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Research Findings on Electronic Modification of Child Support Orders in Alaska

DCL-02-09

Published: May 16, 2002
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Review and Modification
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), Promising Practices

DCL-02-09

DATE: May 16, 2002

TO ALL IV-D DIRECTORS:

Re: Dissemination of Research Findings on Electronic Modification of Child Support Orders in Alaska

Dear Colleague:

The State of Alaska Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) received a grant in 1997 from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to develop and test a more efficient method of reviewing and adjusting child support award amounts. This memorandum disseminates the executive summary of the "Alaska: Review and Adjustment of Child Support Order Amounts: Evaluation of Electronic Modification (ELMO)

ELMO is an automated system that uses income information from sources linked electronically to Child Support Enforcement Division’s (CSED’s) automated child support system to review child support orders annually. CSED was particularly interested in developing an automated tool that could use income information from automated sources such as the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) which contains quarterly wage data from all states and many Federal government databases. This would allow CSED to capture information about income noncustodial parents earn in Alaska and other states.

Here is a brief summary of the report's major findings: (Attached, for your convenience, is a copy of the Executive Summary.)

  1. There was a four-fold increase in the number of reviews.
  2. A significant proportion of cases ELMO targets for review are modified.
  3. Most modifications are upward.
  4. The difference between prior and modified order amounts was substantial.
  5. The ELMO review and modification process occurred within a short time period.
  6. Modified orders better reflected the obligor’s ability to pay.

If you have any questions or would like the full report, please contact Renée Jackson at rjackson@acf.hhs.gov or (202) 401-5101.

Sincerely,

Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement