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)
1986 Policy Documents
- December 31, 1986Process for disapproving a State IV-D plan and procedures for taking subsequent action to withhold Federal paymentsDecember 15, 1986Clarifies responsibilities of initiating and responding States in referring and processing interstate IV-D casesDecember 15, 1986Update to the State plan preprint page 2-12.9 regarding the prohibition of retroactive modification of child support arrearsDecember 1, 1986Distributes State plan preprint page 2.8-1, entitled Medical Support Enforcement ActivitiesSeptember 8, 1986Final regulations issued by Office of Family Assistance regarding monthly supplemental payments made to AFDC recipientsAugust 1, 1986Corrects final regulation regarding treatment of assigned support payments received directly and retained by AFDC applicantsJuly 15, 1986Final DOD regulations provide guidance on processing allotments for support from pay of active duty military personnelJune 13, 1986NPRM regarding funding not available for costs of incarceration of NCPs and costs of counsel for indigent defendantsMay 16, 1986Proposed regulations revising processing of garnishment orders for child support and/or alimony related to attorney feesMay 16, 1986OPM regulations to permit enrollment of child(ren) of a former spouse and a federal employee in federal insurance planApril 29, 1986Requires states to report on quarterly statement of expenditures the appropriate federal share of collections made by the stateMarch 31, 1986Revisions to the financial reporting forms to accommodate the changes in the FFP ratesMarch 27, 1986Regulations issued by the Postal Service regarding disclosure of change of address and post office boxholder informationMarch 25, 1986Requires public assistance and unemployment compensation agencies to establish an income and eligibility verification systemMarch 24, 1986Provides the revised Form OCSE-25, "Quarterly Budget Estimates" with restored data elementsMarch 13, 1986Clarifies the distribution of child support during the period of up to five months after the family stops receiving AFDCFebruary 12, 1986Interim Final Rule on FFP for Automatic Data Processing (ADP) equipment or services in emergency situationsJanuary 8, 1986Army's support, custody, and paternity policies on garnishment and involuntary allotments for payment of supportJanuary 8, 1986Guidance on processing allotments for child and spousal support from the pay of active duty military personnelLast Reviewed: June 15, 2016