermont............................      1,201      5,578      6,380      6,649      7,638      7,424      8,312
Virgin Islands.....................        143        210        233        282        343        357        352
Virginia...........................      9,081     27,770     33,910     38,281     39,610     37,579     48,109
Washington.........................     18,319     65,291     77,402     91,083    100,337    104,063    109,763
West Virginia......................      1,430      4,085      6,859      9,500     16,867     12,377     13,846
Wisconsin..........................     26,044     59,303     61,179     63,813     65,439     81,437     94,558
Wyoming............................        379      2,584      3,226      3,749      4,345      4,288      4,665
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nationwide total...............    596,532  1,750,125  1,983,962  2,258,844  2,416,511  2,549,723  2,693,186
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


                     TABLE 9-14.--TOTAL NON-AFDC COLLECTIONS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-95                     
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                State                   1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.............................       $16    $46,691    $58,165    $75,140    $90,733   $106,760   $120,098
Alaska..............................     3,510     18,628     20,781     24,468     27,426     32,207     35,596
Arizona.............................     5,769     21,735     25,875     33,754     47,963     56,243     69,594
Arkansas............................     1,494     14,211     18,984     26,299     32,899     39,553     47,045
California..........................    82,412    274,205    304,982    339,449    401,620    436,945    455,708
Colorado............................       496     22,836     27,715     34,743     41,527     50,873     60,678
Connecticut.........................    11,617     39,319     41,960     46,445     52,161     56,983     63,623
Delaware............................     4,428     14,335     16,032     18,620     18,865     21,809     23,522
District of Columbia................       179      9,481     12,171     14,806     16,601     18,465     20,117
Florida.............................     1,926    128,239    157,081    182,707    211,896    246,928    288,770
Georgia.............................       783     67,158     85,249     99,921    120,939    145,002    159,435
Guam................................     (\1\)        920      1,527      2,172      2,659      5,131      4,314
Hawaii..............................     2,606     19,295     22,397     26,243     28,269     35,156     37,384
Idaho...............................       454     15,957     15,960     19,302     23,381     26,856     29,835
Illinois............................       823     91,870    101,167    124,467    128,140    141,079    154,249
Indiana.............................       957     58,021     65,087     75,368     89,125     99,680    123,488
Iowa................................     2,363     42,430     50,109     60,645     72,503     82,599     95,131
Kansas..............................       520     29,749     37,379     45,183     37,199     62,012     70,003
Kentucky............................       266     37,711     46,426     59,200     67,022     83,448     91,341
Louisiana...........................     7,434     39,665     44,898     58,398     76,227     91,293    101,476
Maine...............................       441     14,652     15,490     16,528     19,280     23,402     28,927
Maryland............................     9,927    109,034    126,464    147,660    167,771    196,614    217,925
Massachusetts.......................     7,193    107,948    102,576    113,302    118,082    127,087    146,475
Michigan............................   172,039    499,483    543,944    614,488    704,903    722,273    691,956
Minnesota...........................     6,861     95,395    112,561    136,190    158,519    184,834    219,131
Mississippi.........................       106     16,002     20,783     26,766     31,864     39,417     46,139
Missouri............................     1,664     91,795    104,351    116,686    138,008    158,403    180,912
Montana.............................       528      4,427      7,718     11,024     13,686     15,245     18,080
Nebraska............................       385     45,387     49,624     56,983     61,911     70,925     78,718
Nevada..............................     2,970     12,899     18,881     25,273     30,620     36,451     42,423
New Hampshire.......................         0     16,999     18,274     21,023     23,859     27,092     31,793
New Jersey..........................    65,383    220,450    250,235    288,997    323,829    353,390    391,395
New Mexico..........................       520      8,843     10,371     11,239     14,195     16,693     17,681
New York............................    79,773    239,678    279,289    313,151    351,791    385,974    432,284
North Carolina......................     1,454     74,167     85,510    103,890    126,951    149,824    157,936
North Dakota........................       344      5,312      6,708      9,583     12,595     15,730     19,188
Ohio................................       858    412,627    468,346    565,166    608,413    675,895    766,715
Oklahoma............................       566     20,293     25,028     28,858     33,386     36,760     41,621
Oregon..............................    75,525     59,497     69,263     81,798     96,572    112,108    126,244
Pennsylvania........................   153,528    517,893    517,893    651,998    689,990    734,721    760,725
Puerto Rico.........................     1,477     72,828     75,652     82,901     96,014     97,184    104,979
Rhode Island........................       137      9,876     11,059     11,394     11,717     13,361     14,931
South Carolina......................       480     36,387     41,078     47,732     54,692     63,565     74,978
South Dakota........................       270      7,307      8,906     10,993     13,056     15,711     18,709
Tennessee...........................     5,105     48,575     49,167     62,041     82,730    106,536    109,328
Texas...............................     1,837     92,659    145,543    191,993    243,303    291,341    359,956
Utah................................     1,183     23,073     27,634     33,671     36,712     40,445     42,478
Vermont.............................       249      3,775      4,643      6,869      8,193     10,526     12,922
Virgin Islands......................       116      2,920      3,105      3,767      4,649      5,205      5,047
Virginia............................       116     82,789     96,008    106,833    112,309    145,207    178,572
Washington..........................     8,699    110,459    145,006    176,372    206,914    236,425    265,495
West Virginia.......................       162     17,574     16,668     26,061     32,149     42,025     58,951
Wisconsin...........................     8,224    181,969    215,533    229,647    267,374    299,147    332,929
Wyoming.............................       141      4,571      5,853      7,471      9,465     11,896     12,685
                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Nationwide total..............   736,315  4,260,000  4,901,657  5,705,678  6,492,655  7,300,436  8,059,637
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $500.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


                  TABLE 9-15.--AVERAGE NUMBER OF AFDC CHILD SUPPORT CASES IN WHICH A COLLECTION WAS MADE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-95                 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            State                               1978      1985      1987      1989      1990      1991      1992      1993       1995   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.....................................................     7,966     9,133    11,572    12,316    10,860     8,347     9,209     9,077       7,679
Alaska......................................................       246     1,120     1,038     1,213     1,387     1,718     1,949     2,168       2,415
Arizona.....................................................       819     1,851     1,470     2,545     3,128     1,930     2,822     3,343       7,384
Arkansas....................................................     2,509     5,207     5,506     6,278     6,372     7,071     8,188     8,301       6,773
California..................................................    92,325   103,742    74,081    84,367    89,304   104,903   116,118   123,776     173,547
Colorado....................................................     3,177     5,687     4,092     4,771     4,437     4,581     5,126     5,210       4,418
Connecticut.................................................     8,002    15,565    13,337     7,470     6,578     7,128     8,445     9,437      10,792
Delaware....................................................     1,156     2,891     2,858     2,111     2,223     2,495     2,663     2,913       2,880
District of Columbia........................................       708     1,925     2,138     2,553     1,758     1,940     2,281     2,437       2,534
Florida.....................................................     7,376    16,468    30,114    34,883    38,500    40,687    40,135    44,727      49,284
Georgia.....................................................     6,350     6,657    10,710    14,833    19,310    23,280    24,729    26,676      28,639
Guam........................................................     (\1\)       206       197       182       339       573       616       683         646
Hawaii......................................................     1,757     4,622     3,175     3,831     2,658     2,773     4,651     4,551       2,920
Idaho.......................................................     1,346     4,343     1,245     1,522     1,752     1,992     2,356     2,719       3,130
Illinois....................................................     9,624    18,299    14,352    14,986    16,968    23,511    23,639    26,028      28,430
Indiana.....................................................     9,488    22,058    16,188    17,716    20,444    26,344    30,823    31,159     111,078
Iowa........................................................     8,396    11,871     7,015     7,241     7,289     7,153     7,681     7,365       7,057
Kansas......................................................     2,859     4,769     3,798     3,565     4,595     5,268     6,120     6,857       7,515
Kentucky....................................................     3,083     6,729     6,853     8,699    10,741    12,513    13,516    15,217      12,679
Louisiana...................................................     5,204     7,836     9,916    11,582    11,842    12,198    12,510    12,164      11,887
Maine.......................................................     2,368     7,178     4,734     5,200     5,515     5,767     5,287     7,013       8,793
Maryland....................................................    14,002    15,861     9,073     5,250     9,237    18,330    19,366    18,684      18,119
Massachusetts...............................................    17,782    25,350    17,211    16,610    16,029    16,106    17,961    18,378      22,245
Michigan....................................................    61,985    59,049    58,364    47,388    51,747    46,647    45,112    45,211      39,332
Minnesota...................................................     9,818    14,872    12,442    13,822    14,192    12,658    14,563    16,440      17,170
Mississippi.................................................     1,846     3,742     4,544     6,410     7,237     8,808     9,604    10,157       9,970
Missouri....................................................     (\2\)     7,716     6,483     9,894    11,178    11,241    13,430    14,135      13,096
Montana.....................................................       748     1,600       849     1,086     1,140     1,298     1,551     1,816       2,169
Nebraska....................................................     1,509     2,362     2,555     2,666     2,811     3,255     4,802     4,811       5,538
Nevada......................................................       494     2,370     1,645     1,917     2,269     2,404     3,096     3,506       3,518
New Hampshire...............................................     1,530     1,021       981       988     1,091     1,454     2,240     2,703       3,328
New Jersey..................................................    16,243    27,686    25,182    18,415    17,591    19,728    24,376    26,241      26,899
New Mexico..................................................     1,429     2,034     2,175     3,147     3,766     4,383     3,865     4,385       6,613
New York....................................................    36,287    48,979    30,993    36,695    40,219    46,382    51,290    51,407      51,943
North Carolina..............................................    11,232    14,216    17,089    19,157    20,381    24,699    28,028    29,649      28,027
North Dakota................................................       759     1,656     1,130     1,338     1,647     1,665     1,597     1,579         943
Ohio........................................................    24,419    32,582    35,273    40,308    35,973    34,446    38,445    39,857      47,323
Oklahoma....................................................     1,101     3,543     1,468     6,605     7,787     3,895     4,794     5,294       5,671
Oregon......................................................     6,761     6,687     5,935     5,829     6,437     7,437     8,321     9,495       9,390
Pennsylvania................................................    15,172    42,088    49,100    45,772    47,039    52,269    59,514    61,998      58,646
Puerto Rico.................................................       413     3,736     3,588     3,991     3,696     3,103     3,026     2,811       3,454
Rhode Island................................................     2,419     3,233     3,092     4,141     4,295     3,100     3,346     4,070       4,830
South Carolina..............................................     3,343     5,785    10,495    13,954    14,614    15,349    16,764    19,026      20,964
South Dakota................................................     1,087     1,532     1,887     1,744     1,234     1,262     1,526     1,642       1,809
Tennessee...................................................     4,705     8,336     9,430    13,114    16,659    11,625    12,179    11,391      10,344
Texas.......................................................     5,446     5,652     9,167    13,509    15,447    18,229    20,387    23,075      26,570
Utah........................................................     3,784     5,209     3,627     3,652     3,333     3,669     3,973     4,033       3,979
Vermont.....................................................       953     2,329     1,984     2,462     2,596     2,826     3,556     4,114       2,594
Virgin Islands..............................................       232       199       220       184       133       135       165       193         214
Virginia....................................................     4,729    13,054    10,813    11,854    14,138    16,761    18,679    19,399      45,576
Washington..................................................    14,860    15,895    18,110    22,921    27,063    23,263    28,618    27,020      29,026
West Virginia...............................................     1,430     2,331     2,107     2,426     2,484     2,622     3,347     4,108       6,185
Wisconsin...................................................    16,868    44,799    26,847    31,438    30,143    30,426    32,693    31,984      32,140
Wyoming.....................................................       294       453       738     1,034     1,197     1,681     2,094     2,146       2,058
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.................................................   458,439   684,114   608,986   657,585   700,803   755,328   831,172   872,579   1,050,163
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data not reported for this item or insufficient data reported to perform indicated computation.                                                     
\2\ Less than $500.                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                              


          TABLE 9-16.--AVERAGE NUMBER OF NON-AFDC CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT CASES IN WHICH A COLLECTION WAS MADE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-95         
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       State                          1978      1985      1987       1989        1990        1991        1992        1993        1995   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...........................................       110     5,023    11,583      16,602      19,971      28,512      33,741      39,586      47,785
Alaska............................................     2,309     3,205     3,184       3,637       3,947       4,211       4,598       4,997       5,891
Arizona...........................................     (\1\)     4,770     4,668       6,740       7,333       9,144      11,107      10,283      21,881
Arkansas..........................................       764     3,613     5,074       7,241       8,473      11,232      15,088      18,449      23,243
California........................................    69,696    64,686    77,448      91,029      96,101     101,913      97,597     104,864     155,144
Colorado..........................................     1,017     3,976     4,537       6,054       7,281       9,008      10,492      11,360      14,524
Connecticut.......................................     (\1\)     9,392     9,884      10,606      11,289      13,289      14,441      15,721      17,950
Delaware..........................................     3,210     4,395     5,073       6,380       6,770       8,058       8,303       9,191      11,575
District of Columbia..............................        93     1,007     1,264       2,653       4,252       4,964       5,704       6,278       6,904
Florida...........................................     1,200     7,593    25,573      50,995      56,329      66,748      67,948      77,734      96,394
Georgia...........................................     1,207     5,487    14,883      24,992      30,217      34,545      35,419      40,698      50,178
Guam..............................................     (\1\)        65       114         207         378         495         616         803       1,582
Hawaii............................................     (\1\)       352     2,804       6,682       8,103      10,398      15,305      16,299      10,237
Idaho.............................................       455     1,047     2,529       5,540       6,493       7,403       8,689       9,889      11,522
Illinois..........................................       196    10,030    14,479      21,781      26,184      36,363      36,246      40,744      48,174
Indiana...........................................       450     2,881    12,759      17,990      25,586      27,111      34,855      36,865      39,155
Iowa..............................................       671     4,913     3,441      10,807      12,400      14,103      16,352      19,266      24,161
Kansas............................................       210       758     5,260       9,308      11,520      13,855      16,003      18,846      24,991
Kentucky..........................................       255     3,647    15,549      13,686      17,473      20,489      23,531      28,950      35,072
Louisiana.........................................     6,866    10,636    11,695      14,883      16,739      20,001      24,194      28,146      37,396
Maine.............................................       638     1,496     3,862       5,774       6,425       6,510       5,479       7,630      11,793
Maryland..........................................       130    26,154    12,685      15,969      27,339      49,380      52,024      54,989      61,259
Massachusetts.....................................     (\1\)         0    26,549      27,950      22,921      14,264      24,605      25,899      33,533
Michigan..........................................     (\1\)    88,675   126,187     120,969     115,081     129,461     133,652     141,489     151,518
Minnesota.........................................     2,766    12,615    16,137      23,502      26,712      27,174      35,791      43,272      56,720
Mississippi.......................................        81     1,319     4,348       6,937       7,917      10,077      12,997      16,007      24,355
Missouri..........................................     (\1\)     5,362    14,676      22,802      26,994      32,317      38,492      41,022      47,438
Montana...........................................       444       344       800       1,012       1,448       2,208       2,748       3,750       6,148
Nebraska..........................................       176     7,874    10,540      13,464      14,748      14,883      15,185      17,771      18,399
Nevada............................................     4,026     5,360     3,212       4,085       4,451       5,327       6,676       7,819       9,387
New Hampshire.....................................     (\1\)     4,939     5,474       5,809       5,260       5,875       7,077       7,870      10,079
New Jersey........................................    20,000    45,868    51,706      65,947      66,885      68,753      78,789      84,267      89,409
New Mexico........................................       286     2,249     2,462       4,490       5,360       5,758       5,947       5,849       8,095
New York..........................................    39,623    63,829    67,460      78,638      83,651      94,031     103,924     108,419     152,556
North Carolina....................................     1,715    10,137    15,323      22,584      27,632      31,810      37,172      43,884      59,956
North Dakota......................................       154       266       865       1,427       1,911       2,357       3,320       4,026       4,245
Ohio..............................................     1,430    10,853    39,114     100,069     101,553     107,806     135,535     149,104     191,748
Oklahoma..........................................     (\1\)     1,968     4,867       8,635      10,509       8,558       8,479      10,707      13,730
Oregon............................................    17,957    19,331    20,620      23,747      25,657      19,754      21,810      25,063      31,968
Pennsylvania......................................    49,621   108,498   123,248     140,750     147,885     171,525     182,098     190,671     195,144
Puerto Rico.......................................       710    26,873    30,490      35,346      35,295      36,731      33,075      41,130      45,963
Rhode Island......................................        57     1,969     2,750       3,559       3,705       3,017       3,060       3,291       4,271
South Carolina....................................       203     2,777     3,165       4,671       4,896      10,393      25,764      27,771      34,471
South Dakota......................................       297       502     2,175       3,154       2,739       3,262       3,881       4,607       6,339
Tennessee.........................................     6,360    12,156    14,957      21,649      28,174      31,554      35,358      40,003      53,498
Texas.............................................     2,861     8,833    15,079      26,643      37,741      51,039      65,152      79,037     111,451
Utah..............................................       400     1,068     4,008       5,437       6,738       8,605       9,704      10,573      13,446
Vermont...........................................       181       393       967       1,459       1,659       1,870       2,433       3,154       3,380
Virgin Islands....................................         1     1,288     1,252       1,499       1,247       1,301       1,348       1,538       1,655
Virginia..........................................        38       876    19,273      26,638      31,492      34,242      38,267      46,760      88,500
Washington........................................     4,822     9,802    13,656      24,331      34,791      46,930      55,788      64,929      74,479
West Virginia.....................................       130       288     1,953       5,246       8,045       7,555       9,513      11,971      22,022
Wisconsin.........................................     4,685    20,288    41,953      63,554      56,769      65,718      70,780      88,601     111,438
Wyoming...........................................        89        77       563       1,669       2,352       2,853       3,275       1,738       3,564
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.......................................   248,590   653,803   934,177   1,247,228   1,362,821   1,554,740   1,749,427   1,953,580   2,404,716
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data not reported for this item or insufficient data reported to perform indicated computation.                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                             


  TABLE 9-17.--SUPPORT ORDERS ESTABLISHED, ENFORCED, AND MODIFIED TO INCLUDE HEALTH INSURANCE, FISCAL YEAR 1995 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Total        Total      Percent    Total number      Total number      Percent 
                               number of   number with     with       of orders        enforced or        with  
            State                orders       health      health     enforced or      modified with      health 
                              established   insurance   insurance     modified      health insurance   insurance
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.....................       12,701        2,458      19.35         377,831               5,083       1.35
Alaska......................        4,958        4,940      99.64           4,153               3,909      94.12
Arizona.....................        9,576        9,151      95.56         220,023              20,613       9.37
Arkansas....................        9,128        5,469      59.91           7,332               4,471      60.98
California..................      155,222      116,747      75.21         743,873             523,254      70.34
Colorado....................        8,660        7,059      81.51          46,283              19,336      41.78
Connecticut.................       24,693       13,417      54.34         110,604              51,036      46.14
Delaware....................        3,644          149       4.09           7,481                 224       2.99
District of Columbia........        1,326           32       2.41           6,349                  NA       0.00
Florida.....................       13,982            0       0.00          55,702                  NA       0.00
Georgia.....................       23,795       23,795     100.00         426,767               9,904       2.32
Guam........................          673          370      54.98             763                 438      57.40
Hawaii......................        3,981        3,981     100.00          90,219              90,219     100.00
Idaho.......................        3,607        3,607     100.00          81,728               7,353       9.00
Illinois....................       25,428        7,448      29.29           8,600               2,200      25.58
Indiana.....................       28,097            0       0.00              NA                  NA       0.00
Iowa........................        9,983        8,628      86.43         150,623              74,317      49.34
Kansas......................       17,684       15,092      85.34         150,821              38,076      25.25
Kentucky....................       29,874        1,830       6.13          36,572               1,401       3.83
Louisiana...................       12,865       12,294      95.56         122,925              83,725      68.11
Maine.......................        3,166        2,055      64.91          13,707               1,454      10.61
Maryland....................       16,856       12,832      76.13         100,657              10,480      10.41
Massachusetts...............       15,317       10,839      70.76           6,308               1,776      28.15
Michigan....................       32,354       30,466      94.16         985,731              55,768       5.66
Minnesota...................       19,369       11,232      57.99          47,802              36,972      77.34
Mississippi.................        8,885            0       0.00          11,761                  NA       0.00
Missouri....................       27,142       19,806      72.97          96,087              53,168      55.33
Montana.....................        3,662        2,607      71.19          28,889               1,074       3.72
Nebraska....................        5,540        3,035      54.78          34,198                 856       2.50
Nevada......................        5,299        4,203      79.32          36,473               1,296       3.55
New Hampshire...............        3,790        2,168      57.20          44,831               5,068      11.30
New Jersey..................       23,507       14,451      61.48          21,323               9,389      44.03
New Mexico..................        6,403        4,408      68.84           1,830               1,116      60.98
New York....................       31,609       12,643      40.00          34,866              13,944      39.99
North Carolina..............       34,165       23,058      67.49         209,083               3,122       1.49
North Dakota................        1,456        1,381      94.85           3,960                 140       3.54
Ohio........................       57,613       26,297      45.64         385,379             109,123      28.32
Oklahoma....................        8,851        5,963      67.37           7,883               1,487      18.86
Oregon......................       13,577       11,568      85.20          56,486              21,091      37.34
Pennsylvania................      122,320       79,901      65.32         397,556             228,673      57.52
Puerto Rico.................       11,598           69       0.59          48,491                  58       0.12
Rhode Island................        3,504        2,344      66.89          12,227               6,533      53.43
South Carolina..............        9,825        6,074      61.82          26,911              13,458      50.01
South Dakota................        3,185        2,801      87.94          13,805              11,864      85.94
Tennessee...................       11,798        7,178      60.84          33,364              11,014      33.01
Texas.......................       38,588       38,588     100.00          98,109              26,526      27.04
Utah........................        8,073        6,449      79.88         239,603             166,567      69.52
Vermont.....................        1,490        1,065      71.48           3,493               2,223      63.64
Virgin Islands..............          486          154      31.69           1,461                 264      18.07
Virginia....................       32,471       18,481      56.92         101,306              14,917      14.72
Washington..................       32,253       22,772      70.60         483,465             328,594      67.97
West Virginia...............        7,759        3,580      46.14         230,701              25,462      11.04
Wisconsin...................       36,871        8,465      22.96          72,531              38,684      53.33
Wyoming.....................       11,811        4,395      37.21           4,430                 701      15.82
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      U.S. total............    1,050,470      637,795      60.72       6,543,366           2,138,421      32.68
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


                   TABLE 9-18.--PERCENTAGE OF AFDC PAYMENTS RECOVERED THROUGH CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-95                  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        State                             1979       1985       1987       1989       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..............................................        8.5       23.2       30.8       31.7       33.7       27.0       23.8       23.1       25.6
Alaska...............................................        1.5        8.3       12.6       13.7       14.6       12.7       11.9       13.6       16.2
Arizona..............................................        2.0        5.1        3.8        4.4        4.2        5.4        7.1        8.2        9.8
Arkansas.............................................        4.8       17.6       21.0       20.7       23.6       26.5       28.0       28.0       32.5
California...........................................        6.5        6.1        6.0        5.9        6.3        6.5        7.1        7.8        8.3
Colorado.............................................        4.8        9.5       11.4       12.3       13.0       15.0       16.7       19.5       22.7
Connecticut..........................................        6.5       12.2       12.7        9.5       10.2       10.5       11.2       11.0       15.0
Delaware.............................................        4.4       17.3       21.2       20.3       20.6       19.7       19.8       20.2       22.1
District of Columbia.................................        1.0        3.8        4.7        4.9        4.5        4.7        4.6        4.4        4.7
Florida..............................................        5.5       11.5       11.9       11.6       11.1        9.9        9.6       10.2       11.3
Georgia..............................................        4.3       10.4       12.4       14.3       15.4       18.2       20.1       20.3       20.9
Guam.................................................        5.3        9.1       11.9       10.8       32.7       34.6       28.7       18.6       14.5
Hawaii...............................................        2.9        8.9        7.3        8.8        7.4        6.9        6.7        6.6        7.2
Idaho................................................        8.9       25.0       33.2       35.7       34.7       36.5       35.3       36.3       35.1
Illinois.............................................        1.5        4.8        5.0        5.6        5.7        7.0        6.6        7.1        7.8
Indiana..............................................        7.2       21.5       23.0       22.4       23.8       24.0       24.5       24.2       26.8
Iowa.................................................        9.0       19.3       19.2       20.1       20.6       23.2       24.3       26.3       30.4
Kansas...............................................        5.0       14.1       13.4       15.9       17.8       19.4       19.7       21.8       25.9
Kentucky.............................................        3.8        8.5       12.0       12.4       15.0       18.8       20.0       21.0       22.9
Louisiana............................................        5.2        9.1       10.5       11.1       12.4       14.2       15.3       16.1       18.7
Maine................................................        7.3       20.6       26.1       22.9       21.5       18.8       24.5       28.3       30.4
Maryland.............................................        6.1       11.2       13.0       14.5       11.4       14.2       16.9       15.8       15.3
Massachusetts........................................        6.6       10.7       12.0       11.8       10.4       10.5       11.4       11.6       12.8
Michigan.............................................        9.0       12.5       13.0       13.9       15.1       15.7       16.6       17.7       18.7
Minnesota............................................        7.8       12.7       14.2       14.4       14.6       16.3       17.3       19.2       23.0
Mississippi..........................................        2.9        9.4       13.7       16.8       22.3       24.2       24.9       28.0       29.3
Missouri.............................................        2.8       12.0       15.0       17.8       15.6       19.0       18.9       20.1       21.0
Montana..............................................        4.4        8.6        9.9       11.1       12.9       16.0       15.0       14.2       17.3
Nebraska.............................................        5.4       11.5       12.9       13.0       13.2       16.0       16.9       18.1       21.4
Nevada...............................................        6.3       16.4       12.4       12.2       14.1       17.1       16.6       15.7       15.3
New Hampshire........................................        9.4       15.2       12.4       11.3       10.1       12.3       14.4       16.0       19.4
New Jersey...........................................        5.9       12.5       14.4       14.0       16.4       16.5       16.4       16.9       18.3
New Mexico...........................................        3.4        7.4        9.4        9.2        7.8        8.0       11.6        9.7        6.0
New York.............................................        3.5        5.0        5.6        6.4        6.7        7.2        7.0        6.7        6.9
North Carolina.......................................        5.6       17.4       18.9       18.8       18.4       19.6       20.5       22.4       23.1
North Dakota.........................................        9.6       16.8       17.4       21.0       23.4       24.0       24.1       25.4       28.9
Ohio.................................................        4.8       10.1        9.9       10.0       10.3       11.7       12.2       13.4       15.5
Oklahoma.............................................        1.6        6.4        8.0        9.0        9.9       10.7       11.1       12.8       14.9
Oregon...............................................        9.0       13.0       13.0       13.5       13.5       12.5       13.4       14.3       15.0
Pennsylvania.........................................        4.6       11.0       13.2       12.6       13.7       14.0       13.7       13.6       14.5
Puerto Rico..........................................        0.7        2.7        2.3        2.4        2.1        1.8        1.7        1.9        3.5
Rhode Island.........................................        6.1        7.6        8.9       10.4        9.2       10.8       11.6       12.6       13.9
South Carolina.......................................        5.4       13.1       15.9       16.8       16.8       17.9       21.1       23.6       26.1
South Dakota.........................................        6.5       14.4       17.9       17.1       18.1       18.8       19.5       23.2       27.4
Tennessee............................................        5.0       10.3       14.1       13.7       14.3       11.2       15.7       15.9       23.3
Texas................................................        5.4        6.2        9.4        9.5       10.2       11.8       12.9       14.5       17.6
Utah.................................................       13.7       19.6       22.1       23.4       23.2       25.6       26.2       28.3       29.7
Vermont..............................................        4.1       11.1       13.4       12.7       13.0       12.7       14.7       14.6       17.7
Virgin Islands.......................................        8.5        8.3        7.9        7.3        7.1        8.5       10.2       10.6        8.7
Virginia.............................................        6.3        9.0       13.5       15.7       17.2       17.3       17.3       16.2       21.8
Washington...........................................       12.5       10.9       14.4       17.1       18.1       20.0       20.8       21.1       22.4
West Virginia........................................        2.6        7.8        6.1        5.1        8.1       10.6       18.2       13.8       15.1
Wisconsin............................................        9.5       12.4       15.4       15.5       15.7       16.2       17.0       21.6       27.3
Wyoming..............................................        5.6        8.2       10.0       13.5       13.3       14.3       17.0       20.7       25.1
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total..........................................        5.8        9.1       10.0       10.3       10.7       11.4       12.0       12.5       13.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Payments to AFDC Unemployed Parent (UP) families have been excluded from the maintenance assistance payments totals in those States having AFDC- 
  UP programs.                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                        
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                              


             TABLE 9-19.--FEDERAL INCOME TAX REFUND OFFSET PROGRAM COLLECTIONS, FISCAL YEARS 1983-95            
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                 1983      1987      1989      1990      1991      1992      1993      1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.........................     1,555     5,135     7,450     8,009     8,827    20,586    17,321    18,688
Alaska..........................       212       891       995     1,208     1,387     1,711     1,357     2,156
Arizona.........................       385     2,049     2,592     2,605     2,876     4,007     8,049     7,538
Arkansas........................     1,104     3,770     4,490     4,669     5,575     7,106     6,631     7,515
California......................    35,034    46,287    50,472    57,624    57,098    67,569    60,173    86,508
Colorado........................     3,016     3,020     4,947     5,604     6,179     7,614     7,430     9,283
Connecticut.....................     4,455     6,140    12,132     9,907     9,250    10,190     8,863    10,823
Delaware........................       166     1,319     1,812     1,966     2,467     2,683     2,223     2,626
District of Columbia............       567       779     1,202     1,942     1,606     1,788     1,646     1,992
Florida.........................     1,980     7,318    21,294    21,038    24,880    31,569    29,354    38,045
Georgia.........................     1,526     7,258    11,566    13,032    15,693    22,016    21,778    30,103
Guam............................        13        44        26        13        11        51        42        70
Hawaii..........................       817     1,122     1,511     1,573     1,976     2,328     3,496     3,589
Idaho...........................     1,183     1,594     1,959     2,173     2,270     2,690     2,473     3,205
Illinois........................     4,525    15,415    13,887    19,307    18,876    26,631    19,924    28,836
Indiana.........................     4,940    11,390    15,642    15,860    16,853    21,169    18,882    23,429
Iowa............................     5,526     7,798     8,990     8,828     9,439    11,240     9,941    13,055
Kansas..........................     2,525     3,704     4,947     5,300     6,101     7,525     6,782     9,196
Kentucky........................     1,165     3,262     6,812     6,680     7,891    12,919    11,390    14,121
Louisiana.......................     1,536     4,722     5,797     6,582     6,519     8,438     9,182    13,934
Maine...........................     1,844     3,377     4,866     5,383     4,925     5,477     4,611     6,103
Maryland........................     5,688     9,646    17,039    14,343    14,182    15,542    14,867    17,936
Massachusetts...................     3,325     5,269    10,101    11,899    10,936    13,077    10,841     9,997
Michigan........................    18,250    25,893    30,246    29,854    32,776    44,968    42,748    49,346
Minnesota.......................     5,576     6,762     7,936     8,096     8,831     9,904     8,734    10,575
Mississippi.....................     1,019     2,252     4,147     4,958     6,392     8,270     8,389    10,765
Missouri........................     4,289     8,482    12,438    14,205    10,189    17,711    15,498    19,546
Montana.........................       431     1,209     1,366     1,301     1,374     1,636     1,597     1,794
Nebraska........................       502     1,395     2,598     2,485     2,548     3,121     3,068     3,671
Nevada..........................       354       433       630       768     1,363     2,449     2,184     3,127
New Hampshire...................       757     1,284     1,137     1,177     1,350     2,028     1,906     2,869
New Jersey......................     9,458    14,268    16,201    16,171    18,266    20,132    17,253    21,309
New Mexico......................       533     2,278     2,279     2,585     2,863     3,259     2,905     3,907
New York........................     9,945    27,991    23,472    24,763    31,307    33,734    29,445    35,960
North Carolina..................     4,235     7,229    11,359    11,270    12,718    16,410    16,971    21,154
North Dakota....................       352       848       773     1,302     1,501     1,767     1,586     2,303
Ohio............................     2,886    11,186    14,346    16,514    21,027    27,476    27,305    46,843
Oklahoma........................       703     2,218     4,197     4,647     5,803     7,575     6,752     9,148
Oregon..........................     3,782     4,863     5,113     5,381     5,622     6,259     5,364     7,997
Pennsylvania....................     6,112    17,123    21,332    24,354    27,946    32,560    27,636    36,956
Puerto Rico.....................         2        13        47         6        63       231       208       287
Rhode Island....................       838       880     1,401     1,548     1,522     1,799     1,359     1,857
South Carolina..................       368     1,789     2,788     3,233     3,449     4,678     5,091     6,296
South Dakota....................       374       998     1,465     1,498     1,648     2,110     1,925     2,465
Tennessee.......................       642     3,025     7,110     7,539     8,341    16,033    12,126    16,865
Texas...........................     3,906    11,316    17,934    19,926    24,133    34,346    35,816    54,142
Utah............................     2,540     2,991     3,730     4,066     4,297     5,604     5,184     6,270
Vermont.........................       611       887     1,154     1,017     1,074     1,294     1,031     1,633
Virgin Islands..................  ........        37        34         7        25        44        62        81
Virginia........................     1,674     6,840     8,913     9,761    10,298    12,594    12,108    16,898
Washington......................     4,278    10,510    12,537    13,732    13,957    17,417    16,447    19,506
West Virginia...................     1,038     2,013     2,944     3,066     3,265     3,705     3,378     7,221
Wisconsin.......................     6,266    10,029    12,902    13,290    14,384    17,486    17,117    22,800
Wyoming.........................       222       503       534       684     1,131     1,190       888     1,977
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Nationwide total..........   175,021   338,853   443,594   474,748   515,279   661,711   609,336   803,952
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


               TABLE 9-20.--TOTAL CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS PER DOLLAR OF TOTAL ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURES, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-95              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Fiscal year                                      
                             State                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  1978     1986     1987     1988     1989     1990     1991     1992     1993     1995 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.......................................................      .75     2.45     2.69     2.50     2.46     2.78     2.68     3.11     3.27     2.24
Alaska........................................................     3.19     2.61     3.05     3.46     4.06     4.14     3.64     3.92     3.71     2.93
Arizona.......................................................      .88     1.46     2.21     2.11     1.84     1.49     1.54     1.57     1.79     1.48
Arkansas......................................................     1.00     2.62     2.94     2.94     3.38     2.80     3.00     3.15     3.20     2.75
California....................................................     2.15     2.37     2.52     2.75     2.66     2.59     2.63     2.59     2.54     2.17
Colorado......................................................     1.78     1.89     1.90     1.99     2.21     2.82     3.22     2.70     2.47     2.54
Connecticut...................................................     4.20     3.49     2.91     2.73     2.76     2.46     2.73     2.97     3.19     2.88
Delaware......................................................     7.14     2.46     3.07     2.62     3.01     3.13     2.87     2.88     2.39     2.04
District of Columbia..........................................      .73      .92      .97     1.21     1.33     1.78     1.88     2.33     2.51     2.03
Florida.......................................................     1.20     2.12     1.98     2.28     2.58     2.66     2.86     3.03     3.78     3.53
Georgia.......................................................     2.22     2.59     3.16     2.88     3.06     3.06     3.61     4.26     4.47     3.50
Guam..........................................................  .......     1.39     1.53     1.62     1.28     1.24     1.98     1.87     1.89     1.33
Hawaii........................................................     1.71     2.26     3.10     3.62     3.62     3.64     4.06     3.94     3.79     2.36
Idaho.........................................................     2.10     3.58     4.06     3.79     3.95     4.02     3.21     3.62     3.43     2.39
Illinois......................................................     2.10     2.40     2.51     2.68     2.77     2.61     2.63     2.90     2.36     2.23
Indiana.......................................................     2.42     4.82     5.22     5.49     5.34     6.15     7.27     6.56     6.45     5.18
Iowa..........................................................     3.49     6.77     6.12     6.36     5.66     4.99     5.02     5.79     5.14     4.72
Kansas........................................................     3.01     2.15     2.58     2.51     2.00     2.76     3.43     3.73     2.57     1.69
Kentucky......................................................     1.14     2.52     2.59     2.44     2.63     2.55     2.33     2.97     3.05     3.21
Louisiana.....................................................     1.82     1.99     2.28     2.60     2.85     3.12     2.51     2.74     3.19     3.37
Maine.........................................................     3.40     3.74     3.75     4.01     4.14     3.82     3.06     2.84     3.39     4.28
Maryland......................................................     2.14     3.77     3.02     3.31     3.36     3.80     3.80     4.49     4.56     4.07
Massachusetts.................................................     5.12     3.50     3.46     4.09     3.24     3.80     3.41     4.18     4.30     3.54
Michigan......................................................     9.50     8.33     9.52     8.80     8.58     7.83     8.07     8.20     8.43     7.20
Minnesota.....................................................     2.15     3.02     3.51     3.59     3.65     3.58     3.74     4.27     4.20     3.96
Mississippi...................................................      .87     2.29     3.36     3.06     2.23     1.56     1.76     2.22     2.20     2.16
Missouri......................................................      .89     3.89     4.55     4.22     4.45     4.71     4.75     4.88     4.30     3.41
Montana.......................................................     1.58     2.59     3.16     2.97     4.21     2.74     2.78     2.38     2.76     2.87
Nebraska......................................................     2.10     5.44     5.20     5.02     4.69     4.48     3.83     3.54     4.17     3.44
Nevada........................................................     1.83     2.10     2.30     1.95     2.22     2.12     2.52     3.06     2.39     2.08
New Hampshire.................................................     4.05     4.39     5.33     4.93     3.18     3.71     2.86     3.26     2.87     2.50
New Jersey....................................................     4.16     4.64     4.47     4.12     3.85     3.66     3.49     4.02     4.02     6.13
New Mexico....................................................     1.17     2.27     1.99     1.76     1.96     2.00     2.00     2.30     3.08     1.54
New York......................................................     1.75     1.83     1.98     2.36     2.74     2.55     2.81     3.22     3.10     3.39
North Carolina................................................     1.50     3.26     3.83     3.32     3.20     3.18     3.15     3.20     3.20     2.40
North Dakota..................................................     1.83     2.46     2.65     3.14     3.31     3.62     3.59     3.93     4.05     4.13
Ohio..........................................................     2.50     4.41     5.65    10.83     6.07     7.21     6.01     5.35     5.48     5.63
Oklahoma......................................................      .76     1.78     2.22     2.48     2.28     2.29     2.41     2.69     3.13     2.70
Oregon........................................................     9.48     4.47     4.03     4.27     4.45     4.49     4.48     5.10     4.95     4.81
Pennsylvania..................................................     9.14     7.78     7.56     8.52     8.97     8.71     8.03     9.27     9.09     8.15
Puerto Rico...................................................      .92    14.02    18.93    17.60    13.61     7.84    15.68    10.43    11.73     3.96
Rhode Island..................................................     3.51     3.90     3.31     3.65     3.67     2.52     2.22     2.31     4.35     3.45
South Carolina................................................     2.38     2.37     3.01     3.23     3.01     2.60     3.01     3.59     3.88     2.84
South Dakota..................................................      .99     2.74     2.96     3.50     3.99     3.96     4.43     4.82     4.90     5.27
Tennessee.....................................................     2.49     3.31     3.07     4.09     3.57     4.28     4.27     3.87     5.42     3.75
Texas.........................................................      .74     2.01     2.60     2.81     2.41     1.93     2.50     2.53     2.31     3.01
Utah..........................................................     1.99     2.21     2.39     2.86     2.92     3.09     2.80     3.08     2.86     1.96
Vermont.......................................................     2.24     2.34     2.95     3.31     2.93     3.61     3.77     2.82     3.06     2.69
Virgin Islands................................................      .40     2.14     4.13     4.16     3.11     4.18     2.07     4.10     4.50     0.86
Virginia......................................................      .72     1.57     2.41     2.39     3.03     2.35     3.13     2.91     3.09     3.63
Washington....................................................     2.96     2.42     2.56     2.48     2.66     3.13     3.41     3.29     3.42     3.35
West Virginia.................................................      .74     1.98     2.00     2.16     2.95     2.75     2.55     2.98     2.77     3.24
Wisconsin.....................................................     3.80     4.78     6.20     6.01     6.18     5.76     6.68     6.83     7.15     6.09
Wyoming.......................................................     3.18     3.27     4.64     4.91     3.50     3.37     3.50     4.87     2.34     1.76
                                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      U.S. ratio..............................................     3.35     3.45     3.68     3.94     3.85     3.75     3.82     3.99     3.98     3.60
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                              


                  TABLE 9-21.--NUMBER OF PATERNITIES ESTABLISHED, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-95                 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                 1979      1987      1989      1990      1991      1992      1993      1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.........................     6,161     6,998     7,839     6,517     6,612     7,942    10,779     7,816
Alaska..........................         3       364       797       767       673       906     1,070     1,576
Arizona.........................       154     1,009     1,327     1,237     2,674     3,056     5,007    11,608
Arkansas........................     2,586     5,326     4,453     3,191     4,703     5,175     6,580     8,294
California......................    19,364    28,570    35,193    41,065    56,912    65,062    77,324   129,593
Colorado........................     1,046     1,291     1,939     1,864     2,887     4,135     5,258     6,201
Connecticut.....................     3,029     3,908     3,888     4,499     5,309     6,196     5,368     7,578
Delaware........................       205     1,867     1,641       801       728     1,573     1,395     2,292
District of Columbia............       386     1,021     2,079     2,791     3,895     2,792     2,884     1,683
Florida.........................     7,078    12,136    13,399    19,534    17,907    16,119    10,879    13,010
Georgia.........................     3,642    14,112    18,198    24,615    28,015    30,181    29,329    13,978
Guam............................        NA       122       109       563       884       642       440       866
Hawaii..........................       854     1,061     1,295     1,843     1,672     1,419     1,746     1,493
Idaho...........................       287       384     1,100     1,310     1,551     1,722     1,509     2,079
Illinois........................     3,025    20,848    29,926    25,496    21,157    18,900    19,017    22,236
Indiana.........................     1,644     3,570     4,943     5,309     6,291     5,631     4,950     4,202
Iowa............................       575     1,664     1,980     3,045     1,904     4,416     4,952     4,378
Kansas..........................       696     1,119     2,101     3,644     3,125     3,198     4,445    10,677
Kentucky........................       784     3,881     4,498     6,092     6,816     7,951     7,979     8,950
Louisiana.......................     1,304     2,926     4,451     5,525    11,098    11,764    13,272     9,299
Maine...........................       382       951     1,609     1,381     1,376     3,189     1,370     1,704
Maryland........................    13,307     6,671     9,995     7,538    12,081    11,259     9,993     9,052
Massachusetts...................     2,096     7,025     6,194     6,339     5,742     8,195     6,234    10,862
Michigan........................     7,529    18,274    23,142    25,574    27,955    29,087    28,076    22,471
Minnesota.......................     1,786     3,856     6,098     5,661     7,695     5,348     3,749     8,936
Mississippi.....................       932     1,824     7,929    10,740    11,950     8,978     8,588    12,734
Missouri........................        NA    14,308    11,146    16,242    21,976    23,982    24,292    24,679
Montana.........................        92       179       388       429       677     1,155       413     1,368
Nebraska........................        NA       710       759       885     1,280     1,628     2,019     4,329
Nevada..........................       233       531       664     1,033     1,655     1,702     1,602     1,797
New Hampshire...................        35       195       518       614       645       580       604       722
New Jersey......................     8,242    13,938    13,182    12,243    10,595    10,314     7,453    13,239
New Mexico......................       322       412     1,571     1,992     1,601     1,591     2,491     3,574
New York........................    17,503    18,239    18,056    20,492    30,197    34,434    42,748    36,474
North Carolina..................     6,592     9,916    11,663    14,504    18,186    19,308    21,371    25,429
North Dakota....................       293     1,134       820       784       935     1,446     1,386       906
Ohio............................     4,808     9,133    11,637    15,823    20,857    23,672    28,151    32,785
Oklahoma........................        43       512     1,361     2,710     4,939     2,721     2,764     4,525
Oregon..........................     1,521     1,902     3,131     4,081     3,836     4,942     5,830     5,159
Pennsylvania....................     4,450    15,277    18,921    20,231    23,063    24,239    23,246    27,642
Puerto Rico.....................        22         6       144       216       264       198       206       204
Rhode Island....................       347       601       673       868       764     1,425     2,001     3,971
South Carolina..................     1,378     3,994     5,243     5,273     6,066     6,996     8,331     8,038
South Dakota....................        60       552       504       509       687       916     1,333     1,160
Tennessee.......................     5,003     7,666     9,647     8,976    10,309    10,902    11,463    14,358
Texas...........................       202       684     6,465    12,623    19,627    24,890    30,002    38,516
Utah............................       487     1,292     1,801     2,087     2,484     2,957     3,496     4,287
Vermont.........................        44     1,091       468       533       438       800     1,065       949
Virgin Islands..................         4       235       270       160       215       344       492       485
Virginia........................     1,452     2,667     8,471    13,647    15,971    18,038    21,506    26,174
Washington......................       656     4,066     5,762     6,985     8,601    10,540    12,539    13,608
West Virginia...................       156       288       820       997     1,324     2,373     2,790     7,077
Wisconsin.......................     4,803     8,750     8,695    10,808    12,931    15,435    17,678    20,982
Wyoming.........................        44       105       340       618       370     3,493     3,670     4,829
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.....................   137,645   269,161   339,243   393,304   472,105   515,857   553,135   660,834
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


                           TABLE 9-22.--OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHS AND CHILD SUPPORT PATERNITIES ESTABLISHED, FISCAL YEARS 1987-93                           
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Births to unmarried women                    Paternities/births (percent)     
                           State                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              1987       1989       1990       1991       1993     1987    1989    1990    1991    1993 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................................    15,955     18,640     19,131     20,000     20,680    43.9    42.1    34.1   33.05    52.1
Alaska....................................................     2,564      2,869      3,113      3,148      3,101    14.2    27.8    24.6    21.3    34.5
Arizona...................................................    17,227     20,708     22,532     23,899     26,151     5.9     6.4     5.5   11.19    19.2
Arkansas..................................................     8,498      9,944     10,713     10,601     10,878    62.7    44.8    29.8    44.3    60.5
California................................................   136,785    171,189    193,559    204,229    206,376    20.9    20.6    21.2    27.8    37.4
Colorado..................................................    10,171     10,787     11,374     12,684     13,373    12.7    18.0    16.4    22.7    39.3
Connecticut...............................................    11,045     13,005     13,330     13,581     13,919    35.4    29.9    33.8    39.1    38.6
Delaware..................................................     2,742      3,125      3,222      3,559      3,577    68.1    52.5    24.9    20.5    53.8
District of Columbia......................................     6,094      7,580      7,692      7,806      7,211    16.8    27.4    36.3    49.9    40.0
Florida...................................................    48,200     58,305     63,169     64,101     67,431    25.2    23.0    30.9    27.9    16.1
Georgia...................................................    28,647     34,926     36,979     38,116     39,575    49.3    52.1    66.6    73.5    74.1
Hawaii....................................................     3,968      4,609      5,088      5,195      5,328    26.7    28.1    36.2    32.2    32.8
Idaho.....................................................     2,073      2,561      2,738      2,924      3,268    18.5    43.0    47.8    53.0    46.2
Illinois..................................................    50,677     58,867     62,148     63,225     65,130    41.1    50.8    41.0    33.5    29.2
Indiana...................................................    17,260     19,898     22,562     24,294     25,844    20.7    24.8    23.5    25.9    19.2
Iowa......................................................     6,147      7,575      8,282      8,657      9,297    27.1    26.1    36.8    22.0    53.3
Kansas....................................................     6,633      7,577      8,397      8,746      9,696    16.9    27.7    43.4    35.7    45.8
Kentucky..................................................    10,658     12,048     12,829     13,796     14,401    36.4    37.3    47.5    49.4    55.4
Louisiana.................................................    23,594     25,692     26,601     27,694     29,179    12.4    17.3    20.8    40.0    45.5
Maine.....................................................     3,338      3,806      3,931      4,180      4,061    28.5    42.3    35.1    32.9    33.7
Maryland..................................................    22,866     22,607     23,789     24,292     24,335    29.2    44.2    31.7    49.7    41.1
Massachusetts.............................................    17,616     21,798     22,886     22,873     22,380    39.9    28.4    27.7    25.1    23.9
Michigan..................................................    28,724     36,441     40,289     40,941     36,326    63.6    63.5    63.5    68.3    77.3
Minnesota.................................................    11,114     13,142     14,192     14,984     15,099    34.7    46.4    39.9    51.4    24.8
Mississippi...............................................    14,499     16,958     17,627     18,317     18,718    12.6    46.8    60.9    65.2    45.9
Missouri..................................................    17,823     21,123     22,643     23,736     24,353    80.3    52.8    71.7    92.6    99.8
Montana...................................................     2,379      2,539      2,757      2,898      3,104     7.5    15.3    15.6    23.4    13.3
Nebraska..................................................     4,006      4,662      5,056      5,181      5,449    17.7    16.3    17.5    24.7    38.2
Nevada....................................................     2,740      4,607      5,480      7,016      7,614    19.4    18.4    14.4    18.9    21.0
New Hampshire.............................................     2,511      2,797      2,967      2,996      3,179     7.8    18.5    20.7    21.5    19.0
New Jersey................................................    26,647     29,364     29,756     31,972     31,949    52.3    45.6    44.9    41.1    23.3
New Mexico................................................     8,067      9,447      9,704     10,445     11,526     5.1    16.6    20.5    15.3    21.6
New York..................................................    80,939     92,996     98,110     99,738    105,101    22.5    19.4    20.9    30.3    41.1
North Carolina............................................    23,262     28,315     30,718     32,340     32,586    42.6    41.2    47.2    56.2    65.6
North Dakota..............................................     1,429      1,615      1,699      1,952      1,999    79.4    50.8    46.1    47.9    69.3
Ohio......................................................    39,237     45,921     48,289     50,826     52,385    23.3    19.7    25.3    32.8    55.6
Oklahoma..................................................     9,892     11,258     11,998     12,973     13,441     5.2    12.1    22.6    38.1    20.6
Oregon....................................................     8,672     10,436     11,041     11,324     11,730    21.9    30.0    37.0    33.9    49.7
Pennsylvania..............................................    41,143     47,093     49,258     51,360     51,783    37.1    40.2    41.1    44.9    44.9
Rhode Island..............................................     3,064      3,684      3,997      4,073      4,436    19.6    18.3    21.7    18.8    45.1
South Carolina............................................    15,333     18,116     19,148     20,000     19,359    26.1    28.9    27.5    30.3    43.0
South Dakota..............................................     2,225      2,415      2,515      2,720      2,968    24.8    20.9    20.2    25.3    44.9
Tennessee.................................................    17,897     21,281     22,662     24,026     24,556    42.8    45.3    39.6    42.9    46.7
Texas.....................................................    57,464     60,303     55,435     56,528     54,670     1.2    10.7    22.8    34.7    54.9
Utah......................................................     3,929      4,504      4,910      5,196      5,744    32.9    40.0    42.5    47.8    60.9
Vermont...................................................     1,459      1,685      1,666      1,811      1,805    74.8    27.8    32.0    24.2    59.0
Virginia..................................................    20,562     24,410     25,874     27,125     27,532     1.3    34.7    52.7    58.9    78.1
Washington................................................    14,629     17,638     18,746     19,861     20,670    27.8    32.7    37.3    43.3    60.7
West Virginia.............................................     4,722      5,212      5,743      6,040      6,328     6.1    15.7    17.4    21.9    44.1
Wisconsin.................................................    14,698     16,815     17,656     18,235     18,882    59.5    51.7    61.2    70.9    93.6
Wyoming...................................................     1,189      1,276      1,383      1,546      1,689     8.8    26.7    44.7    23.9   217.3
                                                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      U.S. total..........................................   933,013  1,094,169  1,165,384  1,213,769  1,240,172    28.8    31.0    33.7    38.8    44.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and National Center for Health Statistics (1995 and previous
  years).                                                                                                                                               


                      TABLE 9-23.--STATE SHARE OF PROGRAM SAVINGS FOR FISCAL YEARS 1989-95                      
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               State                    1989       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama............................        380       -518     -1,982     -3,053     -2,529     -6,319     -8,672
Alaska.............................      2,264      2,469      2,982      3,431      3,797      4,278      4,201
Arizona............................     -1,219     -2,899     -3,125     -3,320     -4,242     -4,761     -6,804
Arkansas...........................      1,574      1,013      1,830      1,009        530       -283       -135
California.........................     79,779     76,552     88,584     98,465    101,406    115,539    110,774
Colorado...........................      4,552      4,991      5,954      5,661      6,064      7,107      7,490
Connecticut........................     11,330      7,310     10,332     11,711     13,396     12,523      5,671
Delaware...........................        797        812        923        902        455        312       -644
District of Columbia...............     -3,145        -89       -574        144        757       -272       -585
Florida............................      5,601      2,932      7,179     11,482     14,368     14,863     11,797
Georgia............................      2,861      1,299      3,930      7,937     12,856     13,099     10,801
Guam...............................        -87       -227       -293       -450       -305       -375       -919
Hawaii.............................      1,648      1,622      1,502      1,655      1,873      1,618        539
Idaho..............................      1,029        895        751        955        922        720        665
Illinois...........................     10,935      5,159      5,785      9,767      3,716      3,711      3,965
Indiana............................     14,027     11,731     16,134     20,359     20,257     22,131     18,262
Iowa...............................     11,767     11,631     10,840     11,765     11,000     12,048     12,560
Kansas.............................      1,170      2,229      3,694      4,041      3,711      3,142     -3,222
Kentucky...........................        207        207       -475      1,958      3,467      5,104      3,696
Louisiana..........................        696        150     -1,049     -1,845     -1,241     -1,270     -2,098
Maine..............................      5,236      4,229      3,852      3,890      5,877      5,509      6,359
Maryland...........................      6,860      8,631      6,120     10,366     12,037      8,926      4,819
Massachusetts......................     23,373     23,391     21,789     25,917     29,957     22,670     25,468
Michigan...........................     57,413     54,088     58,032     53,107     52,078     53,216     49,500
Minnesota..........................     13,969     12,083     11,468     12,377     12,274     11,880     11,950
Mississippi........................       -232     -2,987     -2,549     -1,243     -1,065     -2,843     -3,336
Missouri...........................      8,046      9,002      7,846     11,772     10,303     10,566      7,695
Montana............................      1,093        769        454        532        618     37,868     37,431
Nebraska...........................       -252       -572       -582     -2,093     -1,054       -574     -1,270
Nevada.............................        -32       -417       -334        608       -172        604       -902
New Hampshire......................        362        185        271        826        443      1,165      1,157
New Jersey.........................     15,081      6,836      9,100     13,551     11,876     13,809     24,571
New Mexico.........................        305       -148       -361       -224      1,278        456     -1,083
New York...........................     24,201     22,865     30,313     41,091     41,790     46,036     43,880
North Carolina.....................      5,857      3,598      4,257      6,343      6,962      8,504      2,853
North Dakota.......................        955      1,074      1,231        973        989        888        788
Ohio...............................     21,558     12,040      6,054        445      3,453      6,800      5,761
Oklahoma...........................        705         69        380      1,110      2,457      2,412      2,241
Oregon.............................      3,703      2,658      3,358      4,863      5,935      8,029      5,548
Pennsylvania.......................     22,018     19,846     21,226     27,102     29,234     33,738     30,971
Puerto Rico........................     -1,075     -3,121     -2,165     -2,008     -2,171     -3,073     -5,161
Rhode Island.......................      2,999      3,439      3,940      4,375      5,427      5,466      6,142
South Carolina.....................        490     -1,639         91        437      1,309      1,049        191
South Dakota.......................        969      1,254        820        672      1,048        967      1,338
Tennessee..........................      1,278      3,432      5,989      1,578      5,915      5,408      7,519
Texas..............................      2,163     -4,832     -4,774     -6,111     13,969    -12,335     -6,212
Utah...............................      1,362      1,111        892        980        343        181     -1,526
Vermont............................      1,440      1,957      1,918      1,621      2,066      1,175      1,741
Virgin Islands.....................       -223       -184       -459       -227       -256       -305       -885
Virginia...........................      2,567     -1,113      4,292      4,324      6,347      5,109      7,348
Washington.........................     15,386     14,053     22,038     19,695     24,875     29,978     25,869
West Virginia......................        -59     -1,214       -722     -1,047         16     -2,038     -2,484
Wisconsin..........................     21,306     18,451     16,740     15,553     15,386     15,757     12,695
Wyoming............................        574        363        340        589        226        159         86
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      U.S. total...................    403,400    338,469    384,691    433,317    462,092    482,243    431,013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding.                                                            
                                                                                                                
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                      


  TABLE 9-24.--STATES USING THE INCOME SHARES AND PERCENTAGE OF INCOME  
           APPROACHES TO ESTABLISHING CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES          
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Income shares                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama                  Maine                    Oklahoma              
Arizona                  Maryland                 Oregon                
California               Michigan                 Pennsylvania          
Colorado                 Missouri                 Rhode Island          
Florida                  Montana                  South Carolina        
Idaho                    Nebraska                 South Dakota          
Indiana                  New Jersey               Utah                  
Iowa                     New Mexico               Vermont               
Kansas                   North Carolina           Virginia              
Kentucky                 Ohio                     Washington            
Louisiana                                                               
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Percentage of income                          
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska                   New Hampshire            Georgia               
Arkansas                 North Dakota             Mississippi           
Connecticut              Tennessee                Nevada                
Illinois                 Texas                    New York              
Minnesota                Wyoming                  Wisconsin             
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Garfinkel, McLanahan & Robins (1994).                           

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