[Background Material and Data on Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (Green Book)]
[Program Descriptions]
[Section 8. Child Support Enforcement Program]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]




 
              SECTION 8. CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

                                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
  Private Collection Activities
State Collection and Disbursement of Support Payments
Bankruptcy and Child Support Enforcement
Automated Systems
Audits and Financial Penalties
Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Collections
  Distribution of Payments While the Family Receives Public 
            Assistance
  Distribution of Payments After the Family Leaves Public 
            Assistance
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 
female-headed 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 her 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 drastically. 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, 
divorced, or never married. 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 child support payments. 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 assistance to States in locating absent 
parents and obtaining support payments. The program requires 
the provision of child support enforcement services for both 
welfare and nonwelfare 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.
    The child support program generally 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 successor program to AFDC (TANF, Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families), 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 nonwelfare 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.
    In 1996, Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility 
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, abolished AFDC 
and related programs and replaced them with a block grant 
program of TANF. Under the new law, each State must operate a 
CSE Program meeting Federal requirements in order to be 
eligible for TANF funds. In addition to abolishing AFDC, Public 
Law 104-193 made about 50 changes to the CSE Program, many of 
them major. These changes include requiring States to increase 
the percentage of fathers identified, establishing an 
integrated, automated network linking all States to information 
about the location and assets of parents, requiring States to 
implement more enforcement techniques, and revising the rules 
governing the distribution of past due (arrearage) child 
support payments to former recipients of public assistance.

                           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 1998, there were an estimated 11.9 million 
single-parent families with children under age 18; about 9.8 
million (82 percent) maintained by the mother and roughly 2.1 
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 2.3 percent 
from 1990 to 1998 and 4.1 percent from 1980 to 1990 as compared 
with 8.2 percent from 1970 to 1980. In 1998, one-parent 
families comprised nearly 32 percent of all families. The 
corresponding share of single-parent families in 1970 was 13 
percent. In 1998, about 40 percent of the mothers had never 
been married, 34 percent were divorced, 21 percent were 
separated from their spouse, and about 4 percent were widowed 
(U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, p. 36).
    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, about 29 percent of the 
68 million children under age 18 living in the United States 
reside in a one-parent family. 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 3,831,000. 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 1998 
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 1998, 
38.7 percent of the 8.9 million families maintained solely by a 
mother with children under 18 had incomes below the poverty 
threshold (U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, p.17). A little more than 
16 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 40 percent 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 1998, 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 8-1 summarizes trends for the child support program 
since 1978. In 1998, almost $3.6 billion was spent by State 
child support programs to collect $14.3 billion in child 
support. The combined Federal-State program had 55,300 
employees. A sum of $4 was collected for every dollar of 
administrative expense, up by 38 percent from the low point of 
only $2.89 in 1982. In addition, in 1998 nearly 6.6 million 
absent parents were located; 848,000 paternities were 
established; over 1.1 million support orders were established; 
3.5 million cases had collections; 356,000 families were 
removed from TANF because of child support collections (not 
shown in table 8-1, fiscal year 1997 data); and 16.1 percent of 
TANF payments were recovered as a result of child support 
enforcement.
    These program trends demonstrate that more and more 
positive child support outcomes are achieved by the Federal-
State program. But whether these trends indicate program 
success is a complex matter that will be discussed in more 
detail below. We turn now to a detailed explanation of the 
Federal-State 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 U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (DHHS). 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 DHHS 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.

                             TABLE 8-1.--SUMMARY OF NATIONAL CHILD SUPPORT PROGRAM STATISTICS, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-98
                                                       [Numbers in thousands, dollars in millions]
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            Measure                1978     1982     1986     1988     1990     1991     1992     1993     1994     1995      1996      1997      1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total child support collections   $1,047   $1,770   $3,246   $4,605   $6,010   $6,886   $7,965   $8,907   $9,850   $10,827   $12,019   $13,363   $14,347
    In 1996 dollars \1\........    2,555    2,885    4,609    6,125    7,272    7,919    8,921    9,620   10,441    11,152    12,019    13,363    14,347
Total TANF collections \2\.....      472      786    1,225    1,486    1,750    1,984    2,259    2,416    2,550     2,689     2,855     2,842     2,649
    Federal....................      311      311      369      449      533      626      738      777      762       821       888     1,046       960
    State......................      148      354      424      525      620      700      787      847      891       939     1,013     1,158     1,089
Total non-TANF collections.....      575      984    2,019    3,119    4,260    4,902    5,705    6,491    7,300     8,138     9,164    10,521    11,697
Total administrative                 312      612      941    1,171    1,606    1,804    1,995    2,241    2,556     3,012     3,049     3,427     3,584
 expenditures..................
    Federal....................      236      459      633      804    1,061    1,212    1,343    1,517    1,741     2,095     2,040     2,327     2,385
    State......................       76      153      308      366      545      593      652      724      816       917     1,015     1,100     1,199
Federal incentive payments to         54      107      158      222      264      278      299      339      407       400       409       409       396
 States and localities.........
Average number of TANF cases in      458      597      582      621      701      755      836      879      926       976       940       865       790
 which a collection was made...
Average number of non-TANF           249      448      786    1,083    1,363    1,555    1,749    1,958    2,169     2,408     2,618     2,850     3,071
 cases in which a collection
 was made......................
Average number of AFDC/TANF           NA       NA       NA       NA       NA       NA       NA       NA      308       343       404       493       651
 arrears only cases............
Number of parents located......      454      779    1,046    1,388    2,062    2,577    3,152    3,777    4,204     4,950     5,808     6,441     6,585
Number of paternities                111      173      245      307      393      472      512      554      592       659       733       814       848
 established...................
Number of support obligations        315      462      731      871    1,022  \3\ 821      879    1,026    1,025     1,051     1,093     1,156     1,148
 established...................
Percent of TANF assistance            NA      6.8      8.6      9.8     10.3     10.7     11.4     12.0     12.5      13.6      15.5      22.0      20.0
 payments recovered through
 child support collections.....
Total child support collections     3.35     2.89     3.45     3.93     3.74     3.82     3.99     3.98     3.86      3.60      3.93      3.90      4.00
 per dollar of total
 administrative expenses.......
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\1\ Adjusted for inflation using fiscal Consumer Price Index.
\2\ TANF collections are divided into State/Federal shares and incentives are taken from the Federal share thereby reducing the Federal amounts.
\3\ Data beginning in 1991 exclude modifications of support orders.

 NA--Not available.

 Note.--Data is preliminary for fiscal year 1998. Paternities established do not include the paternities esablished through the In-Hospital Paternity
  Acknowledgement Program. In fiscal year 1994, 84,411 paternities were established in hospitals; 272,729 paternities were established in hospitals in
  fiscal year 1995; 324,595 paternities were established in hospitals in fiscal year 1996; 486,551 paternities were established in hospitals in fiscal
  year 1997; and 614,081 paternities were established in hospitals in fiscal year 1998.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    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.
    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 TANF costs. The 
1984 amendments also authorize $15 million for each fiscal year 
after 1986 for special project grants to promote improvement in 
interstate enforcement. In fiscal year 1999, 38 States had 
section 1115 grants or waivers which directly impacted child 
support: 6 States had waivers to implement models of 
collaboration among the CSE agency, Head Start Programs, and 
child care programs; 4 States had waivers to test new ways of 
reviewing and modifying orders; 4 States had waivers designed 
to improve CSE for Native Americans; 3 States had waivers to 
test different approaches to handling CSE cases with a history 
of domestic violence; 3 States had waivers to measure and 
improve CSE Program performance; and other States had waivers 
related to access and visitation, child support assurance, 
fatherhood initiatives, job training, parenting, interviewing 
and client referral, paternity establishment, and staffing 
standards.
     The Assistant Secretary for Children and Families has full 
responsibility for the evaluation of the CSE Program. Pursuant 
to Public Law 104-193, States must annually review and report 
to the DHHS Secretary information adequate to determine the 
State's compliance with Federal requirements for expedited 
procedures, timely case processing, and improvement on the 
performance indicators. To measure the quality of the data 
reported by States and to assess the adequacy of financial 
management of the State program, the Secretary must conduct an 
audit of every State at least once every 3 years and more often 
if a State fails to meet Federal requirements. Under the 
audit's penalty provision, a State's TANF Block Grant 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 1996 welfare reform law set aside 1 percent of the 
Federal share of retained child support collections for 
information dissemination and technical assistance to States 
(including technical assistance related to automated systems), 
training of State and Federal staff, staffing studies, and 
related activities needed to improve the CSE Program, and 
research, demonstration, and special projects of regional or 
national significance relating to the operation of the CSE 
Program. An additional 2 percent of the Federal share of 
retained child support collections is set aside for the 
operation of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS).
    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 (IRS), the Federal courts, and the 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 CSE statute requires the establishment of a 
FPLS to be used to find absent parents in order to secure and 
enforce child support obligations. The role of the FPLS was 
expanded by the 1996 welfare reform law. For purposes of 
establishing parentage; establishing, setting the amount of, 
modifying, or enforcing child support obligations; or enforcing 
child custody or visitation; the FPLS is to provide information 
to locate any individual: (1) who is under an obligation to pay 
child support or provide child custody or visitation rights; 
(2) against whom such an obligation is sought; or (3) to whom 
such an obligation is owed. Upon request, the Secretary of DHHS 
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 DHHS or can be 
obtained from any other department or agency of the United 
States or of any State. Public Law 105-33, which was enacted in 
1997 and made numerous changes to the 1996 welfare reform law, 
allows FPLS information to be disclosed to noncustodial parents 
except in cases where there is evidence of domestic violence or 
child abuse and the local court determines that disclosure may 
result in harm to the custodial parent or child. 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.
     Historically, the Federal Government held the view that 
visitation (also referred to as child access) and child support 
should be legally separate issues, and that only child support 
should be under the purview of the CSE Program. Both Federal 
and State policymakers have maintained that denial of 
visitation rights should be treated separately and should not 
be considered a reason for stopping support payments. 
Nonetheless, Census Bureau data indicate that it was more 
likely for noncustodial parents to make payments of child 
support if they had either joint custody or visitation rights. 
Thus, in order to promote visitation and better relations 
between custodial and noncustodial parents, the 1996 welfare 
reform law provided $10 million per year for grants to States 
for access and visitation programs, including mediation, 
counseling, education, and supervised visitation. In addition, 
as mentioned above, the 1996 law also expanded the scope of the 
FPLS to allow certain noncustodial parents to obtain 
information regarding the location of the custodial parent.
     All States and territories applied for and received 
funding for access and visitation grants in fiscal year 1997. 
According to a preliminary report on the grant program 
(American Institutes, 1999), most participating individuals 
received parenting education, help in developing parenting 
plans, and mediation services. Based on data from 28 States and 
2 territories, nearly 20,000 individuals were served by the 
grant program in its first year of operation.

                             THE STATE ROLE

     The Social Security Act requires every State operating a 
TANF Program to conduct a Child Support Enforcement Program. 
Federal law requires applicants for, and recipients of, TANF 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.
     TANF recipients or applicants may be excused from the 
requirement of cooperation if the CSE agency determines that 
good cause for noncooperation exists, taking into consideration 
the best interests of the child on whose behalf aid is claimed. 
If good cause is found not to exist and if the relative with 
whom a child is living still refuses to cooperate, then the 
State must reduce the family's TANF benefit by at least 25 
percent and may remove the family from the TANF Program. 
(Federal law also stipulates that no TANF funds may be used for 
a family that includes a person who has not assigned child 
support rights to the State.) Before the 1996 welfare reform 
law, cooperation could have been found to be against the best 
interests of the child if cooperation could 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 were underway for the child's 
adoption.
     Unlike previous law, the welfare reform law provides 
States rather than the Federal Government with the authority to 
define ``good cause.'' The law now requires States to develop 
both ``good cause'' and ``other exceptions'' to the cooperation 
requirement. The only restriction is that both the ``good 
cause'' and ``other exceptions'' must be based on the ``best 
interests of the child.'' In addition to defining good cause 
and other exceptions, States must establish the standard for 
proving a claim. States also will have to decide which State 
agency will inform TANF caretaker relatives about the 
cooperation exemptions, and which agency will make the decision 
about the validity of a given claim. These responsibilities can 
be delegated to the State TANF agency, the CSE agency, or the 
Medicaid agency.
     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 TANF Program. However, 
Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, and Massachusetts 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 at 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 IRS tax refund offset procedure for welfare and 
nonwelfare 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 determining 
        paternity. These expedited procedures include giving 
        States authority to secure assets to satisfy payment of 
        past-due support by seizing or attaching unemployment 
        compensation, workers' compensation, judgments, 
        settlements, lotteries, asset held in financial 
        institutions, and public and private retirement funds;
 6. Withholding, suspending, or restricting the use of driver's 
        licenses, professional and occupational licenses, and 
        recreational and sporting licenses of noncustodial 
        parents who owe past-due support;
 7. Denying passports to persons owing more than $5,000 in 
        past-due support;
 8. Requiring unemployed noncustodial parents who owe child 
        support to a child receiving TANF benefits to 
        participate in appropriate work activities;
 9. Performing quarterly data matches with financial 
        institutions; and
10. Voiding of fraudulent transfers of assets to avoid payment 
        of child support.
     Each State's plan must provide that the child support 
agency will attempt to secure support for all TANF children. 
The State must also provide in its plan that it will undertake 
to establish the paternity of a TANF 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 TANF eligibility ends due to the receipt of 
or an increase in child support, States must continue to 
provide CSE 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 TANF 
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-TANF 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 TANF families. The State must charge 
non-TANF families an application fee of up to $25. 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 (SSN); children's birth certificates; 
the child support order; the divorce decree or separation 
agreement; the name and address of the current or 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 FPLS to locate 
the noncustodial parent. The FPLS can access data from the 
Social Security Administration, the IRS, the Selective Service 
System, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, 
the National Personnel Records Center, and State Employment 
Security Agencies. The FPLS provides SSNs, 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 SSNs that match are returned to 
FPLS and through FPLS to the requesting State or local child 
support office. During fiscal year 1997, the FPLS processed 
approximately 4.9 million requests for information from State 
and local CSE agencies.
    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 by 
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 OCSE, and the IRS. 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. In fiscal year 1995, OCSE submitted about 3.9 
million cases to the IRS under Project 1099 and over 2.5 
million cases were matched (65 percent).
     The SSN is the key piece of information around which the 
child support information system is constructed. Most computer 
searches need the SSN in order to operate effectively. Thus, in 
the 1996 welfare reform law, Congress gave CSE agencies access 
to new sources for obtaining SSNs. Federal CSE law requires 
States to implement procedures requiring that the SSN of any 
applicant for a professional, driver's, occupational, 
recreational, or marriage license be recorded on the 
application (not on the face of the license itself). In 
addition, the 1996 law requires that the SSN of any individual 
subject to a divorce decree, support order, or paternity 
determination or acknowledgment be placed in the records 
relating to the matter and that the SSN of any individual who 
has died be placed in the death records and recorded on the 
death certificate.
     To further improve CSE's ability to locate absent parents, 
the 1996 law also requires States to have automated registries 
of child support orders containing records of each case in 
which CSE services are being provided and each support order 
established or modified on or after October 1, 1998. Local 
registries could be linked to form the State registry. The 
State registry is to include a record of the support owed under 
the order, arrearages, interest or late penalty charges, 
amounts collected, amounts distributed, child's date of birth, 
and any liens imposed. The registry also will include 
standardized information on both parents, such as name, SSN, 
date of birth, and case identification number.
     In one of the most important child support reforms in 
recent years, the 1996 law required States, by October 1, 1997, 
to establish an automated directory of new hires containing 
information from employers, including Federal, State, and local 
governments and labor organizations, for each newly hired 
employee. The directory must include the name, address and SSN 
of the employee and the employer's name, address, and tax 
identification number. This information is to be supplied by 
employers to the State new hires directory within 20 days after 
the employee is hired. Within 3 business days after receipt of 
new hire information, the State directory of new hires is 
required to furnish the information to the national directory 
of new hires. The new law also requires the establishment of a 
Federal case registry of child support orders and a national 
directory of new hires. The Federal directories are to consist 
of abstracts of information from the State directories and are 
located in the FPLS. In fiscal year 1998, there were more than 
1 million matches in which employment and address information 
was returned to States to assist in the location of 
noncustodial parents who owed child support. In fiscal year 
1999, with the addition of the case registry to the matching 
system, there were 2.8 million matches.
     The 1996 reforms allow all States to link up to an array 
of data bases and permits the FPLS to be used for the purpose 
of establishing parentage; establishing, setting the amount of, 
modifying, or enforcing child support obligations; or enforcing 
child custody or visitation orders. By May 1, 1998, a 
designated State agency must directly or by contract conduct 
automated comparisons of the SSNs reported by employers to the 
State directory of new hires and the SSNs of CSE cases that 
appear in the records of the State registry of child support 
orders. The Secretary of DHHS is required to conduct similar 
comparisons of the Federal directories. When a match occurs, 
the State directory of new hires is required to report to the 
State CSE agency the name, date of birth, and SSN of the 
employee, and the name, address, and identification number of 
the employer. The CSE agency must, within 2 business days, 
instruct appropriate employers to withhold child support 
obligations from the employee's paycheck, unless the employee's 
income is not subject to withholding.
     There are two exceptions to the immediate income 
withholding rule: (1) if one of the parties demonstrates, and 
the court (or administrative process) finds, that there is good 
cause not to require immediate withholding; or (2) if both 
parties agree in writing to an alternative arrangement. 
Employers must remit to the State disbursement unit income 
withheld within 7 business days after the employee's payday. 
States also are required to operate a centralized collection 
and disbursement unit that sends child support payments to 
custodial parents within 2 business days.

                         Establishing Paternity

     Paternity establishment is a prerequisite for obtaining a 
child support order. In 1998, 32.8 percent of children born in 
the United States were born to unmarried women. According to 
the OCSE, in fiscal year 1997 paternity was established for 
only 34 percent of the children who needed paternity 
established. However, in recent years the CSE Program has made 
great strides in establishing paternity. Between 1994 and 1998, 
for example, the new In-Hospital Paternity Acknowledgement 
Program grew from 84,411 to 614,081 paternities established, a 
jump of well over 600 percent.
     But experts agree that the CSE Program must continue to 
improve paternity establishment. Without paternity established, 
children have no legal claim on their fathers' income. 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 Aid to Families with Dependent Children 
(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 SSN 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 was backed 
up by financial penalties linked to a reduction of Federal 
matching funds for the State's AFDC (now TANF) Program (see 
Audits and Financial Penalties section). The welfare reform law 
of 1996 further strengthened the Nation's paternity 
establishment system. More specifically, the new law 
streamlines the paternity determination process; raises the 
paternity establishment requirement from 75 to 90 percent; 
implements a simple civil process for establishing paternity; 
requires a uniform affidavit to be completed by men voluntarily 
acknowledging paternity and entitles such affidavit to full 
faith and credit in any State; stipulates that a signed 
acknowledgment of paternity be considered a legal finding of 
paternity unless rescinded within 60 days and thereafter may be 
challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or 
material mistake of fact; and provides that no judicial or 
administrative action is needed to ratify an acknowledgment 
that is not challenged. The new law also requires States to 
publicize the availability and encourage the use of procedures 
for voluntary establishment of paternity and child support.
     Paternity acknowledgments must be filed with the State 
birth records agency. However, before a mother or alleged 
father can sign a paternity acknowledgment, each must be given 
notice (both orally and in writing) of the alternatives to, 
legal consequences of, and rights and responsibilities arising 
from the signed acknowledgment. Moreover, in the case of 
unmarried parents, the father's name shall not appear on the 
birth certificate unless he has signed a voluntary 
acknowledgment or a court has issued an adjudication of 
paternity.
     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 testing, red cell enzyme and serum 
protein electrophoresis, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) 
testing.
     The State CSE agency has the power (without the need for 
permission from a court or administrative tribunal) to order 
genetic tests in appropriate CSE cases. These CSE agencies also 
must recognize and enforce the ability of other State CSE 
agencies to take such actions. Moreover, genetic test results 
must be admissible as evidence so long as they are of a type 
generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies 
recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
(DHHS) and performed by an entity approved by such an 
accredited body. Finally, in any case in which the CSE agency 
ordered the tests, the State must pay the initial costs. The 
State is allowed to recoup the cost from the father if 
paternity is established. If the original test result is 
contested, further testing can be ordered by the CSE agency if 
the contestant pays the cost in advance.
    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, 
1990).
    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 reliableDNA 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 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 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 1998, 848,000 paternities were established, 
up from 245,000 in fiscal year 1986. While the number of 
paternities established through child support agencies reached 
a record high in 1998, huge disparities exist among States. For 
example, the percentage of children in the Child Support 
Enforcement Program for whom paternity was established averaged 
64 percent nationally, but ranged from 16 percent in Iowa to 
155 percent in Maryland (some paternities established are for 
children born in previous years). In addition to the 848,000 
paternities established in fiscal year 1998, 614,000 
paternities were voluntarily acknowledged in the hospital (see 
table 8-1).

                          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 Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families (TANF) benefits to the child of a noncustodial 
parent creates a debt due from the parent or parents in the 
amount of the TANF benefit. 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 establish orders, establish 
paternity, and provide 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.
    Thus, 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 appearances, 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. States are 
required to have quasi-judicial or administrative systems to 
expedite the process for obtaining and enforcing a support 
order. Since 1993, States have been required to extend these 
expedited processes to paternity establishment.
    Most child support officials view the growth of expedited 
administrative processes 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 acknowledgment of support liability and approve 
stipulated agreements to pay support. In addition, if the State 
establishes paternity using the expedited judicial process, the 
surrogate can accept voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. 
Judge surrogates are sometimes 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 paternity actions. Federal regulations 
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.
     Under the 1996 welfare reform law, the expedited procedure 
rules were broadened to cover modification of support orders. 
The new law also requires that State tribunals--whether quasi-
judicial or administrative--must have statewide jurisdiction 
over the parties and permit intrastate case transfers from one 
tribunal to another without the need to refile the case or re-
serve the respondent. In addition, once a support/paternity 
order is entered, the tribunal must require each party to file 
and periodically update certain information with both the 
tribunal and the State's child support case registry. This 
information includes the parent's SSN, residential and mailing 
addresses, telephone number, driver's license number, and 
employer's name, address and telephone number.
     Moreover, the 1996 reforms require States to adopt laws 
that give the CSE agency authority to initiate a series of 
expedited procedures without the necessity of obtaining an 
order from any other administrative agency or judicial 
tribunal. These actions include: ordering genetic testing; 
issuing subpoenas; requiring public and private employers and 
other entities to provide information on employment, 
compensation, and benefits or be subject to penalties; 
obtaining access to vital statistics, State and local tax 
records, real and personal property records, records of 
occupational and professional licenses, business records, 
employment security and public assistance records, motor 
vehicle records, corrections records, customer records of 
utilities and cable television companies pursuant to an 
administrative subpoena, and records of financial institutions; 
directing the obligor to make payments to the child support 
agency in public assistance or income withholding cases; 
ordering income withholding; securing assets to satisfy 
judgments and settlements; and increasing the monthly support 
due to make payments on arrearages.
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 (DC Ct. App. October 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 8-24 
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, 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pirog, Klotz, and Buyers (1997) have examined the 
differences in child support guidelines across States. Their 
approach was to define five hypothetical cases of custodial 
mothers and noncustodial fathers that capture a range of 
differences in income, expenses, and other factors that 
influence the amount of child support payments computed under 
the guidelines adopted by the various States. State 1997 
guidelines were then applied to each of the five cases to 
compute the amount of child support that would be due. In each 
of the five cases, the mother and father are divorced. The 
father lives alone while the mother lives with the couples' two 
children, ages 7 and 13. The father pays union dues of $30 per 
month and health insurance for the children of $25 per month. 
The mother incurs monthly employment-related child care 
expenses of $150. The income of the fathers and mothers are:
    Case A: father--$530; mother--$300
    Case B: father--$720; mother--$480
    Case C: father--$2,500; mother--$1,000
    Case D: father--$4,400; mother--$1,760
    Case E: father--$6,300; mother--$4,200
    Arguably, the most striking generalization that emerges 
from table 8-2 is the remarkable differences across States in 
the amount of the child support obligation established by the 
guidelines, particularly at the lower income levels.

                TABLE 8-2.--AMOUNT OF CHILD SUPPORT AWARDED BY STATE GUIDELINES IN VARIOUS CASES
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Case
                          State                           ------------------------------------------------------
                                                               A          B          C          D          E
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Alabama.................................................       $216       $280       $433       $634      (\1\)
 Alaska..................................................         38         38        312        546     $1,193
 Arizona.................................................      (\1\)         75        482        628      1,061
 Arkansas................................................      (\1\)        150        305        475      1,025
 California..............................................        236        278        478        770      1,457
 Colorado................................................        231        261        409        610      1,066
 Connecticut.............................................          0          0        404        703      1,198
 Delaware................................................         91         91        467        626      1,157
 District of Columbia....................................         50        208        458        821      1,495
 Florida.................................................        135        261        463        721      1,186
 Georgia.................................................        210        210        383        673      1,607
 Hawaii..................................................        100        100        470        610      1,260
 Idaho...................................................        122        166        345        566        913
 Illinois................................................        102        136        294        485      1,020
 Indiana.................................................        215        327        692        899      1,462
 Iowa....................................................         50        189        358        566      1,047
 Kansas..................................................        188        227        390        582      1,195
 Kentucky................................................        221        293        445        637      1,017
 Louisiana...............................................        207        292        451        667      1,052
 Maine...................................................         52        290        437        619      1,031
 Maryland................................................        249        295        449        655      1,060
 Massachusetts...........................................      (\1\)        137        471        789      (\1\)
 Michigan................................................        128        141        468        657      1,078
 Minnesota...............................................         62         84        376        606      1,228
 Mississippi.............................................         92        124        251        427        908
 Missouri................................................        149        265        447        609      1,032
 Montana.................................................          6         15         26        456        908
 Nebraska................................................         50         50        390        677      1,035
 Nevada..................................................        200        180        375        660      1,575
 New Hampshire...........................................         50         50        424        667      1,473
 New Jersey..............................................        112        267        452        710      (\1\)
 New Mexico..............................................        183        291        468        588      1,095
 New York................................................         25         50        436        699      1,548
 North Carolina..........................................         50         57        463        600      1,012
 North Dakota............................................         68        126        356        582      1,231
 Ohio....................................................        150        278        465        609      1,045
 Oklahoma................................................        171        171        295        415        801
 Oregon..................................................         73        159        343        587      1,027
 Pennsylvania............................................      (\1\)        257        415        554      (\1\)
 Rhode Island............................................        252        315        480        677      1,170
 South Carolina..........................................         58        183        463        574      1,000
 South Dakota............................................        275        275        486        652      1,032
 Tennessee...............................................        153        200        393        665      1,422
 Texas...................................................        109        147        298        517      1,114
 Utah....................................................         83        131        447        616      (\1\)
 Vermont.................................................      (\1\)      (\1\)        428        642      1,025
 Virginia................................................        231        289        446        641      1,042
 Washington..............................................         50         50        412        641      1,054
 West Virginia...........................................         50        117        364        539      1,742
 Wisconsin...............................................        133        180        375        660      1,575
 Wyoming.................................................        105        200        348        519       882
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ In these cases, courts have the discretion to set the amount that seems appropriate to the court.

 Note.--See text for explanation of cases A, B, C, D, and E.

 Source: Pirog, Klotz, & Buyers, 1997.

Award rates
    In 1995, of the 11.6 million custodial mothers of children 
under the age of 21 whose father was not living in the 
household, only 7.1 million or 61 percent had a child support 
award and were owed child support. About one-third of the 4.5 
million custodial mothers without awards chose not to pursue a 
child support award. In other cases, custodial parents were 
unable to locate the noncustodial parent, had a nonlegal 
agreement with 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 44 
percent of never-married custodial mothers had support awards 
compared with 76 percent of divorced custodial mothers. 
Moreover, black custodial mothers and custodial mothers of 
Hispanic origin were much less likely than their white 
counterparts to have child support awards. About 72 percent of 
whites had child support awards, compared with 45 percent of 
blacks and 47 percent of Hispanics (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999).
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; \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 1988 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 required 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 TANF, foster care, or Medicaid Programs are 
currently being provided, but does not include orders for 
former TANF, 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, review is required at least once 
every 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 of their right to 
request a review, of their right to be informed of the 
forthcoming review at least 30 days before the review 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 1996 welfare reform law somewhat revised the review 
and modification requirements. The mandatory 3-year review of 
child support orders is slightly modified to permit States some 
flexibility in determining which reviews of welfare cases 
should be pursued and in choosing methods of review. States 
must review orders every 3 years (or more often at State 
option) if either parent or the State requests a review in 
welfare cases or if either parent requests a review in 
nonwelfare cases. States must notify parents of their review 
and adjustment rights at least once every 3 years. States can 
use one of three different methods for adjusting orders: (1) 
the child support guidelines (i.e., current law); (2) an 
inflation adjustment in accordance with a formula developed by 
the State; or (3) an automated method to identify orders 
eligible for review followed by an appropriate adjustment to 
the order, not to exceed any threshold amount determined by the 
State. If either an inflation adjustment or an automated method 
is used, the State must allow either parent to contest the 
adjustment.
    Especially during the early 1980s, a major issue in the 
modification of awards was the practice of 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 also 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 DHHS 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 workers with income below the poverty line and employer-
provided family health insurance coverage, 77 percent of the 
premium was paid for by the employer.
    On October 16, 1985, the Office of Child Support 
Enforcement (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. The purpose of medical support 
enforcement 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. 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. States receive 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, 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 these 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.
    Before late 1993, employees covered under their employer's 
health care plans generally could provide coverage to 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 
        DHHS 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 
        to: (a) provide the custodial parent with the 
        information necessary for the child to obtain benefits; 
        (b) 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) 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, 61 percent of support orders 
established in fiscal year 1997 included health insurance, up 
from 46 percent in fiscal year 1991 but down somewhat from 67 
percent in fiscal year 1996. Nevertheless, only 39 percent of 
support orders enforced or modified in fiscal year 1997 
included health insurance, up only 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).
     Under the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the definition 
of ``medical child support order'' in the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act (ERISA) was expanded to clarify that any 
judgment, decree, or order that is issued by a court or by an 
administrative process has the force and effect of law. In 
addition, the new law stipulates that all orders enforced by 
the State CSE agency must include a provision for health care 
coverage. If the noncustodial parent changes jobs and the new 
employer provides health coverage, the State must send notice 
of coverage to the new employer; the notice must serve to 
enroll the child in the health plan of the new employer.
    Public Law 105-200, enacted in 1998, provides for a uniform 
manner for States to inform employers about their need to 
enroll the children of noncustodial parents in employer-
sponsored health plans. It requires the CSE agency to use a 
standardized national medical support notice (developed by the 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the 
Department of Labor) to communicate to employers the issuance 
of a medical support order. Employers are required to accept 
the form as a ``qualified medical support order'' under ERISA.

                        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; revocation of various types of licenses (drivers', 
business, occupational, recreational) to persons who are 
delinquent in their child support payments; attachment of 
lottery winnings and insurance settlements of debtor parents; 
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 hire private collection agencies to collect child 
support payments. Some States bring charges of criminal 
nonsupport or civil or criminal contempt of court against 
noncustodial parents who fail to pay child support. These court 
proceedings are usually lengthy 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 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 top collection methods are presented in 
table 8-3.
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, with some 
exceptions, 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.

                       TABLE 8-3.--CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS MADE BY VARIOUS ENFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1989-98
                                                                [In millions of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Child support collections                          Percent of total collections
             Enforcement technique             ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  1989     1991     1995      1996      1997      1998     1989    1991    1995    1996    1997    1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wage withholding..............................   $2,144   $3,266    $6,111    $6,731    $7,472    $8,003    40.9    47.4    56.9    56.0    55.9    55.8
Federal income tax offset.....................      411      476       734       906     1,015     1,026     7.9     6.9     6.8     7.5     7.6     7.2
State income tax offset.......................       62       72        97       112       120       136     1.2     1.0     0.9     0.9     0.9     0.9
Unemployment compensation intercept...........       54      143       187       211       207       204     1.0     2.1     1.7     1.8     1.5     1.4
Other \1\.....................................    2,570    2,929     3,624     4,059     4,549     4,978    49.0    42.6    33.7    33.8    34.0    34.7
                                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total collections.......................    5,241    6,886    10,753    12,019    13,363    14,347   100.0   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. OCSE officials maintain that reliability of collection data lessen when specified by techniques of collection.

 Note.--Data is preliminary for fiscal year 1998.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human 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 if and when an arrearage occurs.
    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.
    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 the 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.
     Federal law provides three exceptions to the income 
withholding rule: (1) if one of the parents demonstrates, and 
the court (or administrative process) finds, that there is good 
cause not to require immediate income withholding, (2) if both 
parents agree in writing to an alternative payment arrangement, 
or (3) at the DHHS Secretary's discretion, if a State can 
demonstrate that the rule will not increase the effectiveness 
or efficiency of the State's CSE Program. For income 
withholding purposes, ``income'' means any periodic form of 
payment due an individual, regardless of source, including 
wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation, 
disability, payments from a pension or retirement program, and 
interest.
     As shown in table 8-3, the congressional emphasis on wage 
withholding has paid off handsomely. Although the total amount 
of support collected through wage withholding increased each 
year, reaching $8.0 billion in 1998, the percentage of total 
collections achieved through wage withholding appears to have 
leveled off at about 56 percent.
Federal income tax refund offset
    Under this program, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 
operating on request from a State filed through the Secretary 
of DHHS, 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 Aid to Families with Dependent Children 
(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 tax year 1998, according to DHHS, more than 1.4 million 
cases were offset. The total amount intercepted was about $1.3 
billion, up by a factor of well over four since 1986 ($308 
million). In tax year 1998, the average collection for 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) families was 
$923; the average collection for non-TANF families was $952.
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.
    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 (SSNs) 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 1998, the State Tax Intercept Program 
collected $136 million (table 8-3). Unlike the Federal program, 
which requires that States certify a specified amount before 
the offset can be applied ($150 for TANF families and $500 for 
non-TANF families), States choose their own level for 
certification. In many States, the amount is the same for both 
TANF and non-TANF 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 collected $204 
million in fiscal year 1998 (table 8-3). A number of States, 
especially those with high levels of unemployment, 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 House report also 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, they 
determine 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 sell the property or transfer ownership 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 pay past-due support to remove the lien. When this is 
not the case, it may become necessary to enforce the lien. 
Liens are not self-executory. 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.
    A procedure developed by the IRS, known as Project 1099 
(that is, the number of the IRS form used), has helped several 
States increase their use of liens by identifying individuals 
who possess appropriate assets. 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.
     The welfare reform legislation passed in 1996 (Public Law 
104-193) requires States to have procedures under which liens 
arise by operation of law against property for the amount of 
the past-due support. States must grant full faith and credit 
to liens of other States if the originating State agency or 
party has complied with procedural rules relating to the 
recording or serving of lien.
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. 
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 without 
hindering the noncustodial parent from effectively pursuing his 
livelihood.
IRS full collection process
    Since 1975, Congress has authorized the 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 DHHS must, upon 
the request of a State, certify to the Secretary of Treasury 
any amounts identified by the State as delinquent child 
support. The Secretary of DHHS 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 1995, collections were made in 463 cases 
nationwide, for a total collection of $1,153,473.
Withholding of passports and various types of licenses
    The 1996 welfare reform law required States to implement 
procedures under which the State would have authority to 
withhold, suspend, or restrict use of driver's licenses, 
professional and occupational licenses, and recreational and 
sporting licenses of persons who owe past-due support or who 
fail to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity 
or child support proceedings. The law also authorized the 
Secretary of State to deny, revoke, or restrict passports of 
debtor parents whose child support arrearages exceed $5,000. 
According to DHHS, the passport denial program has collected 
more than $2.25 million in lump sum child support payments and 
is currently denying 30 to 40 passports daily to delinquent 
noncustodial parents.
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.
    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.
     In order to facilitate the access of child support 
officials to credit information, the 1996 welfare reform 
legislation states that in response to a request by the head of 
a State or local CSE agency or other authorized official; 
consumer credit agencies must release information if the person 
making the request makes all of the following certifications: 
that the consumer report is needed to establish and 
individual's capacity to make child support payments or 
determine the level of payments; that paternity has been 
established or acknowledged; that the consumer has been given 
at least 10 days notice by certified or registered mail that 
the report is being requested; and that the consumer report 
will be kept confidential, will be used solely for child 
support purposes, and will not be used in connection with any 
other civil, administrative, or criminal proceeding or for any 
other purpose. Consumer reporting agencies also must give 
reports to a CSE agency for use in setting an initial or 
modified award. These provisions amend the Fair Credit 
Reporting Act.
     The 1996 law also requires States to periodically report 
to consumer reporting agencies the name of any noncustodial 
parent who is delinquent in the payment of support and the 
amount of past-due support owed by the parent. Before such a 
report can be sent, the obligor must have been afforded all due 
process rights, including notice and reasonable opportunity to 
contest the claim of child support delinquency.
 Enforcement against Federal employees
    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.
     The 1996 welfare reform law substantially revised child 
support enforcement for Federal employees, including retirees 
and military personnel. As under prior law, Federal employees 
are subject to income withholding and other actions taken 
against them by State CSE agencies. However, every Federal 
agency is responsible for responding to a State CSE Program as 
if the Federal agency were a private business. The head of each 
Federal agency must designate an agent, whose name and address 
must be published annually in the Federal Register, to be 
responsible for handling child support cases. The agency must 
respond to withholding notices and other matters brought to its 
attention by CSE officials. Child support claims are given 
priority in the allocation of Federal employee income.
 Enforcement against military personnel
    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).
     As a result of the 1996 welfare reform law, the Secretary 
of Defense must establish a central personnel locator service, 
which must be updated on a regular basis, that permits location 
of every member of the Armed Services. The Secretary of each 
branch of the military service must grant leave to facilitate 
attendance at child support hearings and other child support 
proceedings. The Secretary of each branch also must withhold 
support from retirement pay and forward it to State 
disbursement units.
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.
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).
     The 1996 welfare reform law requires States to implement 
expedited procedures that allow them to secure assets to 
satisfy arrearages by intercepting or seizing periodic or lump 
sum payments (such as unemployment and workers' compensation), 
lottery winnings, awards, judgments, or settlements. States 
must also have expedited procedures that allow them to seize 
assets of the debtor parent held by public or private 
retirement funds and financial institutions.

                         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.
    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. 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 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 (1991) data, 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 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 resulted in lower orders for both 
current support and arrearages. They also contend that few 
child support agencies attempted 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 provides 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 DHHS 
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 DHHS 
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 of 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 Office of Child Support Enforcement (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 being 
enforced by the IV-D program, 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.
    The 1996 welfare law required the DHHS Secretary, in 
consultation with State CSE directors, to issue forms by 
October 1, 1996 that States must use for income withholding, 
for imposing liens, and for issuing administrative subpoenas in 
interstate cases. States were required to begin using the forms 
by March 1, 1997.
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 of 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.
     The full faith and credit rules of the 1996 welfare reform 
law clarify the definition of a child's home State, make 
several revisions to ensure that the rules can be applied 
consistently with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act 
(UIFSA), and clarify the rules regarding which child support 
order States must honor when there is more than one order.
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.
     In response to concerns of law enforcement officials and 
prosecutors that the 1992 law did not adequately address more 
serious instances of nonpayment of child support obligations, 
Congress passed the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998 
(Public Law 105-187). The law establishes two new categories of 
felony offenses, subject to a 2-year maximum prison term. The 
offenses are: (1) traveling in interstate or foreign commerce 
with the intent to evade a support obligation if the obligation 
has remained unpaid for more than 1 year or is greater than 
$5,000; and (2) willfully failing to pay a child support 
obligation regarding a child residing in another State if the 
obligation has remained unpaid for more than 2 years or is 
greater than $10,000. According to the U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services (DHHS), the administration's criminal 
child support enforcement initiative, ``Project Save Our 
Children,'' has investigated 800 cases resulting in 275 
arrests, 210 convictions, and the payment of $5.3 million in 
past-due child support payments. The initiative is conducted by 
officials from the DHHS Office of Inspector General, the OCSE, 
the Department of Justice, State CSE agencies, and local law 
enforcement organizations working together to pursue chronic 
delinquent parents who owe large sums of child support.
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
     UIFSA was drafted by the National Conference of 
Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and approved by the 
Commissioners in August 1992. It 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 is in effect at any given 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 such enforcement. 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.
     The 1996 welfare reform law required all States to enact 
UIFSA, including all amendments, before January 1, 1998. States 
are not required to use UIFSA in all cases if they determine 
that using other interstate procedures would be more effective. 
As of February 1998, all States and jurisdictions had adopted 
UIFSA, except Guam, Kentucky, New Jersey, and the Virgin 
Islands.
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.
    In fiscal year 1997, there were 2.4 million interstate 
cases in which collections were sent to or received from other 
States. This represents a 60 percent increase over the 1.5 
million interstate cases that yielded a payment in fiscal year 
1990. Similarly, in fiscal year 1997, $1.824 billion was 
collected for interstate cases, up from $825 million (21 
percent) in fiscal year 1990.
Expedited procedures and the financial institution data match program
    Regardless of whether a State uses judicial processes, 
administrative processes, or a combination, the 1996 welfare 
reform law required States to adopt a series of procedures to 
expedite both the establishment of paternity and the 
establishment, enforcement, and modification of child support. 
These procedures must give the State CSE agency the authority 
to take several enforcement actions, subject to due process 
safeguards, without the necessity of obtaining an order from 
any other judicial or administrative tribunal. For example, 
States must have expedited procedures to secure assets to 
satisfy an arrearage by intercepting or seizing periodic or 
lump sum payments (such as unemployment and workers' 
compensation), lottery winnings, awards, judgments, or 
settlements, and assets of the debtor parent held by public or 
private retirement funds and financial institutions.
    The 1996 law also required States to enter into agreements 
with financial institutions conducting business within their 
State for the purpose of conducting a quarterly data match. The 
data match is intended to identify financial accounts (in 
banks, credit unions, money-market mutual funds, etc.) 
belonging to parents who are delinquent in the payment of their 
child support obligation. When a match is identified, State CSE 
agencies may issue liens or levies on the account(s) of the 
delinquent parent to collect the past-due child support. In 
1998, Congress made it easier for multistate financial 
institutions to match records by permitting the Federal Parent 
Locator Service (FPLS) to help them coordinate their 
information. According to DHHS, 662,000 financial accounts with 
a value of about $1 billion have been matched since August 
1999. States are using their expedited procedures to seize the 
accounts and thereby force debtor noncustodial parents to meet 
their child support obligations.
Summary information on collection methods
    Table 8-3 shows that 65 percent of the $14.3 billion in 
child support payments collected in fiscal year 1998 was 
obtained through four enforcement techniques: wage withholding, 
Federal income tax refund offset, State income tax refund 
offset, and unemployment compensation intercept. The remaining 
35 percent is listed as collected by ``other'' means. The 
``other'' category includes collections from parents who have 
informal agreements, collections from noncustodial parents who 
voluntarily sent money for their children even though a support 
order had never been established (about 4 percent of all 
collections), and enforcement techniques such as liens against 
property, license and passport revocation, seizure of assets 
from financial institutions, posting of bonds or securities, 
and use of the full IRS collection procedure. Table 8-3 
indicates that by fiscal year 1991 wage withholding had become 
the primary enforcement method, producing nearly 47 percent of 
all child support collections. By 1998, the percentage had 
increased even further, reaching 56 percent.

                     Private Collection Activities

    According to the OCSE, the Child Support Enforcement 
Program handles about 50 percent of all child support cases. 
The rest are handled by private attorneys, private collection 
agencies, locally-funded public child support enforcement 
agencies, or through mutual agreements between the parents.
    Nonfederal CSE activities.--Some localities have taken it 
upon themselves to operate a child support program using local 
funding sources and fees levied against noncustodial parents. A 
major complaint of these localities is that the enforcement 
tools (e.g., Federal and State tax refund intercepts, license 
sanctions, passport sanctions, data matches with financial 
institutions, reporting of delinquencies to credit bureaus) 
that are now available only to the Federal/State CSE Program 
should be extended to the entities working outside the Federal/
State system and to private contractors as well. However, State 
child support agencies, advocates representing both 
noncustodial and custodial parents, and privacy rights 
organizations have voiced concerns about such an approach, 
particularly as it relates to private agencies.
    CSE privatization.--While doing business with public and 
private sector entities outside the CSE Program for such things 
as laboratory testing for paternity establishment, service of 
process, and automated systems development is not new in the 
CSE Program, contracting out all of the program's functions is 
new. This approach is usually referred to as privatization.
    According to a December 1996 U.S. General Accounting Office 
report, 15 States had turned to full-service privatization of 
selected local CSE offices as a way to improve performance that 
had been hampered by growing caseloads, resource constraints, 
and increased Federal requirements. For some localities, 
privatization is also a response to State restrictions on 
hiring additional public employees.
    In many more States, the State or locality had a contract 
with a private entity to perform one or several services to 
supplement the efforts of the State or local program. Most 
commonly, States contract with the private sector for the 
collection of past-due support, especially support considered 
hard to collect. Under the terms of most collection contracts, 
States pay contractors only if collections are made and 
payments to contractors are often a fixed percentage of the 
recovered arrearage payments.

          STATE COLLECTION AND DISBURSEMENT OF SUPPORT PAYMENTS

    One of the major child support provisions of the 1996 
welfare reform legislation was the requirement that by October 
1, 1998, State CSE agencies must operate a centralized, 
automated unit for collection and disbursement of payments on 
two categories of child support orders: those enforced by the 
CSE agency and those issued or modified after December 31, 1993 
which are not enforced by the State CSE agency but for which 
the noncustodial parent's income is subject to withholding.
     The State disbursement unit must be operated directly by 
the State CSE agency, by two or more State CSE agencies under a 
regional cooperative agreement, or by a contractor responsible 
directly to the State CSE agency. The State disbursement unit 
may be established by linking local disbursement units through 
an automated information network if the DHHS Secretary agrees 
that the system will not cost more, take more time to 
establish, nor take more time to operate than a single State 
system. All States, including those that operate a linked 
system, must give employers one and only one location for 
submitting withheld income.
     The disbursement unit must be used to collect and disburse 
support payments, to generate orders and notices of withholding 
to employers, to keep an accurate identification of payments, 
to promptly distribute money to custodial parents or other 
States, and to furnish parents with a record of the current 
status of support payments made after August 22, 1996. The 
disbursement unit must use automated procedures, electronic 
processes, and computer-driven technology to the maximum extent 
feasible, efficient, and economical.
     The disbursement unit must distribute all amounts payable 
within 2 business days after receiving the money and 
identifying information from the employer or other source of 
periodic income if sufficient information identifying the payee 
is provided. The unit may retain arrearages in the case of 
appeals until they are resolved.
     States must use their automated system to facilitate 
collection and disbursement including at least: (1) 
transmission of orders and notices to employers within 2 days 
after receipt of the withholding notice; (2) monitoring to 
identify missed payments of support; and (3) automatic use of 
enforcement procedures when payments are missed.
     The collection and disbursement unit provisions went into 
effect on October 1, 1998. States that process child support 
payments through local courts were allowed to continue court 
payments until September 30, 1999.
    Following enactment of this provision in August 1996, there 
was widespread misunderstanding about its breadth of 
application. Thus, it is useful to emphasize here that not all 
child support orders must be a part of the State disbursement 
unit. First, orders issued before 1994 that are not being 
enforced by the State Child Support Enforcement Agency are 
exempt. Second, parents can avoid both wage withholding and 
involvement in the child support enforcement system if at the 
time the original order is issued, the judge determines that 
private payment directly between parents is acceptable.
    Because of the total loss of CSE funding plus possible loss 
of TANF Block Grant funding for States that are not in 
compliance with the State plan requirement related to State 
disbursement units, in November 1999, Congress passed 
legislation (Public Law 106-113) that imposes a lesser 
alternative penalty for these States. To qualify, States must 
have submitted a corrective compliance plan by April l, 2000, 
that describes how, by when, and at what cost the State would 
achieve compliance with the State disbursement unit 
requirement. The DHHS Secretary is required to reduce the 
amount the State would otherwise have received in Federal child 
support payments by the penalty amount for the fiscal year. The 
penalty amount percentage is 4 percent in the case of the first 
fiscal year of noncompliance; 8 percent in the second year; 16 
percent in the third year; 25 percent in the fourth year; and 
30 percent in the fifth and subsequent years. If a State that 
is subject to a penalty achieves compliance on or before April 
l, 2000, the DHHS Secretary is required to waive the first year 
penalty. If a State achieves compliance on or after April 1, 
2000, and on or before September 30, 2000, the penalty 
percentage will be 1. In addition, Public Law 106-113 provides 
that States that fail to implement both the CSE automated data 
processing requirement and the State disbursement unit 
requirement are subject to only one alternative penalty 
process.

                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 types of debts are 
not dischargeable, 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 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 Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (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 a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
or a non-TANF 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 are priority claims and custodial parents are 
able to appear in bankruptcy court to protect their interests 
without having to pay a fee or meet any local rules for 
attorney appearances.
    The 1996 welfare reform legislation amends the U.S. 
Bankruptcy Code to ensure that any child support debt that is 
owed to a State and that is enforceable under the CSE Program 
cannot be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.

                           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 DHHS 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 DHHS Secretary could waive a 
requirement if a State demonstrated that it had an alternative 
system enabling it to substantially comply with program 
requirements.
     As of September 30, 1995, OCSE had approved the automated 
data systems of only six States--Delaware, Georgia, Utah, 
Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. 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 were required to 
have statewide automated systems for their child support 
programs. On October 1, 1995, however, the 90 percent matching 
rate was ended; the Federal matching rate for State spending on 
data systems reverted back to 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).
     Under the 1996 welfare reform legislation, States are 
required to have a statewide automated data processing and 
information retrieval system which has the capacity to perform 
a wide variety of functions with a specified frequency. The 
State data system must be used to perform functions the DHHS 
Secretary specifies, including controlling and accounting for 
the use of Federal, State, and local funds and maintaining the 
data necessary to meet Federal reporting requirements. The 
automated system must maintain the requisite data for Federal 
reporting, calculate the State's performance for purposes of 
the incentive and penalty provisions, and have in place systems 
controls to ensure the completeness, reliability, and accuracy 
of the data. Final regulations were issued by the Secretary in 
August 1998.
     The 1996 welfare reform law stipulated that, first, all 
automatic data processing requirements enacted on or before the 
date of enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988 (i.e., 
October 13, 1988) are to be met by October 1, 1997. Second, 
requirements enacted on or before August 22, 1996 must be met 
by October 1, 2000. The Federal Government continued the 90 
percent matching rate in 1996 and 1997 for provisions outlined 
in advanced planning documents submitted before September 30, 
1995.
     The Secretary must create procedures to cap payments to 
the States to meet the new requirements at $400 million for 
fiscal years 1996-2001. The Federal matching rate for the new 
requirements will be 80 percent. Funds are to be distributed 
among States by a formula set in regulations which takes into 
account the relative size of State caseloads and the level of 
automation needed to meet applicable automatic data processing 
requirements.
     The Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 
(Public Law 105-200), gives the DHHS Secretary an alternative 
to assessing a 100 percent penalty (i.e., loss of all CSE 
funding) on States that failed to comply with the October 1, 
1997 statewide automated system requirements. The alternative 
penalty is available to States that the Secretary determines 
have made and are continuing to make good faith efforts to 
comply with the automated system requirements (and have 
submitted a ``corrective action plan'' that describes how, by 
when, and at what cost the State will achieve compliance with 
the automated system requirements). The alternative percentage 
penalty is equal to 4, 8, 16, 25, and 30 percent respectively 
for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth or subsequent 
years of failing to comply with the data processing 
requirements. The percentage penalty is to be applied to the 
amount payable to the State in the previous year as Federal 
administrative reimbursement under the child support program 
(i.e., the 66 percent Federal matching funds). A State that 
fails to comply with the 1996 automated system requirements may 
nonetheless have its annual penalty reduced by 20 percent for 
each performance measure under the new incentive system for 
which it achieves a maximum score. Thus, for example, a State 
being penalized would have its penalty for a given year reduced 
by 60 percent if it achieved maximum performance on three of 
the five proposed performance measures. Further, the Secretary 
is to reduce the annual penalty amount by 90 percent in the 
year in which a State achieves compliance with the automated 
system requirements. These alternative penalties apply to all 
CSE automated system requirements (i.e., those required by both 
Public Law 100-485 and Public Law 104-193). However, Public Law 
105-200 only allows the Secretary to impose one penalty in any 
given year. This means that if a State is not in compliance in 
fiscal year 2000 with either the 1988 automated system 
requirements or the 1996 requirements, it can only be penalized 
once. The 1998 law also stipulates that because States are 
subject to the alternative penalty procedures for violations of 
the CSE automated system requirements, they are exempt from the 
TANF penalty procedure for such violations.
    As of January 6, 2000, 11 jurisdictions had not been 
certified as meeting the October 1, 1997 CSE automated systems 
requirements; 7 States had not yet scheduled a certification 
review (California, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South 
Carolina, and the Virgin Islands), and 4 States had reports 
pending (District of Columbia, Indiana, Kansas, and North 
Dakota).

                     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 TANF 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.
    If a penalty is imposed after a followup review, a State 
may appeal the audit penalty to the DHHS 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 TANF 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. 17-19).
    The welfare reform law of 1996 requires States to annually 
review and report to the DHHS Secretary, using data from their 
automatic data processing system, both information adequate to 
determine the State's compliance with Federal requirements for 
expedited procedures and case processing as well as the 
information necessary to calculate their levels of 
accomplishment and rates of improvement on the performance 
indicators.
     The Secretary is required to determine the amount (if any) 
of incentives or penalties. She also must review State reports 
on compliance with Federal requirements and provide States with 
recommendations for corrective action. The purpose of the 
audits is to assess the completeness, reliability, and security 
of data reported for use in calculating the performance 
indicators and to assess the adequacy of financial management 
of the State program.
     In addition to the 1-5 percent penalty for States that the 
DHHS Secretary has found, via an audit, to have failed to 
substantially comply with CSE State plan requirements, there is 
the possibility of complete elimination of CSE funding in cases 
in which a State's program has been disapproved. The Secretary 
must disapprove the plans of States which fail to implement the 
CSE State plan requirements under section 454 of the Social 
Security Act. Disapproval of a State's plan will result in the 
cessation of all Federal child support funding for the State. 
In addition, because operating an approved Child Support 
Enforcement Program is a prerequisite to a State's receiving 
funds under the TANF Program, a State's TANF funds also would 
be terminated. (See above sections on Automated Systems and 
State Collection and Disbursement of Support Payments for more 
details.)
     As mentioned elsewhere in this chapter, there are two 
exceptions to this rule. First, CSE law establishes an 
alternative penalty for a State's failure to meet the automated 
data systems requirements. Second, CSE law (Public Law 106-113) 
establishes an alternative penalty for a State's failure to 
meet the automated centralized disbursement unit requirements.

        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.
    Since the child support program's inception, the rules 
determining the distribution of arrearage payments have been 
complex, but not nearly as complicated as they are currently. 
It is helpful to think of the 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.

  Distribution of Payments While the Family Receives Public Assistance

    When a family applies for TANF, the custodial parent must 
assign to the State the right to collect both current child 
support payments and past-due child support obligations which 
accrue while the family is on the TANF rolls. Arrearages that 
accrued to the family before it went on public assistance are 
called ``preassistance'' arrearages; those that accrue while 
the family is on public assistance are called ``permanently-
assigned arrearages.'' While the family receives TANF benefits, 
the State is permitted to retain any current support and any 
arrearages it collects up to the cumulative amount of TANF 
benefits which has been paid to the family. Before the 1996 
reforms, States were required by Federal law to pay (or ``pass 
through'') the first $50 of collections to the family. This 
provision was repealed by the 1996 legislation and States were 
given the right to decide for themselves how much, if any, of 
their collections would be passed through to the family, 
although they must pay the Federal share of collections. Thus, 
amounts passed through come entirely out of the State share of 
collections. States also have the right to decide whether they 
treat any child support passed through to the family as income, 
in which case they may reduce or even eliminate TANF payments.

   Distribution of Payments After the Family Leaves Public Assistance

    Distribution rules after the family leaves public 
assistance are far more complicated. Most of the problems stem 
from the requirements that preassistance arrears be assigned to 
the State, and that certain arrearages otherwise owed to the 
former welfare family are deemed to be owed to the State when 
the collection is made by Federal tax refund intercept.
    When a family leaves welfare, States are required to keep 
track of six categories of arrearages: (1) permanently 
assigned; (2) temporarily assigned; (3) conditionally assigned; 
(4) never assigned; (5) unassigned during assistance; and (6) 
unassigned preassistance. On the computer, these different 
categories are called ``buckets.'' The money shifts among the 
buckets according to the source of the collection, the family's 
status on or off assistance when the arrearage accrued, the 
amount of the unreimbursed public assistance balance, and the 
date of the assignment of support rights as well as the date 
the TANF case closed (because of phased-in implementation 
dates). Moreover, the distribution rules differ depending on 
whether the family went on welfare before or after October 1, 
1997.
    Families that assigned their rights to preassistance 
arrearages to the State before October 1, 1997, have 
``permanently-assigned arrearages,'' which are owed to the 
State. Families that assign their rights to preassistance 
arrearages to the State on or after October 1, 1997, have 
``temporarily-assigned arrearages.'' Temporarily-assigned 
arrearages and permanently-assigned arrearages are treated 
differently after a family leaves public assistance. 
Temporarily-assigned arrearages become ``conditionally-assigned 
arrearages'' when the family leaves welfare or on October 1, 
2000, whichever is later. These are called conditionally-
assigned arrearages because, as will be seen below, if they are 
collected by Federal tax refund intercept, they will be paid to 
the State, not the family.
    There are also categories for ``never-assigned 
arrearages,'' which accrue after the family's most recent 
period of assistance ends. These can become temporarily-
assigned arrearages if the family goes back on public 
assistance. In addition, there are ``unassigned during 
assistance arrearages'' and ``unassigned preassistance 
arrearages.'' These are previously assigned arrearages which 
exceed the cumulative amount of unreimbursed assistance when 
the family leaves public assistance, and which accrued either 
during (unassigned during assistance arrearages) or prior to 
(unassigned preassistance arrearages) receipt of assistance.
    When the family leaves public assistance, the order of 
distribution of any collection depends not only on when the 
arrearages accrued--preassistance, during-assistance, or 
postassistance--and when they were assigned, but also on when 
and how the past-due support was collected. If the collection 
was made by any means other than the Federal tax refund 
intercept, the collection is first paid to the family up to the 
amount of the monthly child support obligation. Any remaining 
collection is distributed to certain categories of arrearages 
owed to the family (conditionally assigned, never assigned and 
unassigned preassistance), and then to arrearages owed to the 
State (permanently assigned), with the remainder to the family 
(unassigned during assistance).
    Once current support is paid, collections on past-due 
support made between October 1, 1997, and September 30, 2000, 
or earlier at State option, are paid to the family to satisfy 
any arrearages that accrued to the family after leaving public 
assistance (never-assigned arrearages). Once never-assigned 
arrearages are satisfied, the collection is to be applied 
either to other arrearages owed to the family or to the State 
(permanently-assigned arrearages). A family that leaves welfare 
before October 1, 2000, maintains its permanently-assigned 
arrearages, that is, those which accrued before the family went 
on welfare and while the family received public assistance. 
These arrearages are always owed to the State and, unlike 
temporarily-assigned arrearages, never revert to the family.
    On October 1, 2000, the rules change again (although States 
can opt to implement these changes sooner). As noted above, the 
temporarily-assigned arrearages for a former welfare family 
that leaves public assistance on or after October 1, 2000, or 
when the case closes, whichever is later, become 
``conditionally-assigned arrearages.'' The distribution of 
these conditionally-assigned arrearages is ``conditioned'' upon 
whether the money is collected by Federal tax refund intercept 
or by some other method, such as levy of a bank account, a 
workers' compensation lump sum payment, or a payment agreement 
to avoid a driver's license revocation. If the collection is 
from a tax refund intercept, it will be paid to the State 
rather than to the family, up to the cumulative amount of 
unreimbursed assistance. The distribution from any other method 
of collection is first made to the family, with current support 
being paid first and any balance allocated to any arrearages.

                        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 DHHS outlining the specific 
child support activities they intend 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, DHHS 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, the 
Federal Government pays 80-90 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 and manipulation of 
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.
    Second, Congress also provides 90 percent funding for 
laboratory costs of 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 welfare 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 welfare, they assign the child's claim rights against the 
father to the State. As long as the family receives TANF 
payments, the State can retain all child support payments. As 
explained in detail above in the section on distribution of 
child support payments, States retain the right to pursue 
repayment for TANF benefits from the parent who owes child 
support 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 Medicaid benefits. In the Medicaid Program, 
the Federal Government pays States a percentage of their 
expenditures 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 77 percent for its 
Medicaid expenditures. By contrast, States like California and 
New York that have high per capita income receive the minimum 
Federal reimbursement of 50 percent.
     Though TANF is not a matching grant program, the Federal 
Government and the States still share the costs of providing 
help to needy families with children. TANF includes a 
maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirement that requires States to 
expend 75 percent (80 percent if they fail to meet TANF work 
requirements) of what they spent under prior law programs in 
fiscal year 1994 on families with children that meet TANF 
eligibility requirements. The fact that the Federal Government 
and the States split the costs of TANF explains why States are 
required to split child support collections from TANF cases 
with the Federal Government. The rate at which States reimburse 
the Federal Government is the Federal Medicaid matching rate. 
The details of this cost-recovery procedure means that poorer 
States are rewarded less for their CSE efforts than wealthier 
States.
     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 TANF and 
non-TANF cases.
     Public Law 105-200, the Child Support Performance and 
Incentive Act of 1998 (enacted July 16, 1998), replaced the old 
incentive payment system with a new cost-neutral system of 
incentive payments that provides: (1) incentive payments based 
on a percentage of the State's collections (with no cap on non-
TANF collections); (2) incorporation of five performance 
measures related to establishment of paternity and child 
support orders, collections of current and past-due support 
payments, and cost-effectiveness; (3) mandatory reinvestment of 
incentive payments into the CSE Program; and (4) an incentive 
payment formula weighted in favor of TANF and former TANF 
families.
     The new incentive system is scheduled to be gradually 
phased in between fiscal year 2000 and fiscal year 2002. The 
system caps the Federal incentive pool, thereby forcing States 
for the first time to compete against each other for incentive 
dollars. Under the new incentive system, a State may be 
eligible to receive an incentive payment for good performance. 
The total amount of the incentive payment received by a State 
depends on four factors: (1) the total amount of money 
available in a given fiscal year from which to make incentive 
payments; (2) the State's success in making collections on 
behalf of its caseload; (3) the State's performance in five 
areas (mentioned earlier); and (4) the relative success or 
failure of other States in making collections and meeting these 
performance criteria.
     In fiscal year 1998, the incentive payment, which comes 
out of the gross Federal share of child support collected on 
behalf of TANF families, was $395 million. Federal law (Public 
Law 105-200) stipulates that the incentive payment pool cannot 
exceed $422 million for fiscal year 2000; $429 million for 
fiscal year 2001; $450 million for fiscal year 2002; $461 
million for fiscal year 2003; $454 million for fiscal year 
2004; $446 million for fiscal year 2005; $458 million for 
fiscal year 2006; $471 million for fiscal year 2007; and $483 
million for fiscal year 2008. For years after fiscal year 2008, 
the incentive pool is increased to reflect changes in inflation 
in the previous year as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
    Given this overview of the three streams of money that 
support State CSE Programs, we can now examine the basic 
financial operations of the child support system. Table 8-4 
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 some 25 States. In other words, most States 
make a profit on their child support program. States are free 
to spend the State share of collections in any manner the State 
sees fit, but States must spend Federal incentive payments 
solely on the CSE Program or on activities approved by the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary which 
contribute to the effectiveness or efficiency of the CSE 
Program.

         TABLE 8-4.--FINANCING OF THE FEDERAL/STATE CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, FISCAL YEAR 1998
                                            [In thousands of dollars]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              State income
                                ----------------------------------------      State                 Collections-
             State                   Federal     State share   Federal   administrative  State net    to-costs
                                 administrative       of      incentive   expenditures                  ratio
                                    payments     collections   payments      (costs)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama........................       $33,866        $4,102      $2,576        50,747     (10,203)       3.40
Alaska.........................        12,059         8,322       2,733        18,245       4,869        3.52
Arizona........................        35,982         6,918       3,595        54,189      (7,693)       2.66
Arkansas.......................        22,858         3,392       2,554        34,541      (5,737)       2.88
California.....................       341,359       288,800      83,629       515,391     198,398        2.66
Colorado.......................        29,878        13,830       5,023        45,084       3,646        3.11
Connecticut....................        32,031        23,836       7,409        47,853      15,423        3.23
Delaware.......................        10,933         2,939       1,008        16,490      (1,611)       2.55
District of Columbia...........        11,125         2,270         878        16,545      (2,272)       1.98
Florida........................       110,491        26,584      12,150       166,882     (17,656)       3.04
Georgia........................        56,402        16,082       8,732        85,109      (3,893)       3.53
Guam...........................         2,790           252         231         4,214        (941)       1.72
Hawaii.........................        15,829         5,743       1,678        23,960        (710)       2.60
Idaho..........................         9,641         2,935       1,563        14,562        (422)       3.69
Illinois.......................        79,325        37,947      11,846       119,900       9,219        2.50
Indiana........................        26,978        14,024       5,579        41,695       4,886        5.45
Iowa...........................        25,830        15,210       6,215        38,646       8,608        4.79
Kansas.........................        26,568         9,975       3,724        40,066         201        3.05
Kentucky.......................        31,589        11,304       5,390        47,619         664        3.90
Louisiana......................        28,255         6,351       3,077        42,329      (4,646)       4.03
Maine..........................        11,490         8,258       5,052        17,363       7,438        4.25
Maryland.......................        54,827        16,897       4,121        82,899      (7,054)       4.31
Massachusetts..................        39,897        29,043       7,706        59,950      16,696        4.58
Michigan.......................       105,950        77,609      19,689       160,376      42,871        7.18
Minnesota......................        69,974        28,649       7,906       102,462       4,068        3.85
Mississippi....................        20,339         3,411       2,646        30,377      (3,981)       3.69
Missouri.......................        56,044        20,512       8,353        85,274        (365)       3.36
Montana........................         7,753         2,113       1,261        11,706        (579)       3.15
Nebraska.......................        16,675         5,530       1,882        25,109      (1,021)       4.66
Nevada.........................        15,789         3,603       2,314        23,866      (2,160)       2.90
New Hampshire..................         8,973         4,379       1,383        13,561       1,174        4.50
New Jersey.....................        83,306        38,638      10,970       125,290       7,624        4.64
New Mexico.....................        15,464         2,570       1,367        23,406      (4,005)       1.59
New York.......................       132,900        96,815      26,667       200,762      55,620        4.16
North Carolina.................        73,071        17,358       7,489       108,863     (10,945)       2.86
North Dakota...................         5,169         1,399         827         7,594        (199)       4.75
Ohio...........................       140,004        44,084      14,384       202,888      (4,416)       5.67
Oklahoma.......................        18,673         6,629       3,515        27,934         882        3.10
Oregon.........................        26,111         9,980       4,859        39,516       1,434        5.29
Pennsylvania...................        98,316        52,426      15,829       147,723      18,847        7.06
Puerto Rico....................        17,820           471         350        26,994      (8,353)       5.38
Rhode Island...................         6,625         8,826       3,487        10,017       8,922        4.18
South Carolina.................        21,594         3,729       2,947        32,650      (4,381)       4.71
South Dakota...................         3,807         1,696         966         5,629         840        6.13
Tennessee......................        34,872         5,427       4,607        52,613      (7,706)       3.58
Texas..........................       120,677        40,135      18,474       181,979      (2,692)       3.76
Utah...........................        21,357         6,441       3,248        32,058      (1,012)       3.03
Vermont........................         5,009         2,715       1,202         7,557       1,369        4.20
Virginia.......................        40,628        19,827       7,006        61,083       6,377        2.67
Virgin Islands.................         1,521           136          87         2,294        (550)       4.53
Washington.....................        83,997        48,575      15,205       126,830      20,947        3.74
West Virginia..................        16,249         3,420       1,874        24,470      (2,927)       4.47
Wisconsin......................        60,145        27,990       7,230        90,924       4,442        5.49
Wyoming........................         6,198         1,047         468         8,891      (1,178)       3.72
                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total......................     2,385,011     1,141,151     384,963     3,584,972     326,153        4.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 and tables 8-5 and 8-23
  below) 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. One of the 
most important issues is that States have little incentive to 
control their administrative spending. The last column of table 
8-4 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 $1.59 in New Mexico to $7.06 in Pennsylvania. 
And yet, about half of the 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 8-5 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 almost every year since then. Overall, losses jumped 
sharply from $43 million in 1979 to $1.427 billion in 1998.

TABLE 8-5.--FEDERAL AND STATE SHARE OF CHILD SUPPORT ``SAVINGS,'' FISCAL
                              YEARS 1979-98
                        [In millions of dollars]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       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...............................        -359         363           4
1988...............................        -363         388          25
1989...............................        -454         377         -77
1990...............................        -523         333        -190
1991...............................        -599         398        -201
1992...............................        -645         475        -170
1993...............................        -765         494        -271
1994...............................        -947         450        -497
1995...............................      -1,262         410        -852
1996...............................      -1,171         433        -738
1997...............................      -1,283         470        -813
1998...............................      -1,427     \2\ 340     -1,087
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Negative ``savings'' are costs.
\2\ Includes $14 million in Federal hold-harmless payments.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Annual Reports to
  Congress; Congressional Research Service, based on data from Office of
  Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human
  Services. The Congressional Research Service analysis slightly changed
  numbers for years 1987-96 published in previous editions.

     State governments by contrast have made a profit on the 
program every year. In 1979, the first year for which data are 
available, States in the aggregate cleared $244 million. In 
1998, States cleared $340 million (the peak year was 1993, when 
States cleared $494 million).
    The last column in table 8-5 portrays an unfortunate 
historical progression in child support financing. Beginning in 
the very first year of the child support program and for nearly 
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 losses. 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 welfare 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 $852 million in 1995 
before declining somewhat to $738 million in 1996. By 1998, the 
net loss was $1.087 billion.
    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 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 Congress 
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. Moreover, many defenders of the current 
financing structure view retained collections as reimbursement 
for a portion of a State's welfare expenditures, rather than 
``income'' to the State. In fiscal year 1998 the State's share 
of retained collections accounted for just 10 percent of all 
States' expenditures on TANF.
    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, some critics of child support financing question 
whether incentives should be provided for non-TANF collections. 
With regard to program financing, there is a striking 
difference between the TANF and non-TANF Programs; namely, 
government retains part of TANF collections but non-TANF 
collections are given entirely to the family. When Congress 
enacted the Child Support Enforcement Program in 1975, the 
floor debate shows that members of the House and Senate 
supported the program primarily because retaining welfare 
collections would help offset welfare expenditures.
     But program trends since 1975 show that the non-TANF 
Program is actually much bigger than the TANF Program and grows 
faster each year than the TANF Program. As shown in table 8-1 
above, welfare collections increased from about $0.5 billion in 
1978 to a high point of $2.9 billion in 1996, a growth factor 
of five. Between 1996 and 1998, welfare collections actually 
declined somewhat. But non-TANF collections have grown steadily 
from about $0.6 billion to $11.7 billion over the same period, 
for a growth factor of nearly 20.
    The point here is that non-TANF collections are growing 
much faster than TANF collections and probably will continue to 
do so in light of the 1996 welfare reforms. And since the State 
and Federal Governments receive virtually no direct 
reimbursement for non-TANF 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-TANF collections. 
Ignoring for the moment possible social benefits from the non-
TANF Program and based entirely on a finance perspective, some 
critics argue that non-TANF incentives encourage inefficiency.
     Another issue regarding program financing is whether 
government should pay such a high percentage of costs in the 
non-TANF Program. States must charge an application fee that 
can be no more than $25 for the non-TANF Program, but this 
amount doesn't even pay the full cost of opening a case file. 
In 1998, more than 3 million non-TANF families received 
services resulting in child support collections that averaged 
around $3,800 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-TANF 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 currently there is only modest evidence that would 
allow an estimate of the cost avoidance effect (Wheaton & 
Sorensen, 1998), 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 a 
much lower criterion of success 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 rapidly 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 TANF costs. As outlined above, States 
retain and split with the Federal Government collections from 
parents whose children are on TANF. In addition, States can 
often retain part of collections from parents whose children 
were on TANF in the past as repayment for taxpayer-provided 
TANF benefits.
    As shown in table 8-1 above, after a long period of steady 
growth TANF collections have started declining, from a high of 
nearly $2.9 billion in 1996 to $2.6 billion in 1998. 
Nonetheless, the child support agencies collected a level of 
payments on behalf of TANF parents that equalled 20 percent of 
all TANF benefits in 1998, up from only 7 percent in 1982. 
Despite this improvement, the overall impact of the child 
support program on taxpayers is negative. As shown in table 8-
5, taxpayers lost over $0.9 billion on the program in 1998.

                           Impact on Poverty

    In 1995, about 30 percent of the 13.7 million women and men 
rearing children alone had incomes below the poverty level. By 
comparison, only 22 percent of the custodial parents who 
received child support payments had incomes below the poverty 
level (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999, p. 5). Thus, child support 
appears to be associated with a modest reduction in poverty. If 
the child support program could collect support for a 
substantial fraction of the additional 9 million single parents 
who did not receive payments in 1995, the antipoverty impact of 
the program could be substantially improved.
     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 1997, 356,000 families with child support 
collections, representing about 10 percent of the welfare 
caseload, became ineligible for TANF. Similarly, about 3 
percent of families in the non-TANF 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-TANF caseload had incomes above 
the poverty level before receiving any child support payments. 
For most 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 all parents who no longer live with their 
children continue to provide for their financial 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 non-


       TABLE 8-6.--CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS AWARDED AND RECEIVED BY WOMEN WITH CHILDREN PRESENT, BY SELECTED
                                            CHARACTERISTICS, 1997 \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Supposed to receive child support in
                                                                                           1997
                                                              Percent   ----------------------------------------
                                                 Total        awarded                  Received support in 1997
          Characteristics of women            (thousands)      child                 ---------------------------
                                                              support       Total                Mean
                                                           payments \2\  (thousands)  Percent   child     Mean
                                                                                               support   income
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ALL WOMEN

Current marital status:
    Married.................................      2,607          65.3        1,559       75.3   $3,977   $21,087
    Divorced................................      3,673          70.4        2,357       73.7    4,326    29,752
    Separated...............................      1,565          56.2          765       66.3    3,547    20,510
    Widowed \3\.............................        230          54.3          104       59.6    (\5\)     (\5\)
    Never married...........................      3,831          46.7        1,547       55.3    1,966    13,769
Race and Hispanic origin:
    White...................................      8,264          64.2        4,752       73.1    3,886    24,098
    Black...................................       3321          48.4        1,434       53.3    2,600    18,612
    Hispanic origin \4\.....................      1,710          46.7          688       62.9    3,012    17,023
Years of school completed:
    Less than high school graduate..........      2,385          47.5          976       54.9    2,127    10,131
    High school graduate or GED.............      4,399          59.3        2,336       64.8    3,398    19,413
    Some college, no degree.................      2,624          62.0        1,476       70.5    3,615    21,520
    Associate degree........................      1,043          69.8          653       78.9    3,737    25,607
    Bachelors degree or more................      1,454          67.9          891       81.9    5,312    41,656
                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...............................     11,905          59.5        6,331       68.5    3,655    23,249
                                             ===================================================================

             WOMEN BELOW POVERTY

Current marital status:
    Married.................................        238          50.4          109       59.6    (\5\)     (\5\)
    Divorced................................        977          60.6          513       62.4    2,839     8,224
    Separated...............................        657          53.9          310       57.4    2,960     7,383
    Widowed \3\.............................         60          68.3           30       36.7    (\5\)     (\5\)
    Never married...........................      1,884          48.5          761       49.0    1,577     6,890
Race:
    White...................................      2,292          57.6        1,122       59.4    2,428     7,386
    Black...................................      1,407          46.2          565       47.4    1,963     7,187
    Hispanic origin \4\.....................        820          44.0          286       52.4    2,759     8,485
                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...............................      3,816          53.0        1,723       55.0    2,290    7,306
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Preliminary data.
\2\ Award status as of spring 1998.
\3\ Widowed women whose previous marriage ended in divorce.
\4\ Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
\5\ Sample too small to produce reliable estimate.

 Note.--Women with own children under 21 years of age present from an absent father as of spring 1998.

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, in press. (Advance copy of preliminary data furnished to the Congressional Research
  Service.)

custodial parents in paying child support. Table 8-6 provides 
detailed information for 1997, the most recent year for which 
national data are available, on child support payments by 
fathers to families headed by mothers. Although the 1997 
survey, like the 1995, 1993, and 1991 surveys, included 
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 bottom row of the upper 
panel in table 8-6, of the 11.9 million female-headed families 
eligible for support, only 60 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 6.3 million mothers who had an award and who were 
supposed to receive payments in 1997, 68.5 percent actually 
received at least one payment (table 8-6). However, as shown in 
table 8-7, only about 36 percent of the total of 11.9 million 
women who did not live with their children's father in 1997 
actually received at least one payment and only 22 percent 
received everything due. So in addition to its failure to get 
orders for about 40 percent of eligible 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 8-6, 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 are more likely to have a 
support order than black or Hispanic mothers (64 percent versus 
49 percent for blacks and 47 percent for Hispanics). Similarly, 
mothers with a college degree have a 68 percent chance of 
having an order as compared with 48 percent for high school 
dropouts and 59 percent for high school graduates. As for 
payments, white mothers receive about $3,900 per year on 
average as compared with $2,600 for black mothers and $3,000 
for Hispanic mothers. College graduates receive $5,300 per year 
in support as compared with $2,100 and $3,400 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 less likely to have an award than divorced 
mothers (47 percent versus 70 percent); even never-married 
mothers who actually receive support get considerably less than 
divorced mothers ($2,000 versus $4,300). 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 8-8 shows similar data for the award of health 
insurance. While demonstrating that 58 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 8-7, which summarizes several child support measures 
for selected years from 1978 to 1997, complements and puts into 
context the conclusions drawn from the 1997 data.\4\ More 
specifically,

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \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. Census Bureau, 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
the pattern of poor women being less likely to have an order 
and receive support is nothing new; but the years since 1978 
show a narrowing of the difference. The percentage of poor 
women who had an order was up 39 percent over the 19-year 
period, compared with a decline of 7 percent for all women. 
Similarly, the percentage of poor women who received child 
support payments increased 39 percent from 1978 to 1997, 
compared to a decrease of nearly 2 percent for all women. The 
percentage of all women with an award is only slightly higher 
than in 1978, the percentage that actually receive any payment 
is only slightly higher, and the aggregate payments have grown 
less rapidly than the number of demographically eligible 
mothers. Equally discouraging, while a slightly higher 
percentage of women were awarded child support (59.5 percent in 
1997 versus 59.1 percent in 1978), a smaller percentage of 
women received full payment (22 percent in 1997 versus 24 
percent in 1978).
    In summary, it appears that the performance of the Nation's 
child support system is modest and that only a few of the 
measures of national performance have improved in nearly two 
decades. By contrast, as shown at the beginning of this chapter 
(see table 8-1), 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 8-9 summarizes 
several measures from both the IV-D program as revealed in 
reports from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) 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 250 percent since 1978, 
and the average increase in these four measures is over 670 
percent.
    By contrast, the measures of overall national trends show 
little improvement. In fact, the likelihood of having an award, 
being legally entitled to a payment, and receiving at least one 
payment have been nearly stagnant. Moreover, the percentage of 
mothers who received the full amount due has decreased from 49 
to 42 percent. On the other hand, total collections increased 
by 42 percent. This increase, however, is dwarfed by the 415 
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 
64 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 significantly, the 
improvement appears to have had only modest impact on the 
national picture. How can these two trends be reconciled?

       TABLE 8-7.--CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS FOR ALL WOMEN, WOMEN ABOVE THE POVERTY LEVEL, AND WOMEN BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL, SELECTED YEARS 1978-97
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Category of women                        1978     1981     1983     1985     1987     1989   1991 \3\  1993 \4\    1995    1997 \5\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All women:
    Total (in thousands)..................................    7,094    8,387    8,690    8,808    9,415    9,955     9,918    11,505    11,634    11,905
    Percent awarded \1\...................................     59.1     59.2     57.7     61.3     59.0     57.7      55.9      59.8      61.2      59.5
    Percent actually received payment.....................     34.6     34.6     34.9     36.8     39.0     37.4      37.6      36.4      37.4      36.4
    Percent received full payment.........................     23.6     22.5     23.2     24.0     26.3     25.6      25.7      17.8      21.3      22.3
Women above poverty level:
    Total (in thousands)..................................    5,121    5,821    5,792    6,011    6,224    6,749     6,405     7,271     7,763     8,089
    Percent awarded \1\...................................     67.3     67.9     65.3     71.0     66.5     64.6      65.2      64.4      66.3      62.5
    Percent actually received payment.....................     41.1     41.4     42.6     44.1     44.8     43.1      45.0      41.6      42.9      41.9
Women below poverty level:
    Total (in thousands)..................................    1,973    2,566    2,898    2,797    3,191    3,206     3,513     4,234     3,871     3,816
    Percent awarded \1\...................................     38.1     39.7     42.5     40.4     44.3     43.3      38.9      51.9      51.1      53.0
    Percent actually received payment.....................     17.8     19.3     19.6     21.3     27.7     25.4      24.1      27.5      26.5      24.8
Aggregate payment (in billions of dollars): \2\
    Child support due.....................................     16.3     17.7     16.2     16.3     20.6     21.1      19.4      23.7      27.1      26.4
    Child support received................................     10.5     10.9     11.5     10.7     14.1     14.4      13.2      15.0      17.3      15.8
    Aggregate child support deficit.......................      5.8      6.8      4.8      5.6      6.5      6.7       6.2       8.7       9.8      10.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Award status as of spring 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998.
\2\ In 1997 dollars based on Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
\3\ Data for 1991 are not directly compatible with data from prior years because of refinements to the survey universe.
\4\ Data for 1993 are not directly compatible with data from prior years because of changes to survey questions.
\5\ Preliminary data.

 Note.--Payments for women with own children under age 21.

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau (1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2000).


 TABLE 8-8.--CHILD SUPPORT AWARD STATUS AND INCLUSION OF HEALTH INSURANCE IN AWARD, BY SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS
                                               OF WOMEN, 1997 \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            Supposed to receive child support
                                                                                     payments in 1997
                                                                        ----------------------------------------
                                                                                       Health insurance included
                      Characteristic                           Total                    in child support award
                                                            (thousands)     Total    ---------------------------
                                                                         (thousands)                 Percent of
                                                                                         Number         total
                                                                                       (thousands)     awarded
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current marital status: \2\
    Married...............................................       2,607        1,559           1134          66.6
    Divorced..............................................       3,673        2,357          1,702          65.8
    Separated.............................................       1,565          765            474          53.9
    Never married.........................................       3,831        1,547            726          40.6
Race and Hispanic origin:
    White.................................................       8,264        4,752          3,367          63.4
    Black.................................................       3,321        1,434            652          40.6
    Hispanic \3\..........................................       1,710          688            381          47.7
Age:
    15-17 years...........................................         103           37             17          43.6
    18-29 years...........................................       3,204        1,561            885          49.8
    30-39 years...........................................       4,714        2,653          1,749          60.2
    40 years and over.....................................       3,883        2,080          1,461          62.0
Years of school completed:
    Less than high school graduate........................       2,385          976            455          40.2
    High school graduate or GED...........................       4,399        2,336          1,509          57.9
    Some college, no degree...............................       2,624        1,476          1,053          64.8
    Associate degree......................................       1,043          653            459          63.0
    Bachelors degree or more..............................       1,454          891            635          64.3
Number of own children present from an absent father:
    One child.............................................       6,602        3,181          2,179          60.4
    Two children..........................................       3,450        2,031          1,276          57.4
    Three children........................................       1,335          818            491          54.0
    Four children or more.................................         578          301            166          49.0
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
        Total.............................................      11,905        6,331          4,112         58.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Preliminary data.
\2\ Excludes a small number of currently widowed 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 1998.

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.

    The last panel of table 8-9 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. By 1997, fully 85 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 and local spending), 
but not greatly improving overall collections. Whatever the 
explanation, it seems that improved effectiveness of


                            TABLE 8-9.--COMPARISON OF MEASURES OF IV-D EFFECTIVENESS WITH CENSUS CHILD SUPPORT DATA, 1978-95
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Year                                        Percent
                           Measure                           ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- change,
                                                                1978     1983     1985     1987     1989   1991 \1\  1993 \1\    1995     1997   1978-97
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              Federal-State IV-D program

                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total IV-D collections (1997 dollars, in billions) \2\......      2.6      3.3      3.8      5.5      6.8       8.1       9.9     11.4     13.4      415
Parents located (thousands).................................      454      831      878    1,145    1,624     2,577     3,777    4,950    6,585    1,350
Paternities established (thousands).........................      111      208      232      269      339       472       554      659      848      664
Awards established (thousands)..............................      315      496      669      812      936   \3\ 821     1,026    1,051    1,156      267
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    National trends

                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total collections (1997 dollars, in billions) \2\...........     11.1     11.4     10.2     14.1     14.5      14.0      14.7     18.7     15.8       42
Of demographically eligible:
    Percent with awards.....................................       59       58       61       59       58        56        60       61       60        2
    Percent supposed to receive payment.....................       48       46       50       51       50        49        51       54       53       10
    Percent who received some payment.......................       35       35       37       39       37        38        37       37       36        3
Of mothers supposed to receive payment, percent who received       49       50       48       51       51        52        35       40       42       14
 full amount................................................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               IV-D collections as a percentage of national collections

                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IV-D collections as a percent of total collections..........       23       28       37       40       47        58        64       61       85     270
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 fiscal year 1993 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
\3\ 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. Census Bureau (1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1990,
  1991, 1995, and 1997).

the IV-D program has not led to significant improvement of the 
Nation's child support performance.
    The data in table 8-9 suffer from a potentially important 
flaw. Given that Congress passed major child support 
legislation in 1996, as part of the 1996 welfare reform 
legislation, the impacts of these reforms have not yet had time 
to become fully manifest. Thus, collections may now be 
improving rapidly, as State level data for 1998 seem to 
suggest, but national data through 1997 may not yet reflect the 
improvement.
    Two additional statistics must be considered in any general 
assessment of national child support payments. First, according 
to Sorensen (1997), 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 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
welfare program in 1999 was about $16.5 billion.
    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, 1997), produced the estimate 
that $51 billion could be collected in child support each year. 
The assumptions underlying this estimate are that all custodial 
parents had an order, that payments were made in accordance 
with the Wisconsin guidelines (17 percent for one child, 25 
percent for two children, 29 percent for three children, 31 
percent for four children, and 34 percent for five or more 
children), 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 $51 billion that could be 
generated by a perfect system with the actual payments of 
around $16 billion in 1997 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.
    Finally, there does appear to be one area in which the 
Federal-State program is having some success. As discussed in 
detail in appendix N, nonmarital births have exploded since the 
1960s. These cases are the most difficult ones in which to 
establish a child support order and make collections. Because 
there are more and more of these difficult cases each year, 
improved performance with other types of cases is being masked 
to some degree. Despite the difficulty of those cases, the 
Federal-State program has increased the probability of 
collections for never-married mothers from 4 percent in 1976 to 
18 percent in 1997 (Sorensen and Halpern, 1999). Even so, the 
huge increase in these cases in recent decades has served to 
reduce the overall effectiveness of the Federal-State program.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Note: For legislative history before 1996, see previous 
editions of the Green Book.

                                  1996

    Title III of the 1996 welfare reform bill (Public Law 104-
193) was devoted to major reforms of the Child Support 
Enforcement Program. A section-by-section summary of these 
reforms follows:
    Sec. 301.--Imposes a State obligation to provide child 
support enforcement services for each child receiving 
assistance under IV-A (TANF), IV-E (foster care and adoption), 
and title XIX (Medicaid). Services must also be provided for 
others who apply, including families ceasing to receive 
assistance (no application is permitted for this group).
    Sec. 302.--Changes distribution priorities to provide that 
families leaving welfare receive priority in payment of 
arrears. Changes are effective October 1, 1997 for 
postassistance arrears and October 1, 2000 for preassistance 
arrears. Exception is made for collections from the Federal Tax 
Refund Offset Program. Provides a hold harmless provision so 
that States are protected if the amount they lose because of 
changes in distribution exceeds what they gain from the 
elimination of the $50 passthrough (eliminated October 1, 
1996).
    Sec. 303.--Protects privacy rights with respect to 
confidential information.
    Sec. 304.--Requires States to have procedures for providing 
notices of proceedings and copies of orders to recipients of 
program services or parties to cases being served under title 
IV-D.
    Sec. 311.--Specifies requirements for the central State 
registry, including maintaining and updating a payment record 
and extracting data for matching with other databases. Allows 
automated linkages of local registries.
    Sec. 312.--Specifies requirements for the centralized 
collection and disbursement of support payments, including the 
monitoring of payments, generating wage withholding notices, 
and automatic use of administrative enforcement remedies. Under 
some circumstances, permits linkages of local disbursement 
units to form centralized State disbursement unit for 
collection and disbursement of child support payments. Requires 
distribution within 2 business days of receipt of collection; 
requires transmission of withholding orders to employers within 
2 business days of notice of income source subject to 
withholding.
    Sec. 313.--Requires employers and labor organizations to 
report name, address, Social Security number (SSN), and 
employer identification number of new hires to State directory 
of new hires within 20 days of hire (in the case of an employer 
transmitting reports magnetically or electronically, reports 
may be made by two monthly transmissions); requires the report 
to be the W-4 or equivalent at option of the employer with 
penalties assessed for failure to report. State directory must 
perform database matching using SSNs and report findings to any 
State; directory must also report information to the National 
directory within 3 business days, and issue withholding notices 
within 2 business days of match, among other requirements.
    Sec. 314.--Strengthens and expands income withholding from 
wages to pay child support by reducing the time for employers 
to remit withheld wages to 7 business days and adding a State 
law requirement that allows issuance of electronic withholding 
orders by State agency and without notice to obligor.
    Sec. 315.--Includes requirements for access by State child 
support agency to locator information from State motor vehicle 
and law enforcement systems.
    Sec. 316.--Expands the authority of FPLS to obtain 
information and locate individuals. Permits access to the 
Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) for the enforcement of 
child custody and visitation orders but specifies that requests 
must come through courts or child support agencies. Requires 
establishment of a Federal case registry of child support 
orders, and details guidelines for the National directory of 
new hires. Allows disclosure of certain information, including 
Federal tax offset amounts, to child support enforcement 
agents.
    Sec. 317.--Requires use of SSNs on applications for 
professional licenses, commercial driver's licenses, 
occupational license or marriage licenses, and in records for 
divorce decrees, support orders, paternity determinations or 
acknowledgments and death certificates.
    Sec. 321.--Mandates adoption by all States of the Uniform 
Interstate Family Support Act.
    Sec. 322.--Clarifies priorities for recognition of orders.
    Sec. 323.--Requires States to respond within 5 business 
days to a request from another State to enforce a support 
order; electronic means are allowed for transmitting requests.
    Sec. 324.--Calls for the promulgation of forms, developed 
by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services (DHHS), to be used in interstate income withholding 
cases, the imposition of liens, and administrative subpoenas 
across State lines.
    Sec. 325.--Grants authority to State IV-D programs to order 
genetic testing for paternity establishment, issue a subpoena 
for financial or other information, and require all entities to 
respond to requests for information ``without the necessity of 
obtaining an order from any other judicial or administrative 
tribunal, but subject to due process safeguards as 
appropriate.'' Grants States access to public records such as 
vital statistics of marriage, birth and divorce, State and 
local tax records, real and titled personal property, license 
records, employment security records, public assistance 
programs, motor vehicle records, and corrections records. Also 
grants access to certain private records such as public utility 
and cable television records and financial institution data, 
among other administrative measures.
    Sec. 331.--Streamlines the legal processes for 
establishment of paternity, allows establishment of paternity 
anytime before a child turns 18, and provides for mandatory 
genetic testing in contested cases, among other provisions.
    Sec. 332.--Mandates that State programs publicize the 
availability and encourage the use of procedures for voluntary 
establishment of paternity and child support.
    Sec. 333.--Requires States to determine whether recipients 
of aid under the TANF Program or Medicaid are cooperating with 
the State in conducting child support activities against the 
noncustodial parent.
    Sec. 341.--Requires the Secretary of DHHS to develop a new 
cost-neutral incentive system by March 1, 1997 which provides 
additional payments to any State based on such State's 
performance. Increases the mandatory IV-D paternity 
establishment percentage in graduated phases from 75 to 90 
percent.
    Sec. 342.--Changes the audit process to be based on 
performance measures and requires the Secretary to ensure that 
State data meets high standards of accuracy and completeness.
    Sec. 343.--Requires States to collect and report program 
data in a uniform manner as a State plan requirement.
    Sec. 344.--Creates additional requirements for the State 
automated data processing systems, and sets a deadline of 
October 1, 2000 for implementation. Contains a new 
implementation timetable that extends to October 1, 1997 the 
deadline by which a State must have an automated case tracking 
and monitoring system meeting all Federal IV-D requirements up 
through the enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988. Caps 
aggregate spending on the new automated system at $400,000 and 
requires the Secretary to devise a formula for distributing 
these funds among the States. The Federal Government will pay 
80 percent of State costs of meeting the new requirements.
    Sec. 345.--Sets aside 1 percent of the Federal share of 
reimbursed public assistance for information, training, and 
related technical assistance concerning State automated systems 
and research, demonstration, and special projects of regional 
or national significance. An additional 2 percent is set aside 
for the operation of the FPLS.
    Sec. 346.--Clarifies data collection requirements and 
eliminates requirements for unnecessary or duplicate 
information. Several new data reports are to be included in the 
annual report to Congress, including information about State 
compliance.
    Sec. 351.--Requires processes for periodic modification of 
all child support orders, with review occurring every 3 years, 
upon request.
    Sec. 352.--Expands access and use of consumer reports by 
child support agencies for establishing and modifying child 
support.
    Sec. 353.--Specifies that depository institutions are not 
liable for disclosing financial information to the Child 
Support Enforcement Agency; the Child Support Enforcement 
Agency is prohibited from disclosing information obtained 
except for child support purposes.
    Sec. 361.--Makes technical corrections to the Social 
Security Act section on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 
collection of arrearages.
    Sec. 362.--Eliminates separate withholding rules for all 
Federal employees. Establishes procedures by which Federal 
agencies must aggressively pursue child support collections 
from Federal employees.
    Sec. 363.--Establishes procedures by which all branches of 
the armed forces must aggressively pursue child support 
collections from Federal employees.
    Sec. 364.--Requires States to have laws that prevent 
obligor from transferring income or property to avoid paying 
child support.
    Sec. 365.--Requires State child support officials to have 
the authority to seek a judicial or administrative order that 
requires any individual owing past-due support to pay such 
support in accordance with a plan approved by the court or 
participate in work activities.
    Sec. 366.--Provides a definition of a support order.
    Sec. 367.--Requires all child support delinquencies and 
their amounts to be reported to credit bureaus.
    Sec. 368.--Requires liens on real and personal property and 
the extension of full faith and credit to liens arising in 
another State in cases of past-due child support.
    Sec. 369.--Requires States to have laws providing for the 
suspension of driver's, professional, occupational, and 
recreational licenses.
    Sec. 370.--Establishes a process by which the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services can submit the names of 
delinquent obligors who are at least $5,000 in arrears to the 
State Department for the denial of their passports.
    Sec. 371.--Authorizes Federal officials to declare any 
foreign country to be a foreign reciprocating country for 
purposes of establishment and collection of child support 
obligations.
    Sec. 372.--Requires States to enter agreements with 
financial institutions doing business in the State to develop a 
data match system by which records on individuals having 
accounts with the financial institution are matched against the 
list of child support obligors who have overdue payments.
    Sec. 373.--Adds a State option that a child support order 
of a child of minor parents, if the mother is receiving cash 
assistance, may be enforceable against parents of the 
noncustodial parent of the child.
    Sec. 374.--Clarifies that child support assigned to a State 
in assistance cases is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Sec. 375.--Allows States to enter cooperative agreements 
with Indian tribes; allows the Secretary to make direct Federal 
funding to Indian tribes meeting certain criteria.
    Sec. 381.--Requires the application of the Employee 
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to support orders that 
are judgments, decrees or orders issued by any court of 
competent jurisdiction or through a State administrative 
process.
    Sec. 382.--Adds a new State law requirement providing that 
the State IV-D agency have procedures for notifying a new 
employer of an absent parent, when the absent parent was 
providing health care coverage of the child in the previous 
job, of the medical support obligation.
    Sec. 391.--Provides $10 million per year to the Secretary 
to award grants to States for the purpose of establishing 
programs to facilitate noncustodial parents' access to and 
visitation of their children.

                                  1997

    Public Law 105-33, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, made 28 
technical changes to the 1996 welfare reform law (Public Law 
104-193).

                                  1998

     Public Law 105-187, the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 
1998, established two new categories of felony offenses, 
subject to a 2-year maximum prison term: (1) traveling in 
interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to evade a 
support obligation if the obligation has remained unpaid for 
more than 1 year or is greater than $5,000; and (2) willfully 
failing to pay a child support obligation regarding a child 
residing in another State if the obligation has remained unpaid 
for more than 2 years or is greater than $10,000.
    Public Law 105-200, the Child Support Performance and 
Incentive Act of 1998, established a new cost/budget-neutral 
incentive system based on five performance measures that create 
strong incentives for States to operate efficient and effective 
programs. The law also imposes less severe financial penalties 
on States that failed to meet the October 1997 deadline for 
implementing a statewide CSE automated data processing and 
information retrieval system. It also includes provisions 
related to medical support and privacy protections, and makes 
other minor changes.
    Public Law 105-306, the Noncitizen Benefit Clarification 
and Other Technical Amendments Act of 1998, includes a 
correction to Public Law 105-200 that allows a State that 
failed to comply with the 1996 child support data processing 
requirements to have its annual penalty reduced by 20 percent 
for each of the five performance measures under the child 
support incentive system for which it achieves a maximum score. 
In addition, the provision would clarify the date by which 
States must pass laws implementing medical child support 
provisions to allow time for State legislatures that meet 
biennially to pass laws after final Federal regulations are 
issued in year 2000.

                                  1999

     Public Law 106-113, the Fiscal Year 2000 Consolidated 
Appropriations Bill, provides an alternative penalty for States 
that are not in compliance with the centralized State 
disbursement unit requirement, but which have submitted a 
corrective compliance plan by April l, 2000, that describes 
how, by when, and at what cost the State would achieve 
compliance with the State disbursement unit requirement. The 
DHHS Secretary is required to reduce the amount the State would 
otherwise have received in Federal child support payments by 
the penalty amount for the fiscal year. The penalty amount 
percentage is 4 percent in the case of the first fiscal year of 
noncompliance; 8 percent in the second year; 16 percent in the 
third year; 25 percent in the fourth year; or 30 percent in the 
fifth or any subsequent year. In addition, the law provides for 
coordination of the alternative disbursement unit penalty with 
the automated systems penalty so that States that fail to 
implement both the automated data processing requirement and 
the State disbursement unit requirement are subject to only one 
alternative penalty.
     Public Law 106-169, the Foster Care Independence Act of 
1999, limits the hold harmless requirement of current law by 
stipulating that States would only be entitled to hold harmless 
funds if the State's share of child support collections are 
less than they were in fiscal year 1995 and the State has 
distributed and disregarded to welfare families at least 80 
percent of child support collected on their behalf in the 
preceding fiscal year or the State has distributed to former 
welfare recipients the State share of child support payments 
collected via the Federal Income Tax Offset Program. If these 
conditions are met, the State's share of child support 
collections would be increased by 50 percent of the difference 
between what the State would have received in fiscal year 1995 
and its share of child support collections in the pertinent 
fiscal year. Public Law 106-169 repeals the hold harmless 
provision effective October 1, 2001.

                                                                   STATISTICAL TABLES







                                    TABLE 8-10.--STATE PROFILE OF COLLECTIONS AND EXPENDITURES, FISCAL YEAR 1998 \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    Non-AFDC  (estimate)
                                                                                                                  Total     total     total
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..................................................      $172.4        $15.5       $156.9        $50.7       $3.40     $0.31     $3.09       $2.6
Alaska...................................................        64.3         17.7         46.6         18.2        3.52      0.97      2.55        2.7
Arizona..................................................       144.3         20.6        123.7         54.2        2.66      0.38      2.28        3.6
Arkansas.................................................        99.4         14.8         84.6         34.5        2.88      0.43      2.45        2.6
California...............................................     1,372.4        611.0        761.3        515.4        2.66      1.19      1.48       83.6
Colorado.................................................       140.3         30.0        110.4         45.1        3.11      0.66      2.45        5.0
Connecticut..............................................       154.4         56.9         97.5         47.9        3.23      1.19      2.04        7.4
Delaware.................................................        42.0          7.6         34.4         16.5        2.55      0.46      2.09        1.0
District of Columbia.....................................        32.7          4.7         28.0         16.5        1.98      0.28      1.69        0.9
Florida..................................................       507.1         61.6        445.5        166.9        3.04      0.37      2.67       12.2
Georgia..................................................       300.8         58.4        242.4         85.1        3.53      0.69      2.85        8.7
Guam.....................................................         7.3          1.5          5.8          4.2        1.72      0.35      1.37        0.2
Hawaii...................................................        62.3         11.6         50.7         24.0        2.60      0.48      2.12        1.7
Idaho....................................................        53.8          7.9         45.9         14.6        3.69      0.54      3.15        1.6
Illinois.................................................       300.2         80.6        219.7        119.9        2.50      0.67      1.83       11.8
Indiana..................................................       227.2         38.1        189.1         41.7        5.45      0.91      4.54        5.6
Iowa.....................................................       185.1         42.4        142.7         38.6        4.79      1.10      3.69        6.2
Kansas...................................................       122.2         24.8         97.5         40.1        3.05      0.62      2.43        3.7
Kentucky.................................................       185.5         37.8        147.8         47.6        3.90      0.79      3.10        5.4
Louisiana................................................       170.6         21.6        149.0         42.3        4.03      0.51      3.52        3.1
Maine....................................................        73.8         30.4         43.4         17.4        4.25      1.75      2.50        5.1
Maryland.................................................       357.1         31.5        325.6         82.9        4.31      0.38      3.93        4.1
Massachusetts............................................       274.7         58.2        216.4         59.9        4.58      0.97      3.61        7.7
Michigan.................................................     1,151.8        150.4      1,001.5        160.4        7.18      0.94      6.24       20.0
Minnesota................................................       394.7         56.2        338.5        102.5        3.85      0.55      3.30        7.9
Mississippi..............................................       112.2         16.9         95.3         30.4        3.69      0.56      3.14        2.6
Missouri.................................................       286.7         58.1        228.6         85.3        3.36      0.68      2.68        8.4
Montana..................................................        36.9          7.2         30.0         11.7        3.15      0.62      2.54        1.3
Nebraska.................................................       117.1         12.9        104.2         25.1        4.66      0.51      4.15        1.9
Nevada...................................................        69.1          7.5         61.6         23.9        2.90      0.31      2.58        2.3
New Hampshire............................................        61.0          9.0         52.0         13.6        4.50      0.66      3.83        1.4
New Jersey...............................................       581.9         77.5        504.4        125.3        4.64      0.62      4.03       11.0
New Mexico...............................................        37.3          9.4         27.9         23.4        1.59      0.40      1.19        1.4
New York.................................................       834.5        187.6        646.9        200.8        4.16      0.93      3.22       26.7
North Carolina...........................................       311.7         51.2        260.5        108.9        2.86      0.47      2.39        7.5
North Dakota.............................................        36.1          4.7         31.3          7.6        4.75      0.62      4.12        0.8
Ohio.....................................................     1,151.2        102.3      1,048.9        202.9        5.67      0.50      5.17       14.4
Oklahoma.................................................        86.7         22.5         64.2         27.9        3.10      0.80      2.30        3.5
Oregon...................................................       209.2         25.0        184.2         39.5        5.29      0.63      4.66        4.9
Pennsylvania.............................................     1,043.0        117.7        925.3        147.7        7.06      0.80      6.26       15.9
Puerto Rico..............................................       145.1          2.3        142.8         27.0        5.38      0.09      5.29        0.3
Rhode Island.............................................        41.9         19.1         22.8         10.0        4.18      1.91      2.27        3.5
South Carolina...........................................       153.9         20.1        133.8         32.6        4.71      0.61      4.10        2.9
South Dakota.............................................        34.5          5.3         29.2          5.6        6.13      0.94      5.19        1.0
Tennessee................................................       188.4         34.2        154.2         52.6        3.58      0.65      2.93        4.6
Texas....................................................       685.0        122.0        563.0        182.0        3.76      0.67      3.09       18.5
Utah.....................................................        97.0         21.3         75.8         32.1        3.03      0.66      2.36        3.2
Vermont..................................................        31.7          8.6         23.2          7.6        4.20      1.13      3.06        1.2
Virginia.................................................       276.9         43.3        233.5         61.1        4.53      0.71      3.82        7.0
Virgin Islands...........................................         6.1          0.6          5.5          2.3        2.67      0.25      2.42        0.1
Washington...............................................       474.4        102.5        371.9        126.8        3.74      0.81      2.93       15.2
West Virginia............................................       109.4         13.2         96.2         24.5        4.47      0.54      3.93        1.9
Wisconsin................................................       499.3         53.6        445.7         90.9        5.49      0.59      4.90        7.2
Wyoming..................................................        33.1          2.8         30.3          8.9        3.72      0.32      3.41        0.5
                                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total................................................    14,347.7      2,649.9     11,697.8      3,585.0        4.00      0.74      3.26      385.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Totals may not add due of rounding.

 Note.--Data is preliminary for fiscal year 1996. AFDC = Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                  TABLE 8-11.--TOTAL CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-98
                                                                [In thousands of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                     1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995        1996        1997        1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...............................     $6,854    $66,174    $80,952    $98,141   $113,273   $127,908    $141,212    $157,887    $170,581     172,407
Alaska................................      3,844     26,788     30,721     35,613     39,148     45,851      51,734      57,708      64,919      64,262
Arizona...............................      6,411     27,837     33,277     46,447     66,580     77,419      93,812     113,481     132,049     144,348
Arkansas..............................      3,921     26,010     32,783     42,065     49,147     55,215      63,875      79,432      91,457      99,373
California............................    199,945    522,646    591,243    653,681    736,855    811,493     857,282   1,034,409   1,174,214   1,372,354
Colorado..............................      4,020     39,601     46,997     58,030     67,723     80,288      91,870     108,259     123,565     140,311
Connecticut...........................     23,033     66,724     75,778     84,190     93,454     98,448     117,723     125,234     141,543     154,374
Delaware..............................      5,814     20,161     22,692     25,926     26,663     29,663      31,551      35,395      38,616      42,006
District of Columbia..................      1,086     13,598     16,578     19,733     21,798     24,079      26,040      27,791      29,906      32,716
Florida...............................     10,524    176,603    214,153    252,473    289,976    327,296     374,015     411,799     484,630     507,113
Georgia...............................      5,554    113,095    143,014    174,467    205,566    229,822     244,367     268,599     278,060     300,772
Guam..................................        160      1,440      3,162      4,697      5,003      7,079       6,037       6,736       6,682       7,251
Hawaii................................      5,150     27,638     30,096     34,404     37,327     45,107      48,751      52,182      55,016      62,314
Idaho.................................      2,501     22,909     23,442     27,846     32,127     36,942      40,747      44,003      48,025      53,779
Illinois..............................     10,740    136,019    150,134    183,308    183,889    202,191     219,340     249,834     267,360     300,240
Indiana...............................      9,073     96,145    110,117    124,614    141,164    151,626     174,450     196,935     208,444     227,203
Iowa..................................     13,017     70,982     80,693     96,046    109,278    122,705     136,138     151,907     166,155     185,099
Kansas................................      3,975     44,958     54,832     66,053     59,601     86,744      97,571     107,579     114,979     122,230
Kentucky..............................      4,881     59,998     73,928     93,902    103,587    121,427     130,640     144,901     164,357     185,550
Louisiana.............................     12,678     60,527     67,988     84,373    103,054    118,008     129,609     143,644     154,821     170,555
Maine.................................      4,574     35,741     36,554     38,005     44,963     51,184      57,361      62,585      68,615      73,783
Maryland..............................     20,856    151,352    163,626    194,009    219,085    244,645     265,344     287,923     322.363     357.095
Massachusetts.........................     36,338    176,915    169,545    185,086    195,374    203,986     223,560     247,948     258,584     274,662
Michigan..............................    248,414    644,734    697,634    782,804    874,483    898,372     859,629     948,558   1,092,176   1,151,824
Minnesota.............................     21,370    139,345    160,363    189,495    214,480    246,252     283,538     318,773     355,372     394,671
Mississippi...........................      1,662     30,532     40,277     48,289     53,505     62,379      68,205      84,551      97,018     112,224
Missouri..............................      5,829    129,851    141,372    166,339    189,161    214,362     238,700     279,225     318,310     286,735
Montana...............................      1,213      8,822     12,968     17,436     20,150     21,363      25,532      29,356      33,401      36,922
Nebraska..............................      2,468     52,378     57,055     66,177     71,708     81,082      90,055      95,373     108,624     117,127
Nevada................................      3,487     16,210     23,346     32,080     37,641     43,722      50,066      56,620      60,063      69,133
New Hampshire.........................      2,089     20,604     22,659     27,360     31,497     36,538      42,570      48,242      54,469      60,976
New Jersey............................     94,005    281,923    326,879    372,506    407,849    439,748     480,327     500,157     553,713     581,902
New Mexico............................      1,680     14,416     16,792     19,088     27,117     30,082      26,938      30,114      34,417      37,310
New York..............................    136,361    373,718    437,371    487,738    536,374    569,682     619,489     701,885     803,826     834,477
North Carolina........................      9,168    120,344    140,222    167,894    197,254    226,632     233,145     261,672     298,908     311,684
North Dakota..........................      1,723     10,414     12,309     15,599     18,693     21,878      25,522      28,470      32,209      36,065
Ohio..................................     22,832    489,515    552,649    665,999    714,132    789,319     886,843     981,342   1,083,543   1,151,229
Oklahoma..............................      1,826     32,169     39,922     46,540     52,170     57,578      63,908      73,455      79,782      86,665
Oregon................................     88,502     78,374     91,252    107,435    124,929    142,227     156,829     178,428     197,911     209,182
Pennsylvania..........................    186,718    614,222    699,676    775,782    814,480    861,653     895,720     958,281   1,006,860   1,042,987
Puerto Rico...........................      1,916     74,535     77,252     84,329     97,357     98,628     107,397     126,711     142,555     145,132
Rhode Island..........................      3,575     20,044     21,609     24,880     26,671     29,900      32,634      35,524      38,825      41,902
South Carolina........................      3,545     52,320     58,857     68,798     79,280     90,628     102,912     118,147     135,657     153,916
South Dakota..........................      1,407     11,024     13,119     15,881     18,112     21,357      24,838      28,018      30,888      34,489
Tennessee.............................      8,976     71,502     77,032     84,818    116,152    141,388     156,904     159,804     172,823     188,406
Texas.................................      8,207    132,318    192,797    251,157    309,502    367,171     448,463     538,253     618,066     685,028
Utah..................................      6,624     38,071     43,895     52,610     56,199     61,135      63,426      77,600      84,542      97,014
Vermont...............................      1,449      9,353     11,023     13,518     15,831     17,950      21,234      25,370      27,878      31,712
Virginia..............................      9,197    110,560    129,919    145,114    151,919    182,787     226,682     257,180     292,830     276,876
Virgin Islands........................        260      3,131      3,338      4,049      4,992      5,562       5,399       5,438       5,921       6,123
Washington............................     27,018    175,750    222,409    267,455    307,251    340,488     375,257     407,002     451,730     474,433
West Virginia.........................      1,592     21,658     23,527     35,561     49,016     54,402      72,796      84,233      98,148     109,384
Wisconsin.............................     34,267    241,272    276,712    293,460    332,814    380,584     427,487     440,239     459,882     499,272
Wyoming...............................        520      7,155      9,079     11,220     13,810     16,184      17,350      25,021      28,683      33,110
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.............................  1,332,847  6,010,125  6,885,619  7,964,522  8,909,166  9,850,159  10,752,824  12,018,767  13,363,972  14,347,707
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                       TABLE 8-12.--TOTAL AFDC COLLECTIONS BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-98
                                                                [In thousands of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   State                       1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995       1996       1997       1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................     $6,830    $19,484    $22,788    $23,001    $22,539    $21,148    $21,115    $23,464    $23,361    $15,486
Alaska....................................        334      8,160      9,940     11,145     11,722     13,645     16,138     18,464     20,637     17,691
Arizona...................................        642      6,102      7,401     12,693     18,616     21,175     24,217     23,764     26,031     20,632
Arkansas..................................      2,428     11,799     13,800     15,766     16,249     15,662     16,831     19,746     19,876     14,760
California................................    117,532    248,440    286,261    314,232    335,235    374,548    401,573    496,185    544,639    611,023
Colorado..................................      3,525     16,765     19,281     23,287     26,197     29,415     31,192     35,572     36,950     29,958
Connecticut...............................     11,416     27,405     33,816     37,744     41,292     41,465     54,100     54,323     60,342     56,904
Delaware..................................      1,386      5,826      6,661      7,306      7,798      7,855      8,029      8,315      7,962      7,595
District of Columbia......................        907      4,118      4,407      4,927      5,197      5,614      5,923      6,032      5,631      4,689
Florida...................................      8,598     48,364     57,071     69,765     78,081     80,368     85,244     80,685    100,231     61,625
Georgia...................................      4,772     45,937     57,765     74,546     84,627     84,820     84,932    102,399     77,173     58,405
Guam......................................        159        520      1,635      2,524      2,344      1,948      1,723      2,003      1,320      1,465
Hawaii....................................      2,544      8,343      7,699      8,161      9,058      9,951     11,367     12,241     11,510     11,578
Idaho.....................................      2,047      6,952      7,482      8,543      8,746     10,086     10,912     11,109     10,225      7,874
Illinois..................................      9,916     44,149     48,968     58,842     55,749     61,112     65,091     72,391     77,683     80,566
Indiana...................................      8,116     38,124     45,030     49,247     52,040     51,945     50,962     44,994     39,853     38,070
Iowa......................................     10,654     28,552     30,585     35,401     36,775     40,105     41,007     40,100     40,773     42,358
Kansas....................................      3,454     15,209     17,454     20,869     22,402     24,732     27,567     28,779     27,072     24,764
Kentucky..................................      4,615     22,286     27,502     34,702     36,565     37,979     39,299     39,445     39,449     37,786
Louisiana.................................      5,244     20,861     23,089     25,975     26,827     26,714     28,133     31,228     27,123     21,553
Maine.....................................      4,133     21,089     21,063     21,477     25,683     27,783     28,435     29,542     31,810     30,409
Maryland..................................     10,929     42,318     37,162     46,348     51,313     48,031     47,419     46,709     38,008     31,480
Massachusetts.............................     29,145     68,968     66,969     71,784     77,292     76,899     77,085     71,421     67,382     58,242
Michigan..................................     76,375    145,251    153,690    168,317    169,581    176,100    167,673    170,955    161,658    150,357
Minnesota.................................     14,510     43,950     47,802     53,305     55,961     61,418     64,406     64,872     64,572     56,177
Mississippi...............................      1,556     14,530     19,494     21,523     21,641     22,962     22,067     24,450     21,857     16,927
Missouri..................................      4,165     38,056     37,021     49,653     51,153     55,959     57,788     66,610     51,858     58,140
Montana...................................        685      4,394      5,251      6,413      6,464      6,118      7,452      8,170      8,328      7,213
Nebraska..................................      2,083      6,990      7,431      9,195      9,797     10,158     11,337     12,437     12,675     12,893
Nevada....................................        517      3,311      4,465      6,807      7,021      7,271      7,643      8,441      8,433      7,508
New Hampshire.............................      2,089      3,606      4,385      6,337      7,638      9,446     10,776     10,532      9,845      8,995
New Jersey................................     28,622     61,473     76,644     83,509     84,020     86,357     88,932     90,644     88,149     77,520
New Mexico................................      1,160      5,573      6,421      7,850     12,922     13,389      9,257      6,253      9,498      9,381
New York..................................     56,588    134,040    157,582    174,587    184,583    183,707    187,205    205,855    224,751    187,613
North Carolina............................      7,714     46,176     54,712     64,004     70,304     76,808     75,209     75,017     74,283     51,171
North Dakota..............................      1,379      5,103      5,600      6,016      6,098      6,148      6,334      6,108      5,967      4,744
Ohio......................................     21,974     76,888     84,304    100,833    105,719    113,425    120,127    124,814    123,515    102,348
Oklahoma..................................      1,260     11,875     14,894     17,682     18,784     20,817     22,287     24,345     23,980     22,483
Oregon....................................     12,977     18,877     21,989     25,637     28,357     30,119     30,586     31,152     29,283     25,003
Pennsylvania..............................     33,190     96,328    113,735    123,784    124,490     26,932    134,995    138,685    123,350    117,670
Puerto Rico...............................        439      1,707      1,600      1,428      1,344      1,445      2,418      2,821      2,814      2,323
Rhode Island..............................      3,438     10,168     10,550     13,486     14,954     16,539     17,704     18,351     18,869     19,131
South Carolina............................      3,065     15,933     17,779     21,066     24,588     27,063     27,933     29,614     24,935     20,072
South Dakota..............................      1,137      3,717      4,213      4,888      5,056      5,645      6,129      6,617      6,163      5,294
Tennessee.................................      3,871     22,926     27,865     22,777     33,422     34,852     47,576     34,740     31,556     34,187
Texas.....................................      6,370     39,659     47,255     59,165     66,199     75,830     88,507    102,752    108,101    121,982
Utah......................................      5,442     14,999     16,261     18,939     19,488     20,691     20,948     21,555     21,001     21,262
Vermont...................................      1,201      5,578      6,380      6,649      7,638      7,424      8,312      8,912      8,379      8,555
Virginia..................................      9,081     27,770     33,910     38,281     39,610     37,579     48,109     46,351     46,883     43,326
Virgin Islands............................        143        210        233        282        343        357        352        484        628        573
Washington................................     18,319     65,291     77,402     91,083    100,337    104,063    109,763    112,819    112,561    102,533
West Virginia.............................      1,430      4,085      6,859      9,500     16,867     12,377     13,846     15,307     15,919     13,213
Wisconsin.................................     26,044     59,303     61,179     63,813     65,439     81,437     94,558     80,986     63,592     53,597
Wyoming...................................        379      2,584      3,226      3,749      4,345      4,288      4,665      4,945      4,233      2,827
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................    596,532  1,750,125  1,983,962  2,258,844  2,416,511  2,549,723  2,693,186  2,854,502  2,842,681  2,649,930
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                     TABLE 8-13.--TOTAL NON-AFDC COLLECTIONS BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-98
                                                                [In thousands of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  State                      1979       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995       1996       1997        1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..................................       $16    $46,691    $58,165    $75,140    $90,733   $106,760   $120,098   $134,423    $147,221    $156,921
Alaska...................................     3,510     18,628     20,781     24,468     27,426     32,207     35,596     39,245      44,283      46,572
Arizona..................................     5,769     21,735     25,875     33,754     47,963     56,243     69,594     89,273     106,018     123,716
Arkansas.................................     1,494     14,211     18,984     26,299     32,899     39,553     47,045     59,686      71,581      84,614
California...............................    82,412    274,205    304,982    339,449    401,620    436,945    455,708    538,224     629,575     761,331
Colorado.................................       496     22,836     27,715     34,743     41,527     50,873     60,678     72,688      86,614     110,353
Connecticut..............................    11,617     39,319     41,960     46,445     52,161     56,983     63,623     70,911      81,201      97,470
Delaware.................................     4,428     14,335     16,032     18,620     18,865     21,809     23,522     27,080      30,654      34,411
District of Columbia.....................       179      9,481     12,171     14,806     16,601     18,465     20,117     21,759      24,275      28,026
Florida..................................     1,926    128,239    157,081    182,707    211,896    246,928    288,770    331,114     384,399     445,488
Georgia..................................       783     67,158     85,249     99,921    120,939    145,002    159,435    166,200     200,887     242,368
Guam.....................................     (\1\)        920      1,527      2,172      2,659      5,131      4,314      4,733       5,361       5,786
Hawaii...................................     2,606     19,295     22,397     26,243     28,269     35,156     37,384     39,941      43,505      50,737
Idaho....................................       454     15,957     15,960     19,302     23,381     26,856     29,835     32,894      37,800      45,905
Illinois.................................       823     91,870    101,167    124,467    128,140    141,079    154,249    177,443     189,677     219,674
Indiana..................................       957     58,021     65,087     75,368     89,125     99,680    123,488    151,941     168,591     189,133
Iowa.....................................     2,363     42,430     50,109     60,645     72,503     82,599     95,131    111,807     125,383     142,741
Kansas...................................       520     29,749     37,379     45,183     37,199     62,012     70,003     78,799      87,907      97,466
Kentucky.................................       266     37,711     46,426     59,200     67,022     83,448     91,341    105,457     124,908     147,764
Louisiana................................     7,434     39,665     44,898     58,398     76,227     91,293    101,476    112,416     127,699     149,003
Maine....................................       441     14,652     15,490     16,528     19,280     23,402     28,927     33,043      36,806      43,374
Maryland.................................     9,927    109,034    126,464    147,660    167,771    196,614    217,925    241,214     284,355     325,615
Massachusetts............................     7,193    107,948    102,576    113,302    118,082    127,087    146,475    176,527     191,202     216,421
Michigan.................................   172,039    499,483    543,944    614,488    704,903    722,273    691,956    777,603     930,518   1,001,467
Minnesota................................     6,861     95,395    112,561    136,190    158,519    184,834    219,131    253,900     290,799     338,494
Mississippi..............................       106     16,002     20,783     26,766     31,864     39,417     46,139     60,101      75,161      95,298
Missouri.................................     1,664     91,795    104,351    116,686    138,008    158,403    180,912    212,614     266,452     228,595
Montana..................................       528      4,427      7,718     11,024     13,686     15,245     18,080     21,187      25,073      29,709
Nebraska.................................       385     45,387     49,624     56,983     61,911     70,925     78,718     82,936      95,949     104,234
Nevada...................................     2,970     12,899     18,881     25,273     30,620     36,451     42,423     48,179      51,630      61,625
New Hampshire............................         0     16,999     18,274     21,023     23,859     27,092     31,793     37,710      44,624      51,981
New Jersey...............................    65,383    220,450    250,235    288,997    323,829    353,390    391,395    409,513     465,564     504,382
New Mexico...............................       520      8,843     10,371     11,239     14,195     16,693     17,681     23,860      24,919      27,929
New York.................................    79,773    239,678    279,289    313,151    351,791    385,974    432,284    496,030     579,075     646,864
North Carolina...........................     1,454     74,167     85,510    103,890    126,951    149,824    157,936    186,655     224,625     260,513
North Dakota.............................       344      5,312      6,708      9,583     12,595     15,730     19,188     22,361      26,242      31,321
Ohio.....................................       858    412,627    468,346    565,166    608,413    675,895    766,715    856,529     960,029   1,048,880
Oklahoma.................................       566     20,293     25,028     28,858     33,386     36,760     41,621     49,109      55,802      64,182
Oregon...................................    75,525     59,497     69,263     81,798     96,572    112,108    126,244    147,276     168,627     184,179
Pennsylvania.............................   153,528    517,893    517,893    651,998    689,990    734,721    760,725    819,596     883,510     925,317
Puerto Rico..............................     1,477     72,828     75,652     82,901     96,014     97,184    104,979    123,890     139,741     142,808
Rhode Island.............................       137      9,876     11,059     11,394     11,717     13,361     14,931     17,173      19,955      22,771
South Carolina...........................       480     36,387     41,078     47,732     54,692     63,565     74,978     88,533     110,722     133,844
South Dakota.............................       270      7,307      8,906     10,993     13,056     15,711     18,709     21,401      24,724      29,195
Tennessee................................     5,105     48,575     49,167     62,041     82,730    106,536    109,328    125,064     141,267     154,220
Texas....................................     1,837     92,659    145,543    191,993    243,303    291,341    359,956    435,501     509,964     563,046
Utah.....................................     1,183     23,073     27,634     33,671     36,712     40,445     42,478     56,045      63,541      75,752
Vermont..................................       249      3,775      4,643      6,869      8,193     10,526     12,922     16,458      19,498      23,157
Virginia.................................       116     82,789     96,008    106,833    112,309    145,207    178,572    210,828     245,946     233,549
Virgin Islands...........................       116      2,920      3,105      3,767      4,649      5,205      5,047      4,955       5,293       5,549
Washington...............................     8,699    110,459    145,006    176,372    206,914    236,425    265,495    294,184     339,169     371,900
West Virginia............................       162     17,574     16,668     26,061     32,149     42,025     58,951     68,926      82,229      96,171
Wisconsin................................     8,224    181,969    215,533    229,647    267,374    299,147    332,929    359,253     396,290     445,675
Wyoming..................................       141      4,571      5,853      7,471      9,465     11,896     12,685     20,076      24,449      30,283
                                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total................................   736,315  4,260,000  4,901,657  5,705,678  6,492,655  7,300,436  8,059,637  9,164,265  10,521,291  11,697,777
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $500.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


           TABLE 8-14.--AVERAGE NUMBER OF AFDC CHILD SUPPORT CASES IN WHICH A COLLECTION WAS MADE, BY STATE FOR SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      State                          1978      1985      1990      1991      1992      1993       1995       1996       1997      1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..........................................     7,966     9,133    10,860     8,347     9,209     9,077       7,679     6,961      5,749     3,843
Alaska...........................................       246     1,120     1,387     1,718     1,949     2,168       2,415     2,620      2,700     2,627
Arizona..........................................       819     1,851     3,128     1,930     2,822     3,343       7,384     6,764      6,805     4,614
Arkansas.........................................     2,509     5,207     6,372     7,071     8,188     8,301       6,773     6,589      5,673     6,070
California.......................................    92,325   103,742    89,304   104,903   116,118   123,776     173,547   224,932    258,104   303,129
Colorado.........................................     3,177     5,687     4,437     4,581     5,126     5,210       4,418     4,202      3,730     2,577
Connecticut......................................     8,002    15,565     6,578     7,128     8,445     9,437      10,792    11,574     12,127    10,734
Delaware.........................................     1,156     2,891     2,223     2,495     2,663     2,913       2,880     2,543      2,205     1,807
District of Columbia.............................       708     1,925     1,758     1,940     2,281     2,437       2,534     2,357      2,109     2,334
Florida..........................................     7,376    16,468    38,500    40,687    40,135    44,727      49,284    41,195     14,477    10,538
Georgia..........................................     6,350     6,657    19,310    23,280    24,729    26,676      28,639    25,136     23,768    19,964
Guam.............................................     (\1\)       206       197       573       616       683         646       559        442       477
Hawaii...........................................     1,757     4,622     2,658     2,773     4,651     4,551       2,920     3,428      2,930     2,983
Idaho............................................     1,346     4,343     1,752     1,992     2,356     2,719       3,130     3,073      2,155     1,274
Illinois.........................................     9,624    18,299    16,968    23,511    23,639    26,028      28,430    29,586     20,045    24,470
Indiana..........................................     9,488    22,058    20,444    26,344    30,823    31,159     111,078    30,119      5,927     3,402
Iowa.............................................     8,396    11,871     7,289     7,153     7,681     7,365       7,057     5,604      5,006     5,077
Kansas...........................................     2,859     4,769     4,595     5,268     6,120     6,857       7,515     7,064      5,241     3,854
Kentucky.........................................     3,083     6,729    10,741    12,513    13,516    15,217      12,679    11,607     10,272     8,723
Louisiana........................................     5,204     7,836    11,842    12,198    12,510    12,164      11,887    11,957     30,353     7,177
Maine............................................     2,368     7,178     5,515     5,767     5,287     7,013       8,793     8,981      8,946     8,230
Maryland.........................................    14,002    15,861     9,237    18,330    19,366    18,684      18,119    16,574     12,786     9,109
Massachusetts....................................    17,782    25,350    16,029    16,106    17,961    18,378      22,245    17,118     15,458    11,282
Michigan.........................................    61,985    59,049    51,747    46,647    45,112    45,211      39,332    36,496     30,641    33,606
Minnesota........................................     9,818    14,872    14,192    12,658    14,563    16,440      17,170    15,778     14,733    10,852
Mississippi......................................     1,846     3,742     7,237     8,808     9,604    10,157       9,970     9,732      7,300     4,621
Missouri.........................................     (\2\)     7,716     6,483    11,241    13,430    14,135      13,096    13,987      9,880    11,824
Montana..........................................       748     1,600     1,140     1,298     1,551     1,816       2,169     2,319      2,051     1,442
Nebraska.........................................     1,509     2,362     2,811     3,255     4,802     4,811       5,538     5,737      5,608     5,171
Nevada...........................................       494     2,370     2,269     2,404     3,096     3,506       3,518     4,792      4,603     4,990
New Hampshire....................................     1,530     1,021     1,091     1,454     2,240     2,703       3,328     3,215      2,889     2,628
New Jersey.......................................    16,243    27,686    17,591    19,728    24,376    26,241      26,899    27,310     24,833    18,753
New Mexico.......................................     1,429     2,034     3,766     4,383     3,865     4,385       6,613     7,427      6,609     1,897
New York.........................................    36,287    48,979    40,219    46,382    51,290    51,407      51,943    52,741     51,495    50,846
North Carolina...................................    11,232    14,216    20,381    24,699    28,028    29,649      28,027    25,276     18,728       844
North Dakota.....................................       759     1,656     1,647     1,665     1,597     1,579         943     1,006        769       572
Ohio.............................................    24,419    32,582    35,973    34,446    38,445    39,857      47,323     45994     48,117    40,424
Oklahoma.........................................     1,101     3,543     7,787     3,895     4,794     5,294       5,671     5,157      4,332     3,636
Oregon...........................................     6,761     6,687     6,437     7,437     8,321     9,495       9,390     8,899      8,112     7,313
Pennsylvania.....................................    15,172    42,088    47,039    52,269    59,514    61,998      58,646    60,952     48,946    32,634
Puerto Rico......................................       413     3,736     3,696     3,103     3,026     2,811       3,454     1,351      1,177     1,333
Rhode Island.....................................     2,419     3,233     4,295     3,100     3,346     4,070       4,830     4,739      4,530     4,552
South Carolina...................................     3,343     5,785    14,614    15,349    16,764    19,026      20,964    21,547     20,832    22,209
South Dakota.....................................     1,087     1,532     1,234     1,262     1,526     1,642       1,809     2,268      1,341     1,104
Tennessee........................................     4,705     8,336    16,659    11,625    12,179    11,391      10,344     8,892      3,269     9,899
Texas............................................     5,446     5,652    15,447    18,229    20,387    23,075      26,570    27,897     26,169    12,043
Utah.............................................     3,784     5,209     3,333     3,669     3,973     4,033       3,979     4,034      3,718     3,179
Vermont..........................................       953     2,329     2,596     2,826     3,556     4,114       2,594     2,856      2,678     2,511
Virginia.........................................     4,729    13,054    14,138    16,761    18,679    19,399      45,576    19,188     16,965    16,057
Virgin Islands...................................       232       199       133       135       165       193         214       158        234       246
Washington.......................................    14,860    15,895    27,063    23,263    28,618    27,020      29,026    24,317     23,648    19,536
West Virginia....................................     1,430     2,331     2,484     2,622     3,347     4,108       6,185     4,488      4,219     2,750
Wisconsin........................................    16,868    44,799    30,143    30,426    32,693    31,984      32,140    10,681      8,728     6,956
Wyoming..........................................       294       453     1,197     1,681     2,094     2,146       2,058       675        547       554
                                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total........................................   458,439   684,114   700,803   755,328   831,172   872,579   1,050,163   940,452    864,709   789,277
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 8-15.--AVERAGE NUMBER OF NON-AFDC CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT CASES IN WHICH A COLLECTION WAS MADE BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                State                   1978      1985       1990        1991        1992        1993        1995        1996        1997        1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.............................       110     5,023      19,971      28,512      33,741      39,586      47,785      51,547      57,479      57,751
Alaska..............................     2,309     3,205       3,947       4,211       4,598       4,997       5,891       6,331       6,714       9,662
Arizona.............................     (\1\)     4,770       4,668       9,144      11,107      10,283      21,881      25,800      25,788      35,524
Arkansas............................       764     3,613       8,473      11,232      15,088      18,449      23,243      27,015      31,538      33,648
California..........................    69,696    64,686      96,101     101,913      97,597     104,864     155,144     200,129     237,234     285,220
Colorado............................     1,017     3,976       7,281       9,008      10,492      11,360      14,524      16,883      19,858      24,187
Connecticut.........................     (\1\)     9,392       9,884      13,289      14,441      15,721      17,950      20,071      22,526      26,477
Delaware............................     3,210     4,395       6,770       8,058       8,303       9,191      11,575       9,856      10,259      11,204
District of Columbia................        93     1,007       4,252       4,964       5,704       6,278       6,904       7,164       7,520      12,054
Florida.............................     1,200     7,593      56,329      66,748      67,948      77,734      96,394     102,045      92,641     102,959
Georgia.............................     1,207     5,487      30,217      34,545      35,419      40,698      50,178      55,749      81,366     105,275
Guam................................     (\1\)        65         114         495         616         803       1,582       1,508       1,398       1,494
Hawaii..............................     (\1\)       352       2,804      10,398      15,305      16,299      10,237      10,393      11,637      12,609
Idaho...............................       455     1,047       6,493       7,403       8,689       9,889      11,522      11,612      11,599      13,194
Illinois............................       196    10,030      26,184      36,363      36,246      40,744      48,174      54,714      62,397      62,763
Indiana.............................       450     2,881      25,586      27,111      34,855      36,865      39,155      45,017      57,723      48,065
Iowa................................       671     4,913      12,400      14,103      16,352      19,266      24,161      25,634      28,661      33,162
Kansas..............................       210       758      11,520      13,855      16,003      18,846      24,991      27,187      30,415      33,193
Kentucky............................       255     3,647      17,473      20,489      23,531      28,950      35,072      38,815      43,479      49,190
Louisiana...........................     6,866    10,636      16,739      20,001      24,194      28,146      37,396      42,588      47,949      53,144
Maine...............................       638     1,496       6,425       6,510       5,479       7,630      11,793      12,752      14,070      14,004
Maryland............................       130    26,154      27,339      49,380      52,024      54,989      61,259      65,038      70,096      75,372
Massachusetts.......................     (\1\)         0      22,921      14,264      24,605      25,899      33,533      40,266      44,261      47,520
Michigan............................     (\1\)    88,675     115,081     129,461     133,652     141,489     151,518     164,057     179,822     201,862
Minnesota...........................     2,766    12,615      26,712      27,174      35,791      43,272      56,720      64,251      72,944      73,253
Mississippi.........................        81     1,319       7,917      10,077      12,997      16,007      24,355      29,377      29,626      35,172
Missouri............................     (\1\)     5,362      26,994      32,317      38,492      41,022      47,438      57,745      50,365      67,848
Montana.............................       444       344       1,448       2,208       2,748       3,750       6,148       7,488       8,711      10,231
Nebraska............................       176     7,874      14,748      14,883      15,185      17,771      18,399      19,113      18,524      15,239
Nevada..............................     4,026     5,360       4,451       5,327       6,676       7,819       9,387      10,072      11,146      12,256
New Hampshire.......................     (\1\)     4,939       5,260       5,875       7,077       7,870      10,079      11,316      12,784      14,186
New Jersey..........................    20,000    45,868      66,885      68,753      78,789      84,267      89,409      97,360     103,379     105,719
New Mexico..........................       286     2,249       5,360       5,758       5,947       5,849       8,095       9,455       9,509       6,465
New York............................    39,623    63,829      83,651      94,031     103,924     108,419     152,556     136,975     152,311     173,196
North Carolina......................     1,715    10,137      27,632      31,810      37,172      43,884      59,956      68,579      61,255       2,724
North Dakota........................       154       266       1,911       2,357       3,320       4,026       4,245       6,582       7,028       7,789
Ohio................................     1,430    10,853     101,553     107,806     135,535     149,104     191,748     158,967     234,784     260,203
Oklahoma............................     (\1\)     1,968      10,509       8,558       8,479      10,707      13,730      15,347      17,094      18,548
Oregon..............................    17,957    19,331      25,657      19,754      21,810      25,063      31,968      35,821      31,931      44,005
Pennsylvania........................    49,621   108,498     147,885     171,525     182,098     190,671     195,144     209,436     219,075     169,472
Puerto Rico.........................       710    26,873      35,295      36,731      33,075      41,130      45,963      47,320      48,994      50,848
Rhode Island........................        57     1,969       3,705       3,017       3,060       3,291       4,271       4,670       5,341       6,161
South Carolina......................       203     2,777       4,896      10,393      25,764      27,771      34,471      36,395      42,911      48,375
South Dakota........................       297       502       2,739       3,262       3,881       4,607       6,339       7,916       7,709       8,825
Tennessee...........................     6,360    12,156      28,174      31,554      35,358      40,003      53,498      55,076      42,622      69,067
Texas...............................     2,861     8,833      37,741      51,039      65,152      79,037     111,451     133,427     151,245     169,850
Utah................................       400     1,068       6,738       8,605       9,704      10,573      13,446      15,343      18,848      22,458
Vermont.............................       181       393       1,659       1,870       2,433       3,154       3,380       4,603       5,644       6,742
Virginia............................        38       876      31,492      34,242      38,267      46,760      88,500      66,164      72,765      80,067
Virgin Islands......................         1     1,288       1,247       1,301       1,348       1,538       1,655       1,410       1,790       1,926
Washington..........................     4,822     9,802      34,791      46,930      55,788      64,929      74,479      69,233      80,647      90,587
West Virginia.......................       130       288       8,045       7,555       9,513      11,971      22,022      20,762      22,932      26,807
Wisconsin...........................     4,685    20,288      56,769      65,718      70,780      88,601     111,438      94,760     104,860     113,704
Wyoming.............................        89        77       2,352       2,853       3,275       1,738       3,564       6,582       7,287       8,326
                                     -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...........................   248,590   653,803   1,362,821   1,554,740   1,749,427   1,953,580   2,404,716   2,563,716   2,850,491   3,069,582
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\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 8-16.--SUPPORT ORDERS ESTABLISHED, ENFORCED, AND MODIFIED TO INCLUDE HEALTH INSURANCE BY STATE, FISCAL
                                                    YEAR 1998
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 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.....................       21,176       11,399      53.83         608,877             123,919      20.35
Alaska......................        3,146        3,119      99.14           3,655               3,540      96.85
Arizona.....................        9,121        9,121     100.00         624,217               8,807       1.41
Arkansas....................        9,070        6,030      66.48         157,368               6,002       3.81
California..................      223,541      175,227      78.39       1,378,352           1,043,809      75.73
Colorado....................        9,982        8,287      83.02          75,453              44,838      59.43
Connecticut.................       31,995       20,726      64.78         169,970              90,931      53.50
Delaware....................        2,354        2,354     100.00          18,205              15,114      83.02
District of Columbia........        6,814           79       1.16           6,092                  39       0.64
Florida.....................       25,958        3,486      13.43          66,747              13,772      20.63
Georgia.....................       31,092       13,362      42.98         508,876             156,667      30.79
Guam........................          336          141      41.96             698                 267      38.25
Hawaii......................        4,150        4,150     100.00         117,044             117,044     100.00
Idaho.......................        3,218        3,160      98.20         204,583             144,380      70.57
Illinois....................       30,765       13,419      43.62         647,959             141,839      21.89
Indiana.....................       32,272          695       2.15           7,271                  16       0.22
Iowa........................       14,930       12,373      82.87         166,137              93,595      56.34
Kansas......................       17,318       14,473      83.57         172,949              45,405      26.25
Kentucky....................       27,190        9,849      36.22         161,396              30,602      18.96
Louisiana...................       17,419       16,594      95.26         169,646             137,112      80.82
Maine.......................        4,687        3,386      72.24          12,759               1,359      10.65
Maryland....................       20,933       13,949      66.64       1,199,586             265,442      22.13
Massachusetts...............       12,297        6,469      52.61          81,744               1,806       2.21
Michigan....................       28,212       24,952      88.44       1,407,431              76,904       5.46
Minnesota...................       18,657        8,134      43.60         371,521              43,957      11.83
Mississippi.................       14,561        6,542      44.93          92,695              25,344      27.34
Missouri....................       22,756       17,064      74.99          88,191              59,112      67.03
Montana.....................        2,232        2,062      92.38          44,300               9,124      20.60
Nebraska....................        4,887        2,233      45.69           1,613                 391      24.24
Nevada......................        4,186        3,172      75.78          65,302               2,033       3.11
New Hampshire...............        3,877        2,057      53.06          64,798               4,426       6.83
New Jersey..................       23,192       16,235      70.00          30,712              11,926      38.83
New Mexico..................        3,633        1,833      50.45           9,436                 393       4.16
New York....................       49,481       19,790      40.00          43,048              17,218      40.00
North Carolina..............       35,959       35,959     100.00          71,839                  NA       0.00
North Dakota................        2,177        2,076      95.36          13,861                 118       0.85
Ohio........................       63,014       44,891      71.24         723,398             345,704      47.79
Oklahoma....................        9,272        7,366      79.44           8,651               6,258      72.34
Oregon......................       12,850       10,915      84.94          58,760              20,161      34.31
Pennsylvania................      108,510       89,286      82.28         352,843             265,558      75.26
Puerto Rico.................        9,359           NA       0.00          78,542                   8       0.01
Rhode Island................        2,283        1,480      64.83          19,614              14,187      72.33
South Carolina..............       13,641        8,649      63.40          34,463              17,234      50.01
South Dakota................        3,792        3,430      90.45          26,354              21,507      81.61
Tennessee...................       28,842        6,804      23.59          50,799              30,365      59.77
Texas.......................       37,019       24,417      65.96          52,081               8,486      16.29
Utah........................        4,386        3,405      77.63         170,415             149,609      87.79
Vermont.....................        2,229          900      40.38          28,924              13,937      48.18
Virginia....................       20,298       16,198      79.80         137,783              32,192      23.36
Virgin Islands..............          556            9       1.62           1,216                  NA       0.00
Washington..................       27,248       24,536      90.05         851,861             395,963      46.48
West Virginia...............        9,712        4,658      47.96          89,607               2,898       3.23
Wisconsin...................       19,418        8,677      44.69         175,076              22,386      12.79
Wyoming.....................        1,698          874      51.47          47,500              18,475      38.89
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................    1,147,701      750,452      65.39      11,772,218           4,102,179     34.85
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


              TABLE 8-17.--PERCENTAGE OF AFDC PAYMENTS RECOVERED THROUGH CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-96
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   State                       1979       1985       1987       1989       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995       1996
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................        8.5       23.2       30.8       31.7       33.7       27.0       23.8       23.1       25.6       31.2
Alaska....................................        1.5        8.3       12.6       13.7       14.6       12.7       11.9       13.6       16.2       18.9
Arizona...................................        2.0        5.1        3.8        4.4        4.2        5.4        7.1        8.2        9.8       10.6
Arkansas..................................        4.8       17.6       21.0       20.7       23.6       26.5       28.0       28.0       32.5       41.3
California................................        6.5        6.1        6.0        5.9        6.3        6.5        7.1        7.8        8.3       10.6
Colorado..................................        4.8        9.5       11.4       12.3       13.0       15.0       16.7       19.5       22.7       28.6
Connecticut...............................        6.5       12.2       12.7        9.5       10.2       10.5       11.2       11.0       15.0       18.0
Delaware..................................        4.4       17.3       21.2       20.3       20.6       19.7       19.8       20.2       22.1       24.5
District of Columbia......................        1.0        3.8        4.7        4.9        4.5        4.7        4.6        4.4        4.7        5.0
Florida...................................        5.5       11.5       11.9       11.6       11.1        9.9        9.6       10.2       11.3       12.1
Georgia...................................        4.3       10.4       12.4       14.3       15.4       18.2       20.1       20.3       20.9       27.2
Guam......................................        5.3        9.1       11.9       10.8       32.7       34.6       28.7       18.6       14.5       16.0
Hawaii....................................        2.9        8.9        7.3        8.8        7.4        6.9        6.7        6.6        7.2        7.8
Idaho.....................................        8.9       25.0       33.2       35.7       34.7       36.5       35.3       36.3       35.1       38.1
Illinois..................................        1.5        4.8        5.0        5.6        5.7        7.0        6.6        7.1        7.8        9.1
Indiana...................................        7.2       21.5       23.0       22.4       23.8       24.0       24.5       24.2       26.8       30.4
Iowa......................................        9.0       19.3       19.2       20.1       20.6       23.2       24.3       26.3       30.4       34.1
Kansas....................................        5.0       14.1       13.4       15.9       17.8       19.4       19.7       21.8       25.9       30.8
Kentucky..................................        3.8        8.5       12.0       12.4       15.0       18.8       20.0       21.0       22.9       21.6
Louisiana.................................        5.2        9.1       10.5       11.1       12.4       14.2       15.3       16.1       18.7       23.8
Maine.....................................        7.3       20.6       26.1       22.9       21.5       18.8       24.5       28.3       30.4       33.5
Maryland..................................        6.1       11.2       13.0       14.5       11.4       14.2       16.9       15.8       15.3       16.5
Massachusetts.............................        6.6       10.7       12.0       11.8       10.4       10.5       11.4       11.6       12.8       13.6
Michigan..................................        9.0       12.5       13.0       13.9       15.1       15.7       16.6       17.7       18.7       21.9
Minnesota.................................        7.8       12.7       14.2       14.4       14.6       16.3       17.3       19.2       23.0       21.5
Mississippi...............................        2.9        9.4       13.7       16.8       22.3       24.2       24.9       28.0       29.3       35.9
Missouri..................................        2.8       12.0       15.0       17.8       15.6       19.0       18.9       20.1       21.0       26.0
Montana...................................        4.4        8.6        9.9       11.1       12.9       16.0       15.0       14.2       17.3       20.3
Nebraska..................................        5.4       11.5       12.9       13.0       13.2       16.0       16.9       18.1       21.4       24.6
Nevada....................................        6.3       16.4       12.4       12.2       14.1       17.1       16.6       15.7       15.3       17.9
New Hampshire.............................        9.4       15.2       12.4       11.3       10.1       12.3       14.4       16.0       19.4       21.5
New Jersey................................        5.9       12.5       14.4       14.0       16.4       16.5       16.4       16.9       18.3       20.2
New Mexico................................        3.4        7.4        9.4        9.2        7.8        8.0       11.6        9.7        6.0        4.2
New York..................................        3.5        5.0        5.6        6.4        6.7        7.2        7.0        6.7        6.9        8.0
North Carolina............................        5.6       17.4       18.9       18.8       18.4       19.6       20.5       22.4       23.1       25.7
North Dakota..............................        9.6       16.8       17.4       21.0       23.4       24.0       24.1       25.4       28.9       29.7
Ohio......................................        4.8       10.1        9.9       10.0       10.3       11.7       12.2       13.4       15.5       17.5
Oklahoma..................................        1.6        6.4        8.0        9.0        9.9       10.7       11.1       12.8       14.9       20.1
Oregon....................................        9.0       13.0       13.0       13.5       13.5       12.5       13.4       14.3       15.0       16.9
Pennsylvania..............................        4.6       11.0       13.2       12.6       13.7       14.0       13.7       13.6       14.5       16.2
Puerto Rico...............................        0.7        2.7        2.3        2.4        2.1        1.8        1.7        1.9        3.5        4.4
Rhode Island..............................        6.1        7.6        8.9       10.4        9.2       10.8       11.6       12.6       13.9       15.2
South Carolina............................        5.4       13.1       15.9       16.8       16.8       17.9       21.1       23.6       26.1       29.5
South Dakota..............................        6.5       14.4       17.9       17.1       18.1       18.8       19.5       23.2       27.4       31.2
Tennessee.................................        5.0       10.3       14.1       13.7       14.3       11.2       15.7       15.9       23.3       17.7
Texas.....................................        5.4        6.2        9.4        9.5       10.2       11.8       12.9       14.5       17.6       22.2
Utah......................................       13.7       19.6       22.1       23.4       23.2       25.6       26.2       28.3       29.7       34.5
Vermont...................................        4.1       11.1       13.4       12.7       13.0       12.7       14.7       14.6       17.7       21.4
Virginia..................................        6.3        9.0       13.5       15.7       17.2       17.3       17.3       16.2       21.8       23.8
Virgin Islands............................        8.5        8.3        7.9        7.3        7.1        8.5       10.2       10.6        8.7       11.0
Washington................................       12.5       10.9       14.4       17.1       18.1       20.0       20.8       21.1       22.4       23.5
West Virginia.............................        2.6        7.8        6.1        5.1        8.1       10.6       18.2       13.8       15.1       17.5
Wisconsin.................................        9.5       12.4       15.4       15.5       15.7       16.2       17.0       21.6       27.3       28.5
Wyoming...................................        5.6        8.2       10.0       13.5       13.3       14.3       17.0       20.7       25.1       30.1
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................        5.8        9.1       10.0       10.3       10.7       11.4       12.0       12.5       13.6      15.5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Payments to Aid to Families with Dependent Children--Unemployed Parent (AFDC-UP) families have been excluded from the payment totals in those
  States having AFDC-UP Programs.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                TABLE 8-18.--FEDERAL INCOME TAX REFUND OFFSET COLLECTIONS BY STATE, FISCAL YEARS 1983-98
                                                                [In thousands of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     State                        1983      1987      1990      1991      1992      1993      1995       1996        1997        1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.......................................    $1,555    $5,135    $8,009    $8,827   $20,586   $17,818   $18,688     $25,609     $25,208     $26,068
Alaska........................................       212       891     1,208     1,387     1,711     1,464     2,156       2,946       2,917       4,011
Arizona.......................................       385     2,049     2,605     2,876     4,007     8,381     7,538       8,763      12,923      11,520
Arkansas......................................     1,104     3,770     4,669     5,575     7,106     6,862     7,515      11,391      12,176      13,729
California....................................    35,034    46,287    57,624    57,098    67,569    62,460    86,508     129,209     132,838     152,738
Colorado......................................     3,016     3,020     5,604     6,179     7,614     7,851     9,283      13,973      13,932      15,000
Connecticut...................................     4,455     6,140     9,907     9,250    10,190     9,315    10,823      13,699      14,034      15,073
Delaware......................................       166     1,319     1,966     2,467     2,683     2,313     2,626       3,291       3,424       3,730
District of Columbia..........................       567       779     1,942     1,606     1,788     1,701     1,992       2,555       2,832       2,913
Florida.......................................     1,980     7,318    21,038    24,880    31,569    30,689    38,045      50,377      51,709      54,020
Georgia.......................................     1,526     7,258    13,032    15,693    22,016    22,441    30,103      36,429      31,895      31,363
Guam..........................................        13        44        13        11        51        43        70          92          99         285
Hawaii........................................       817     1,122     1,573     1,976     2,328     3,704     3,589       4,519       4,567       5,543
Idaho.........................................     1,183     1,594     2,173     2,270     2,690     2,595     3,205       4,061       4,441       4,867
Illinois......................................     4,525    15,415    19,307    18,876    26,631    20,891    28,836      33,620      37,064      39,738
Indiana.......................................     4,940    11,390    15,860    16,853    21,169    19,809    23,429      27,690      26,129      24,179
Iowa..........................................     5,526     7,798     8,828     9,439    11,240    10,633    13,055      15,623      15,189      18,285
Kansas........................................     2,525     3,704     5,300     6,101     7,525     7,207     9,196      12,292      13,626      13,489
Kentucky......................................     1,165     3,262     6,680     7,891    12,919    11,994    14,121      16,550      18,097      18,491
Louisiana.....................................     1,536     4,722     6,582     6,519     8,438     9,356    13,934      18,758      21,696      19,524
Maine.........................................     1,844     3,377     5,383     4,925     5,477     4,862     6,103       7,140       7,406       8,094
Maryland......................................     5,688     9,646    14,343    14,182    15,542    15,454    17,936      22,333      23,833      22,704
Massachusetts.................................     3,325     5,269    11,899    10,936    13,077    11,465     9,997      11,739      13,229      15,158
Michigan......................................    18,250    25,893    29,854    32,776    44,968    45,314    49,346      56,625      59,784      62,184
Minnesota.....................................     5,576     6,762     8,096     8,831     9,904     9,217    10,575      12,886      13,607       9,621
Mississippi...................................     1,019     2,252     4,958     6,392     8,270     8,532    10,765      19,839      15,959      16,949
Missouri......................................     4,289     8,482    14,205    10,189    17,711    16,367    19,546      24,207      26,814      27,772
Montana.......................................       431     1,209     1,301     1,374     1,636     1,679     1,794       2,242       2,712       2,871
Nebraska......................................       502     1,395     2,485     2,548     3,121     3,213     3,671       4,684       5,411       5,218
Nevada........................................       354       433       768     1,363     2,449     2,291     3,127       4,235       5,144       5,264
New Hampshire.................................       757     1,284     1,177     1,350     2,028     1,997     2,869       3,551       3,845       4,145
New Jersey....................................     9,458    14,268    16,171    18,266    20,132    17,990    21,309      25,717      27,200      27,063
New Mexico....................................       533     2,278     2,585     2,863     3,259     3,041     3,907       4,908       5,468       5,368
New York......................................     9,945    27,991    24,763    31,307    33,734    31,084    35,960      42,715      49,517      49,824
North Carolina................................     4,235     7,229    11,270    12,718    16,410    17,403    21,154      28,187      30,002      27,682
North Dakota..................................       352       848     1,302     1,501     1,767     1,656     2,303       2,465       2,715       2,916
Ohio..........................................     2,886    11,186    16,514    21,027    27,476    28,651    46,843      58,189      60,171      65,003
Oklahoma......................................       703     2,218     4,647     5,803     7,575     7,077     9,148      10,938      12,469      12,816
Oregon........................................     3,782     4,863     5,381     5,622     6,259     5,694     7,997      10,199      10,451      11,540
Pennsylvania..................................     6,112    17,123    24,354    27,946    32,560    29,012    36,956      44,673      47,174      47,776
Puerto Rico...................................         2        13         6        63       231       218       287       3,107       3,997       3,200
Rhode Island..................................       838       880     1,548     1,522     1,799     1,424     1,857       2,242       2,438       2,701
South Carolina................................       368     1,789     3,233     3,449     4,678     5,198     6,296       8,643      10,153      10,292
South Dakota..................................       374       998     1,498     1,648     2,110     2,018     2,465       3,018       3,239       3,106
Tennessee.....................................       642     3,025     7,539     8,341    16,033    12,577    16,865      20,384      19,971      25,389
Texas.........................................     3,906    11,316    19,926    24,133    34,346    36,561    54,142      70,006      78,613      95,996
Utah..........................................     2,540     2,991     4,066     4,297     5,604     5,431     6,270       6,056       5,804       6,289
Vermont.......................................       611       887     1,017     1,074     1,294     1,073     1,633       1,881       2,127       2,234
Virginia......................................     1,674     6,840     9,761    10,298    12,594    12,601    16,898      18,962      22,028      22,207
Virgin Islands................................  ........        37         7        25        44        68        81          68         306         284
Washington....................................     4,278    10,510    13,732    13,957    17,417    17,236    19,506      23,271      26,012      27,853
West Virginia.................................     1,038     2,013     3,066     3,265     3,705     3,551     7,221       7,566       8,741       8,912
Wisconsin.....................................     6,266    10,029    13,290    14,384    17,486    18,055    22,800      31,773      27,956      27,696
Wyoming.......................................       222       503       684     1,131     1,190       932     1,977       3,328       3,217       2,920
                                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................................   175,021   338,853   474,748   515,279   661,711   636,466   803,952   1,021,449   1,082,309   1,143,616
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


          TABLE 8-19.--TOTAL CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS PER DOLLAR OF TOTAL ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURES BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1978-98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    State                       1978     1986     1988     1989     1990     1991     1992     1993     1995     1996     1997     1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.....................................     0.75     2.45     2.50     2.46     2.78     2.68     3.11     3.27     2.24     3.41     4.14     3.40
Alaska......................................     3.19     2.61     3.46     4.06     4.14     3.64     3.92     3.71     2.93     3.31     3.48     3.52
Arizona.....................................     0.88     1.46     2.11     1.84     1.49     1.54     1.57     1.79     1.48     2.41     2.69     2.66
Arkansas....................................     1.00     2.62     2.94     3.38     2.80     3.00     3.15     3.20     2.75     2.77     1.98     2.88
California..................................     2.15     2.37     2.75     2.66     2.59     2.63     2.59     2.54     2.17     2.36     2.29     2.66
Colorado....................................     1.78     1.89     1.99     2.21     2.82     3.22     2.70     2.47     2.54     2.82     3.07     3.11
Connecticut.................................     4.20     3.49     2.73     2.76     2.46     2.73     2.97     3.19     2.88     2.91     3.09     3.23
Delaware....................................     7.14     2.46     2.62     3.01     3.13     2.87     2.88     2.39     2.04     2.50     2.23     2.55
District of Columbia........................     0.73     0.92     1.21     1.33     1.78     1.88     2.33     2.51     2.03     2.38     4.10     1.98
Florida.....................................     1.20     2.12     2.28     2.58     2.66     2.86     3.03     3.78     3.53     3.13     3.45     3.04
Georgia.....................................     2.22     2.59     2.88     3.06     3.06     3.61     4.26     4.47     3.50     3.92     3.88     3.53
Guam........................................       NA     1.39     1.62     1.28     1.24     1.98     1.87     1.89     1.33     2.57     1.89     1.72
Hawaii......................................     1.71     2.26     3.62     3.62     3.64     4.06     3.94     3.79     2.36     2.18     2.35     2.60
Idaho.......................................     2.10     3.58     3.79     3.95     4.02     3.21     3.62     3.43     2.39     2.32     2.73     3.69
Illinois....................................     2.10     2.40     2.68     2.77     2.61     2.63     2.90     2.36     2.23     2.41     2.05     2.50
Indiana.....................................     2.42     4.82     5.49     5.34     6.15     7.27     6.56     6.45     5.18     6.54     6.18     5.45
Iowa........................................     3.49     6.77     6.36     5.66     4.99     5.02     5.79     5.14     4.72     5.23     4.87     4.79
Kansas......................................     3.01     2.15     2.51     2.00     2.76     3.43     3.73     2.57     1.69     5.82     3.06     3.05
Kentucky....................................     1.14     2.52     2.44     2.63     2.55     2.33     2.97     3.05     3.21     3.43     3.80     3.90
Louisiana...................................     1.82     1.99     2.60     2.85     3.12     2.51     2.74     3.19     3.37     4.16     4.33     4.03
Maine.......................................     3.40     3.74     4.01     4.14     3.82     3.06     2.84     3.39     4.28     4.05     4.23     4.25
Maryland....................................     2.14     3.77     3.31     3.36     3.80     3.80     4.49     4.56     4.07     4.36     4.41     4.31
Massachusetts...............................     5.12     3.50     4.09     3.24     3.80     3.41     4.18     4.30     3.54     4.05     4.05     4.50
Michigan....................................     9.50     8.33     8.80     8.58     7.83     8.07     8.20     8.43     7.20     6.63     6.76     7.18
Minnesota...................................     2.15     3.02     3.59     3.65     3.58     3.74     4.27     4.20     3.96     4.36     4.14     3.85
Mississippi.................................     0.87     2.29     3.06     2.23     1.56     1.76     2.22     2.20     2.16     2.87     3.15     3.69
Missouri....................................     0.89     3.89     4.22     4.45     4.71     4.75     4.88     4.30     3.41     3.75     4.05     3.36
Montana.....................................     1.58     2.59     2.97     4.21     2.74     2.78     2.38     2.76     2.87     2.42     2.75     3.15
Nebraska....................................     2.10     5.44     5.02     4.69     4.48     3.83     3.54     4.17     3.44     3.16     3.70     4.66
Nevada......................................     1.83     2.10     1.95     2.22     2.12     2.52     3.06     2.39     2.08     2.53     1.61     2.90
New Hampshire...............................     4.05     4.39     4.93     3.18     3.71     2.86     3.26     2.87     2.50     3.42     4.01     4.50
New Jersey..................................     4.16     4.64     4.12     3.85     3.66     3.49     4.02     4.02     6.13     4.52     4.78     4.64
New Mexico..................................     1.17     2.27     1.76     1.96     2.00     2.00     2.30     3.08     1.54     1.43     1.45     1.59
New York....................................     1.75     1.83     2.36     2.74     2.55     2.81     3.22     3.10     3.39     4.03     4.01     4.16
North Carolina..............................     1.50     3.26     3.32     3.20     3.18     3.15     3.20     3.20     2.40     2.94     2.83     2.86
North Dakota................................     1.83     2.46     3.14     3.31     3.62     3.59     3.93     4.05     4.13     4.34     5.14     4.75
Ohio........................................     2.50     4.41    10.83     6.07     7.21     6.01     5.35     5.48     5.63     6.07     5.19     5.67
Oklahoma....................................     0.76     1.78     2.48     2.28     2.29     2.41     2.69     3.13     2.70     3.06     3.03     3.10
Oregon......................................     9.48     4.47     4.27     4.45     4.49     4.48     5.10     4.95     4.81     5.60     4.65     5.28
Pennsylvania................................     9.14     7.78     8.52     8.97     8.71     8.03     9.27     9.09     8.15     7.74     7.42     7.06
Puerto Rico.................................     0.92    14.02    17.60    13.61     7.84    15.68    10.43    11.73     3.96     4.44     5.37     5.38
Rhode Island................................     3.51     3.90     3.65     3.67     2.52     2.22     2.31     4.35     3.45     4.31     4.33     4.18
South Carolina..............................     2.38     2.37     3.23     3.01     2.60     3.01     3.59     3.88     2.84     3.37     4.30     4.71
South Dakota................................     0.99     2.74     3.50     3.99     3.96     4.43     4.82     4.90     5.27     5.87     5.79     6.13
Tennessee...................................     2.49     3.31     4.09     3.57     4.28     4.27     3.87     5.42     3.75     4.06     3.85     3.58
Texas.......................................     0.74     2.01     2.81     2.41     1.93     2.50     2.53     2.31     3.01     3.71     3.59     3.76
Utah........................................     1.99     2.21     2.86     2.92     3.09     2.80     3.08     2.86     1.96     2.66     2.84     3.03
Vermont.....................................     2.24     2.34     3.31     2.93     3.61     3.77     2.82     3.06     2.69     3.79     3.57     4.20
Virginia....................................     0.72     1.57     2.39     3.03     2.35     3.13     2.91     3.09     3.63     4.18     5.23     4.53
Virgin Islands..............................     0.40     2.14     4.16     3.11     4.18     2.07     4.10     4.50     0.86     2.25     2.44     2.67
Washington..................................     2.96     2.42     2.48     2.66     3.13     3.41     3.29     3.42     3.35     3.53     4.06     3.74
West Virginia...............................     0.74     1.98     2.16     2.95     2.75     2.55     2.98     2.77     3.24     3.61     4.03     4.47
Wisconsin...................................     3.80     4.78     6.01     6.18     5.76     6.68     6.83     7.15     6.09     5.94     5.81     5.49
Wyoming.....................................     3.18     3.27     4.91     3.50     3.37     3.50     4.87     2.34     1.76     2.96     3.34     3.72
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................................     3.35     3.45     3.94     3.85     3.75     3.82     3.99     3.98     3.60     3.93     3.90     4.00
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                 TABLE 8-20.--NUMBER OF PATERNITIES ESTABLISHED BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1979-98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   State                      1979      1987      1989      1990      1991      1992      1993      1995      1996      1997      1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................     6,161     6,998     7,839     6,517     6,612     7,942    10,779     7,816     7,103     6,558     5,418
Alaska....................................         3       364       797       767       673       906     1,070     1,576       929     1.025     1,806
Arizona...................................       154     1,009     1,327     1,237     2,674     3,056     5,007    11,608    10,389    10,454    14,544
Arkansas..................................     2,586     5,326     4,453     3,191     4,703     5,175     6,580     8,294     8,283     7,122     9,273
California................................    19,364    28,570    35,193    41,065    56,912    65,062    77,324   129,593   183,424   200,272   210,340
Colorado..................................     1,046     1,291     1,939     1,864     2,887     4,135     5,258     6,201     5,908     5,294     5,065
Connecticut...............................     3,029     3,908     3,888     4,499     5,309     6,196     5,368     7,578     8,318     8,333     7,082
Delaware..................................       205     1,867     1,641       801       728     1,573     1,395     2,292     3,522     3,085     2,946
District of Columbia......................       386     1,021     2,079     2,791     3,895     2,792     2,884     1,683     1,482     1,760     2,364
Florida...................................     7,078    12,136    13,399    19,534    17,907    16,119    10,879    13,010     2,806    20,535    48,385
Georgia...................................     3,642    14,112    18,198    24,615    28,015    30,181    29,329    13,978     3,146     6,923     9,970
Guam......................................        NA       122       109       563       884       642       440       866       802       461       526
Hawaii....................................       854     1,061     1,295     1,843     1,672     1,419     1,746     1,493     1,785     1,761     1,671
Idaho.....................................       287       384     1,100     1,310     1,551     1,722     1,509     2,079     2,533     1,942     2,910
Illinois..................................     3,025    20,848    29,926    25,496    21,157    18,900    19,017    22,236    26,483    47,516    50,456
Indiana...................................     1,644     3,570     4,943     5,309     6,291     5,631     4,950     4,202     4,484    19,857     2,260
Iowa......................................       575     1,664     1,980     3,045     1,904     4,416     4,952     4,378     3,414     1,881       614
Kansas....................................       696     1,119     2,101     3,644     3,125     3,198     4,445    10,677    11,801     9,218    10,404
Kentucky..................................       784     3,881     4,498     6,092     6,816     7,951     7,979     8,950     9,994     9,747     9,345
Louisiana.................................     1,304     2,926     4,451     5,525    11,098    11,764    13,272     9,299    11,235    12,560    22,391
Maine.....................................       382       951     1,609     1,381     1,376     3,189     1,370     1,704     2,129     2,274     2,243
Maryland..................................    13,307     6,671     9,995     7,538    12,081    11,259     9,993     9,052    10,931    12,716    38,392
Massachusetts.............................     2,096     7,025     6,194     6,339     5,742     8,195     6,234    10,862    10,201    10,145    10,047
Michigan..................................     7,529    18,274    23,142    25,574    27,955    29,087    28,076    22,471    24,898    17,656    13,443
Minnesota.................................     1,786     3,856     6,098     5,661     7,695     5,348     3,749     8,936     9,696     8,801     4,510
Mississippi...............................       932     1,824     7,929    10,740    11,950     8,978     8,588    12,734    14,246    14,560    13,218
Missouri..................................        NA    14,308    11,146    16,242    21,976    23,982    24,292    24,679    24,800    19,731    23,970
Montana...................................        92       179       388       429       677     1,155       413     1,368     1,567     1,404     1,187
Nebraska..................................        NA       710       759       885     1,280     1,628     2,019     4,329     4,598     4,031     3,536
Nevada....................................       233       531       664     1,033     1,655     1,702     1,602     1,797     2,252     1,832     2,293
New Hampshire.............................        35       195       518       614       645       580       604       722       628       580       920
New Jersey................................     8,242    13,938    13,182    12,243    10,595    10,314     7,453    13,239    14,768    12,574    11,273
New Mexico................................       322       412     1,571     1,992     1,601     1,591     2,491     3,574     2,325     2,774     9,563
New York..................................    17,503    18,239    18,056    20,492    30,197    34,434    42,748    36,474    41,292    49,694    38,001
North Carolina............................     6,592     9,916    11,663    14,504    18,186    19,308    21,371    25,429    29,581    24,777    30,592
North Dakota..............................       293     1,134       820       784       935     1,446     1,386       906     1,427     1,337     1,699
Ohio......................................     4,808     9,133    11,637    15,823    20,857    23,672    28,151    32,785    34,962    38,239    37,784
Oklahoma..................................        43       512     1,361     2,710     4,939     2,721     2,764     4,525     5,312     6,295     7,124
Oregon....................................     1,521     1,902     3,131     4,081     3,836     4,942     5,830     5,159     5,740     5,244     3,674
Pennsylvania..............................     4,450    15,277    18,921    20,231    23,063    24,239    23,246    27,642    29,592    80,822    30,555
Puerto Rico...............................        22         6       144       216       264       198       206       204        11        21        33
Rhode Island..............................       347       601       673       868       764     1,425     2,001     3,971     5,489     4,518     3,585
South Carolina............................     1,378     3,994     5,243     5,273     6,066     6,996     8,331     8,038     8,925    13,378    13,941
South Dakota..............................        60       552       504       509       687       916     1,333     1,160     1,030       798       725
Tennessee.................................     5,003     7,666     9,647     8,976    10,309    10,902    11,463    14,358    11,524    10,057     6,785
Texas.....................................       202       684     6,465    12,623    19,627    24,890    30,002    38,516    43,272    44,628    71,571
Utah......................................       487     1,292     1,801     2,087     2,484     2,957     3,496     4,287     4,058     2,918     1,985
Vermont...................................        44     1,091       468       533       438       800     1,065       949       863       747       978
Virginia..................................     1,452     2,667     8,471    13,647    15,971    18,038    21,506    26,174    18,952    11,570    11,793
Virgin Islands............................         4       235       270       160       215       344       492       485        34       120        31
Washington................................       656     4,066     5,762     6,985     8,601    10,540    12,539    13,608    16,963    12,667    13,726
West Virginia.............................       156       288       820       997     1,324     2,373     2,790     7,077     4,219     6,521     6,964
Wisconsin.................................     4,803     8,750     8,695    10,808    12,931    15,435    17,678    20,982    21,689    13,776    13,361
Wyoming...................................        44       105       340       618       370     3,493     3,670     4,829     1,305       627       906
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................   137,645   269,161   339,243   393,304   472,105   515,857   553,135   660,834   716,821   814,136   848,178
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


                                       TABLE 8-21.--OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHS BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1987-98
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                  1987        1989        1990        1991        1993        1994        1995        1996        1997        1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.........................      15,955      18,640      19,131      20,000      20,680      21,003      20,798      20,366      20,635      21,185
Alaska..........................       2,564       2,869       3,113       3,148       3,101       3,125       3.061       3,110       3,048       3,090
Arizona.........................      17,227      20,708      22,532      23,899      26,151      27,162      27,709      29,243      28,495      30,006
Arkansas........................       8,498       9,944      10,713      10,601      10,878      11,310      11,589      12,335      12,478      12,949
California......................     136,785     171,189     193,559     204,229     206,376     202,803     177,131     169,313     172,017     170,629
Colorado........................      10,171      10,787      11,374      12,684      13,373      13,510      13,502      13,863      14,273      15,309
Connecticut.....................      11,045      13,005      13,330      13,581      13,919      13,914      13,575      13,940      14,116      13,713
Delaware........................       2,742       3,125       3,222       3,559       3,577       3,614       3,586       3,603       3,693       3,926
District of Columbia............       6,094       7,580       7,692       7,806       7,211       6,831       5,935       5,547       5,041       4,832
Florida.........................      48,200      58,305      63,169      64,101      67,431      68,127      67,474      68,077      69,285      71,603
Georgia.........................      28,647      34,926      36,979      38,116      39,575      39,429      39,474      39,928      41,879      44,299
Guam............................          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA       1,940       2,066       2,125       2,338
Hawaii..........................       3,968       4,609       5,088       5,195       5,328       5,533       5,428       5,569       5,202       5,522
Idaho...........................       2,073       2,561       2,738       2,924       3,268       3,273       3,590       3,969       3,848       4,266
Illinois........................      50,677      58,867      62,148      63,225      65,130      64,933      62,829      61,743      60,443      62,229
Indiana.........................      17,260      19,898      22,562      24,294      25,844      26,044      26,456      27,002      27,184      28,100
Iowa............................       6,147       7,575       8,282       8,657       9,297       9,211       9,267       9,760       9,601      10,141
Kansas..........................       6,633       7,577       8,397       8,746       9,696       9,709       9,619       9,847      10,274      10,677
Kentucky........................      10,658      12,048      12,829      13,796      14,401      14,646      14,935      15,693      15,669      16,236
Louisiana.......................      23,594      25,692      26,601      27,694      29,179      28,918      27,863      28,320      29,011      30,031
Maine...........................       3,338       3,806       3,931       4,180       4,061       4,067       3,859       3,959       4,060       4,207
Maryland........................      22,866      22,607      23,789      24,292      24,335      24,943      24,124      23,977      23,493      24,778
Massachusetts...................      17,616      21,798      22,886      22,873      22,380      22,291      20,880      20,458      20,836      21,284
Michigan........................      28,724      36,441      40,289      40,941      36,326      48,339      46,211      45,052      44,454      43,981
Minnesota.......................      11,114      13,142      14,192      14,984      15,099      15,430      15,099      15,798      16,141      16,692
Mississippi.....................      14,499      16,958      17,627      18,317      18,718      19,067      18,747      18,463      18,859      19,534
Missouri........................      17,823      21,123      22,643      23,736      24,353      23,913      23,421      24,483      24,516      25,705
Montana.........................       2,379       2,539       2,757       2,898       3,104       2,822       2,950       3,026       3,119       3,193
Nebraska........................       4,006       4,662       5,056       5,181       5,449       5,739       5,650       5,765       6,021       6,167
Nevada..........................       2,740       4,607       5,480       7,016       7,614       8,359      10,513      11,145       9,555       9,948
New Hampshire...................       2,511       2,797       2,967       2,996       3,179       3,338       3,259       3,400       3,404       3,521
New Jersey......................      26,647      29,364      29,756      31,972      31,949      33,043      31,711      31,959      31,738      32,975
New Mexico......................       8,067       9,447       9,704      10,445      11,526      11,496      11,459      11,470      11,696      12,260
New York........................      80,939      92,996      98,110      99,738     105,101     104,732     102,791     104,416      90,673      90,088
North Carolina..................      23,262      28,315      30,718      32,340      32,586      32,321      31,923      33,419      34,468      36,632
North Dakota....................       1,429       1,615       1,699       1,952       1,999       1,971       1,996       2,099       2,174       2,142
Ohio............................      39,237      45,921      48,289      50,826      52,385      51,363      50,852      50,265      51,544      51,986
Oklahoma........................       9,892      11,258      11,998      12,973      13,441      13,616      13,927      14,267      15,660      16,427
Oregon..........................       8,672      10,436      11,041      11,324      11,730      12,012      12,365      12,959      12,631      13,447
Pennsylvania....................      41,143      47,093      49,258      51,360      51,783      51,518      49,228      47,976      47,234      47,907
Puerto Rico.....................          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA      27,069      27,886      29,345      27,737
Rhode Island....................       3,064       3,684       3,997       4,073       4,436       4,327       3,975       4,208       4,128       4,271
South Carolina..................      15,333      18,116      19,148      20,000      19,359      19,172      19,071      19,075      19,857      20,855
South Dakota....................       2,225       2,415       2,515       2,720       2,968       2,914       2,932       3,091       3,166       3,292
Tennessee.......................      17,897      21,281      22,662      24,026      24,556      24,480      24,185      24,645      25,383      27,008
Texas...........................      57,464      60,303      55,435      56,528      54,670      92,721      96,816     100,573     102,496     107,818
Utah............................       3,929       4,504       4,910       5,196       5,744       6,005       6,224       6,809       7,145       7,722
Vermont.........................       1,459       1,685       1,666       1,811       1,805       1,864       1,689       1,786       1,726       1,842
Virginia........................      20,562      24,410      25,874      27,125      27,532      27,760      27,090      26,634      26,908      28,165
Virgin Islands..................          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA          NA       1,288       1,224       1,368       1,245
Washington......................      14,629      17,638      18,746      19,861      20,670      20,090      20,635      21,287      21,218      22,225
West Virginia...................       4,722       5,212       5,743       6,040       6,328       6,454       6,463       6,504       6,495       6,725
Wisconsin.......................      14,698      16,815      17,656      18,235      18,882      18,565      18,457      18,413      18,707      19,224
Wyoming.........................       1,189       1,276       1,383       1,546       1,689       1,765       1,653       1,697       1,747       1,853
                                 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................     933,013   1,094,169   1,165,384   1,213,769   1,240,172   1,289,592   1,253,976   1,260,306   1,257,444   1,323,997
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.

Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and National Center for Health Statistics (1995 and previous
  years).


                        TABLE 8-22.--PERCENTAGE OF CHILD SUPPORT PATERNITIES ESTABLISHED BY STATE, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1987-94
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   State                       1987       1989       1990       1991       1993       1994       1995       1996       1997       1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................       43.9       42.1       34.1      33.05       52.1      40.47       37.6       34.9       31.8       25.6
Alaska....................................       14.2       27.8       24.6       21.3       34.5      48.19       51.5       29.9       33.6       58.4
Arizona...................................        5.9        6.4        5.5      11.19       19.2      33.18       35.9       34.0       36.7       48.5
Arkansas..................................       62.7       44.8       29.8       44.3       60.5      65.31       71.6       67.2       57.1       71.6
California................................       20.9       20.6       21.2       27.8       37.4      45.11       73.2      108.3      116.4      123.3
Colorado..................................       12.7       18.0       16.4       22.7       39.3      41.56       45.9       42.6       37.1       33.1
Connecticut...............................       35.4       29.9       33.8       39.1       38.6      40.28       55.8       59.7       59.0       51.6
Delaware..................................       68.1       52.5       24.9       20.5       53.8      75.90       63.9       97.8       83.5       75.0
District of Columbia......................       16.8       27.4       36.3       49.9       40.0      36.39       28.4       26.7       34.9       48.9
Florida...................................       25.2       23.0       30.9       27.9       16.1      18.57       19.3       27.0       29.6       67.7
Georgia...................................       49.3       52.1       66.6       73.5       74.1      62.95       35.4        7.9       16.5       22.5
Guam......................................         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA       44.6       38.8       21.7       22.5
Hawaii....................................       26.7       28.1       36.2       32.2       32.8      37.39       27.5       32.1       33.9       30.3
Idaho.....................................       18.5       43.0       47.8       53.0       46.2      54.17       57.9       63.8       50.5       68.2
Illinois..................................       41.1       50.8       41.0       33.5       29.2      37.63       35.4       42.9       78.6       81.1
Indiana...................................       20.7       24.8       23.5       25.9       19.2      15.06       15.9       16.6       73.0        8.0
Iowa......................................       27.1       26.1       36.8       22.0       53.3      56.03       47.2       35.0       19.6        6.1
Kansas....................................       16.9       27.7       43.4       35.7       45.8      89.20      111.0      119.8       89.7       97.4
Kentucky..................................       36.4       37.3       47.5       49.4       55.4      51.12       59.9       63.7       62.2       57.6
Louisiana.................................       12.4       17.3       20.8       40.0       45.5      42.42       33.4       39.7       43.3       74.6
Maine.....................................       28.5       42.3       35.1       32.9       33.7      41.14       44.2       53.8       56.0       53.3
Maryland..................................       29.2       44.2       31.7       49.7       41.1      42.46       37.5       45.6       54.1      154.9
Massachusetts.............................       39.9       28.4       27.7       25.1       23.9      40.96       51.0       49.9       48.7       47.2
Michigan..................................       63.6       63.5       63.5       68.3       77.3      55.57       48.6       55.3       39.7       30.6
Minnesota.................................       34.7       46.4       39.9       51.4       24.8      47.23       59.2       61.4       54.5       27.0
Mississippi...............................       12.6       46.8       60.9       65.2       45.9      51.92       67.9       77.2       77.2       67.7
Missouri..................................       80.3       52.8       71.7       92.6       99.8      96.09      105.4      101.3       80.5       93.3
Montana...................................        7.5       15.3       15.6       23.4       13.3      25.27       46.3       51.8       45.0       37.2
Nebraska..................................       17.7       16.3       17.5       24.7       38.2      41.51       76.6       79.8       66.9       57.3
Nevada....................................       19.4       18.4       14.4       18.9       21.0      15.61       17.1       20.2       19.2       23.0
New Hampshire.............................        7.8       18.5       20.7       21.5       19.0      21.93       22.2       18.5       17.0       26.1
New Jersey................................       52.3       45.6       44.9       41.1       23.3      27.80       41.7       46.2       39.6       34.2
New Mexico................................        5.1       16.6       20.5       15.3       21.6      25.66       31.2       20.3       23.7       78.0
New York..................................       22.5       19.4       20.9       30.3       41.1      36.55       35.5       39.5       54.8       42.2
North Carolina............................       42.6       41.2       47.2       56.2       65.6      70.24       79.7       88.5       71.9       83.5
North Dakota..............................       79.4       50.8       46.1       47.9       69.3      70.47       62.8       68.0       61.5       79.3
Ohio......................................       23.3       19.7       25.3       32.8       55.6      63.41       64.5       69.6       74.2       72.7
Oklahoma..................................        5.2       12.1       22.6       38.1       20.6      26.53       32.5       37.2       40.2       43.4
Oregon....................................       21.9       30.0       37.0       33.9       49.7      48.52       41.7       44.3       41.5       27.3
Pennsylvania..............................       37.1       40.2       41.1       44.9       44.9      44.17       56.2       61.7      171.1       63.8
Puerto Rico...............................         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA        0.8        0.0        0.1        0.1
Rhode Island..............................       19.6       18.3       21.7       18.8       45.1      61.45       99.9      130.4      109.4       83.9
South Carolina............................       26.1       28.9       27.5       30.3       43.0      40.35       42.1       46.8       67.4       66.8
South Dakota..............................       24.8       20.9       20.2       25.3       44.9      45.92       39.6       33.3       25.2       22.0
Tennessee.................................       42.8       45.3       39.6       42.9       46.7      59.21       59.4       46.8       39.6       25.1
Texas.....................................        1.2       10.7       22.8       34.7       54.9      35.88       39.8       43.0       43.5       66.4
Utah......................................       32.9       40.0       42.5       47.8       60.9      67.13       68.9       59.6       40.8       25.7
Vermont...................................       74.8       27.8       32.0       24.2       59.0      43.78       56.2       48.3       43.3       53.1
Virginia..................................        1.3       34.7       52.7       58.9       78.1      79.57       96.8       71.2       43.0       41.9
Virgin Islands............................         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA         NA       37.7        2.8        8.8        2.5
Washington................................       27.8       32.7       37.3       43.3       60.7      66.70       65.9       79.7       59.7       61.8
West Virginia.............................        6.1       15.7       17.4       21.9       44.1      30.68      109.5       87.4      100.4      103.6
Wisconsin.................................       59.5       51.7       61.2       70.9       93.6      92.51      113.7      117.8       73.6       69.5
Wyoming...................................       26.7       44.7       23.9      217.3      59.43      292.1       76.9       35.9       48.9
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................       28.8       31.0       33.7       38.8       44.6      45.78       52.6       58.2       64.7       64.1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not available.

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 8-23.--STATE SHARE OF PROGRAM SAVINGS BY STATE, FISCAL YEARS 1989-98
                                                                [In thousands of dollars]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  State                       1989       1990       1991       1992       1993       1994       1995       1996       1997       1998
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..................................       $380      -$518    -$1,982    -$3,053    -$2,529    -$6,319    -$8,672    -$6,250    -$3,291    -$10,203
Alaska...................................      2,264      2,469      2,982      3,431      3,797      4,278      4,201      5,091      5,629       4,869
Arizona..................................     -1,219     -2,899     -3,125     -3,320     -4,242     -4,761     -6,804     -5,252     -3,343      -7,693
Arkansas.................................      1,574      1,013      1,830      1,009        530       -283       -135     -2,595     -5,642      -5,737
California...............................     79,779     76,552     88,584     98,465    101,406    115,539    110,774    139,416    177,731     198,398
Colorado.................................      4,552      4,991      5,954      5,661      6,064      7,107      7,490      7,237      8,999       3,646
Connecticut..............................     11,330      7,310     10,332     11,711     13,396     12,523      5,671      6,770     17,118      15,423
Delaware.................................        797        812        923        902        455        312       -644        435     -1,282      -1,611
District of Columbia.....................     -3,145        -89       -574        144        757       -272       -585       -390      2,274      -2,272
Florida..................................      5,601      2,932      7,179     11,482     14,368     14,863     11,797      1,471     11,546     -17,656
Georgia..................................      2,861      1,299      3,930      7,937     12,856     13,099     10,801     10,379      4,950      -3,893
Guam.....................................        -87       -227       -293       -450       -305       -375       -919       -591       -727        -941
Hawaii...................................      1,648      1,622      1,502      1,655      1,873      1,618        539       -670      1,645        -710
Idaho....................................      1,029        895        751        955        922        720        665     -1,317       -359        -422
Illinois.................................     10,935      5,159      5,785      9,767      3,716      3,711      3,965      4,304      6,611       9,219
Indiana..................................     14,027     11,731     16,134     20,359     20,257     22,131     18,262     18,475     10,312       4,886
Iowa.....................................     11,767     11,631     10,840     11,765     11,000     12,048     12,560      9,599     10,173       8,608
Kansas...................................      1,170      2,229      3,694      4,041      3,711      3,142     -3,222      8,701      3,652         201
Kentucky.................................        207        207       -475      1,958      3,467      5,104      3,696      1,449      1,691         664
Louisiana................................        696        150     -1,049     -1,845     -1,241     -1,270     -2,098     -1,251     -1,027      -4,646
Maine....................................      5,236      4,229      3,852      3,890      5,877      5,509      6,359      9,590     10,147       7,438
Maryland.................................      6,860      8,631      6,120     10,366     12,037      8,926      4,819      3,844       -322      -7,054
Massachusetts............................     23,373     23,391     21,789     25,917     29,957     22,670     25,468     20,782     22,964      16,696
Michigan.................................     57,413     54,088     58,032     53,107     52,078     53,216     49,500     30,837     32,654      42,871
Minnesota................................     13,969     12,083     11,468     12,377     12,274     11,880     11,950      9,009     10,559       4,068
Mississippi..............................       -232     -2,987     -2,549     -1,243     -1,065     -2,843     -3,336     -2,599     -2,524      -3,981
Missouri.................................      8,046      9,002      7,846     11,772     10,303     10,566      7,695      8,598      1,850        -365
Montana..................................      1,093        769        454        532        618     37,868     37,431       -850       -160        -579
Nebraska.................................       -252       -572       -582     -2,093     -1,054       -574     -1,270     -4,617     -3,410      -1,021
Nevada...................................        -32       -417       -334        608       -172        604       -902     -1,774     -4,159      -2,160
New Hampshire............................        362        185        271        826        443      1,165      1,157      1,010      1,579       1,174
New Jersey...............................     15,081      6,836      9,100     13,551     11,876     13,809     24,571     14,092     17,561       7,624
New Mexico...............................        305       -148       -361       -224      1,278        456     -1,083     -1,917     -4,074      -4,005
New York.................................     24,201     22,865     30,313     41,091     41,790     46,036     43,880     45,673     63,963      55,620
North Carolina...........................      5,857      3,598      4,257      6,343      6,962      8,504      2,853      1,898      1,588     -10,945
North Dakota.............................        955      1,074      1,231        973        989        888        788        441      1,006        -199
Ohio.....................................     21,558     12,040      6,054        445      3,453      6,800      5,761      4,422     -3,673      -4,416
Oklahoma.................................        705         69        380      1,110      2,457      2,412      2,241      3,205      3,150         882
Oregon...................................      3,703      2,658      3,358      4,863      5,935      8,029      5,548      6,200      1,768       1,434
Pennsylvania.............................     22,018     19,846     21,226     27,102     29,234     33,738     30,971     27,231     30,183      18,847
Puerto Rico..............................     -1,075     -3,121     -2,165     -2,008     -2,171     -3,073     -5,161     -8,179     -7,391      -8,353
Rhode Island.............................      2,999      3,439      3,940      4,375      5,427      5,466      6,142      7,013      9,256       8,922
South Carolina...........................        490     -1,639         91        437      1,309      1,049        191     -1,159       -818      -4,381
South Dakota.............................        969      1,254        820        672      1,048        967      1,338      1,629      1,451         840
Tennessee................................      1,278      3,432      5,989      1,578      5,915      5,408      7,519      2,340       -947      -7,706
Texas....................................      2,163     -4,832     -4,774     -6,111     13,969    -12,335     -6,212     -1,274        410      -2,692
Utah.....................................      1,362      1,111        892        980        343        181     -1,526     -1,326     -1,395      -1,012
Vermont..................................      1,440      1,957      1,918      1,621      2,066      1,175      1,741      1,602        746       1,369
Virginia.................................      2,567     -1,113      4,292      4,324      6,347      5,109      7,348      4,889      9,216       6,377
Virgin Islands...........................       -223       -184       -459       -227       -256       -305       -885       -656       -226        -550
Washington...............................     15,386     14,053     22,038     19,695     24,875     29,978     25,869     26,794     33,265      20,947
West Virginia............................        -59     -1,214       -722     -1,047         16     -2,038     -2,484     -2,494     -1,778      -2,927
Wisconsin................................     21,306     18,451     16,740     15,553     15,386     15,757     12,695      8,280      1,983       4,442
Wyoming..................................        574        363        340        589        226        159         86       -200       -681      -1,178
                                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total................................    403,400    338,469    384,691    433,317    462,092    482,243    431,013    407,314    470,398     326,153
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding. 1997 and 1998 data include actual incentive payments. 1998 data include Federal hold-harmless
  payments.

 Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


  TABLE 8-24.--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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