OCSE proposes and implements national policy for the child support program. We provide guidance and training to help states and tribes develop and operate their individual programs according to federal laws and regulations.
Federal Laws & Regulations
The following laws and regulations provide policy and program requirements related to the child support program.
Policy Guidance Overview
OCSE provides program requirements, program information, policy guidance, and program instructions using several types of documents.
- Action Transmittal (AT) describes actions that programs must take to comply with new and amended federal laws (available from 1975)
- Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) conveys general information on program activities (available from 1989)
- Information Memorandum (IM) provides information on program practices that may be useful for program improvement (available from 1989)
- Policy Interpretation Question (PIQ) responds formally to policy inquiries (available from 1999)
- International Policy transmits guidance on international child support (available from 1993)
- Tribal Policy provides guidance on tribal child support (available from 1995)
2011 Policy Documents
- December 30, 2011Provides new reference materials regarding the IRS safeguard process and safeguard review findingsDecember 14, 2011Provides current address for England and Wales child support officeDecember 9, 2011Clarifies OCSE-157 instructions for reporting paternity establishment and allows states to report adoptions in the PEPDecember 6, 2011Instructions for State Plan submission regarding pre-print plan page 3.15 for employers to report the required elementsNovember 30, 2011Clarifies that there is no federal requirement for foreign countries to use the federal forms mandated for IV-D casesNovember 28, 2011Announces an OCSE 2-year contract to the National Conference of State LegislaturesNovember 21, 2011Provides materials and information on child-support related subjects for court officialsNovember 18, 2011Announces the release of the National Directory of New Hires Guide for Data Submission, Version 12October 24, 2011Change in guidance on submitting a plan amendment for revised job descriptionsOctober 24, 2011Establishes user fees that each state will be assessed for use of the FPLS and CSENet for FY2012October 17, 2011Reminder to submit the OCSE-157 report for FY 2011 and resubmit FY 2010 data found incomplete or unreliableOctober 17, 2011Revises the definition of medical support to include private health insurance as well as other publicly funded coverageOctober 5, 2011Addresses questions regarding handling and enforcement of spousal support-only casesOctober 3, 2011Announces the OMB approved State Plan Package, valid until July 31, 2014, several revisions are notedSeptember 9, 2011Describes steps OCSE is taking to resolve erroneous Federal tax refund offsets based upon fraudulent returnsAugust 22, 2011Issues data submission requirements for FY 2011 for OCSE Data Reliability Audit and Data Reliability ReviewAugust 16, 2011Certifies compliance with safeguarding and security requirements relating to FPLS informationAugust 11, 2011Announces cost allocation waiver for implementation of eligibility determination under the Affordable Care Act
Required Data Elements for Paternity Establishment Affidavits and Voluntary Establishment of PaternityJuly 27, 2011Requests comments on required elements for Paternity Establishment Affidavits and Voluntary Establishment of PaternityJune 17, 2011Announces a change in address for Portugal's Central Authority for the recovery of child supportJune 7, 2011Announces revisions to federally-approved Standard Intergovernmental Child Support Enforcement (CSE) FormsJune 1, 2011Announces changes to the Interstate Notice of Lien form to enhance clarityMay 31, 2011FPLS Minor Release includes enhancements to CSENet, e-IWO, FCR, Federal Offset, Insurance Match and QUICKMay 18, 2011Request for comments on proposed instructions for completing the OCSE-157 formMay 18, 2011Announces a new State Team initiative within regional offices of ACF to increase effective communication across programsMay 16, 2011Provides the revised Income Withholding for Support (IWO) Form and instructions and highlights recent changesMay 5, 2011Describes Federal Offset and Passport Denial web applications which will replace the Time Sharing Option applicationMay 4, 2011Extends an invitation to tribal leaders to engage in written consulation concerning case closure regulationsMay 3, 2011Announces the release of the Child Support Enforcement Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Preliminary ReportMay 3, 2011Requests submission of preprint page 3.15 to indicate compliance with requirements for State Directory of New HiresApril 11, 2011Reviews the results of FPLS data matching with the Social Security AdministrationMarch 29, 2011Transmits 2011 National Medical Support Notice Parts A and B and outlines changes in Part A
Distribution of Federally Approved Interstate Child Support Enforcement Form – Administrative Subpoena FormMarch 18, 2011Revises the Administrative Subpoena form and instructions for use in interstate casesFebruary 9, 2011Final version of the Standard Verification of Employment Response Form and list of states agreeing to accept itFebruary 7, 2011Reminder to States to submit their annual Safeguard Activity Report (SAR) to the IRSJanuary 26, 2011Issues revised procedures and forms for Project Save Our Children (PSOC)January 13, 2011Provides the Federal Offset Collections Report for OCSE Cycle 2010-53 and offset report for December 2010January 7, 2011Announces the restructured Project Save Our Children (PSOC) process for submitting cases for criminal prosecutionLast Reviewed: July 26, 2016