< Back to Search

Service of Process on Child Support Matters in the United States


Published: October 31, 2003
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), International Dear Colleague Letters (IDCL)
Foreign Reciprocating Countries (FRC)



DATE: October 31, 2003

TO: Foreign Reciprocating Countries for Child Support Enforcement

RE: Service of Process on Child Support Matters in the United States

This is the first in a series of what will be our continuing practice of issuing International Dear Colleague Letters on matters of importance for the improvement of international child support. This International Dear Colleague Letter is to inform you of recent changes in service of process procedures in the United States and about steps foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) under 42 U.S.C. 659A should take when they require assistance with service of process in a child support matter.

Effective June 1, 2003 the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) contracted with a private company, Process Forwarding International (PFI), to manage responsibilities for service of process on judicial documents sent by other countries. On behalf of the USDOJ, PFI will manage all formal service of process for the United States on judicial documents under the Hague Service Convention, Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, and Letters Rogatory from non-convention countries.

USDOJ had previously provided such service of process assistance on child support matters at no cost. Under the new contract, PFI will charge fees for each request regardless of source or subject matter. However, FRCs may request service of process assistance regarding child support obligations from the appropriate state IV-D agency and the IV-D agency will provide, at no cost, service of process or other necessary notices.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to your continuing support as we work collaboratively to improve international child support cooperation.


Sherri Z. Heller,
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: State IV-D Directors
Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators