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NPRM: Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs


Published: November 17, 2014
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies, Tribal Child Support Agencies
Case Management, Case Closure, Collections/Distribution/State Disbursement Unit (SDU), Enforcement, Medical Support, Review and Modification, Employer Responsibilities, Income/Wage Withholding, Family Services & Referrals, Economic Stability/Job Services, Health Care Coverage, Incarceration/Prisoner Reentry, Parenting Time/Access & Visitation
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT), Regulations
Child Support Guidelines, Collection & Enforcement Systems



DATE: November 17, 2014

TO: State and Tribal Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV‑D of the Social Security Act and other Interested Individuals

SUBJECT: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs

ATTACHMENT: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2014 (Vol. 79 FR No. 221 68548)

SUMMARY: In developing this proposed regulation, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) conducted a retrospective review of its rules and consulted with states, tribes, and other groups to improve state flexibility and efficiency, to update policies to meet the needs of families, and to incorporate technological advances.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) updates existing rules, some of which are 35 years old, and proposes changes that will help modernize the Child Support Enforcement program.

We believe these changes bring OCSE’s regulations into better alignment with current knowledge and practices in the field.  They strengthen interstate case processing, streamline program administration, incorporate advances in technology, and remove regulatory barriers to cost-effective approaches to increase regular support payments, provide for a balanced approach to program administration, and carry out public policy goals related to increasing financial stability for families and improving child well-being.

The proposed regulatory improvements are grouped in the following categories: (1) procedures to promote program flexibility, efficiency, and modernization; (2) updates to account for advances in technology; and (3) technical corrections.  The goals of the regulation are to:

  • increase state and employer flexibility to better serve families;
  • improve program effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation;
  • improve customer service; and
  • remove barriers identified by employers, states, and families that impede efficient and timely child support payments. 

To assist the reader in reviewing the NPRM, the following table lists subject areas in the NPRM with the corresponding page numbers where the provision is discussed in the Federal Register (FR).  Please note that this table is a guide and is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the NPRM.

Page #s [1]
Regulatory Text Page #
Access to justice 553-554; 557-559; 568; 580; 581-582; 584
Case closure 560-564; 572; 574 582-583
Child support guidelines 553-554 580
Due process protections in civil contempt proceedings 557 581
Exemptions 556 581
Federal financial participation activities allowed 567-569 584-585
Federal financial participation activities prohibited 569 585
Foster Care 551; 562; 574 579; 583; 585
Incarceration of  noncustodial parents 554-557; 559; 561; 567-568 580-582
Job Services 556-559; 568-569 581-582; 585
Limited services for applicants 551-552; 561 579-580; 583
Medicaid referrals / Indian health services 562-564 578; 583
Medical support 559-560; 563-565; 572; 574 578; 583-584
OMB-approved income withholding form 566-567 584
Parenting time 556; 567-568; 580; 584-585
Payment processing 550-553; 566-567; 573 579-580; 584
Review and adjustment of orders 559-560 582
SSI / Title II benefits 561; 569-570 582; 586
Subsistence needs 555; 557; 560-562; 569; 580-582
Tribal case transfers 562-563 583


REFERENCES: 45 CFR 301, 302, 303, 304, and 307.

COMMENTS: We encourage you to review and submit comments on the proposed rule.  Consideration will be given to comments received by January 16, 2015.  Every comment counts!

ADDRESSES: You may transmit written comments electronically via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.  This approach is our preferred method for receiving comments.  To download an electronic version of the rule, you may access http://www.regulations.gov and follow the provided instructions.

Additionally, you may send comments via United States Postal Service to: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: Director, Division of Policy and Training, Mail Stop: OCSE/DP, 370 L’Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington, DC 20447.

You also may send comments via overnight service to: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: Director, Division of Policy and Training, Mail Stop: OCSE/DP, 901 D Street SW, Washington, DC 20447.

You also may submit comments by facsimile to (202) 260‑5980.  Comments will be available for public inspection.  To schedule an appointment, please call (202) 401-9271.


Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers

[1] The NPRM is on pages 68548 – 68587 of the Federal Register (FR).  For spacing purposes, we have truncated the page numbers  to the last three digits.