To establish paternity and child support, apply for services with either tribe or state. If neither tribe has a child support office, then apply in the state where you live. The child support office will work with you to establish paternity and get a support order established. To find out if a tribe in your area has a tribal child support program, visit our contact map that lists all tribal child support programs by state.
To establish paternity and child support, apply for services with your tribe or state. If your tribe does not have a child support program, then apply in the state where you live. Child support agencies work with the military to establish paternity and child support. To find out if a tribe in your area has a tribal child support program, visit our contact map that lists all tribal child support programs by state.
The Handbook for Military Families is a helpful resource.
If the tribe is operating a federally funded child support program, your caseworker should send the income withholding order to the tribal child support agency. The tribal child support agency will process the income withholding order and serve it on the tribal enterprise.
If the tribe is not receiving federal funding to operate a child support program, your caseworker should contact the tribe's administrative office or tribal court to ask about their procedures for honoring an income withholding order.
To find out if a tribe in your area has a tribal child support program, visit our contact map that lists all tribal child support programs by state.
Both state and tribal child support agencies are required to establish guidelines for determining payment amounts. The guidelines take into consideration the needs of the child and the income of at least the noncustodial parent.
Tribal child support agencies have the flexibility to authorize in-kind, non-cash child support payments based on culture and tradition. These non-cash payments (assigned a monetary value) can be items such as firewood, salmon and deer meat or services such as childcare, repairs to a home, or other services approved by the tribe. Both parents must agree to the in-kind payments. In-kind payments follow guidelines established by the tribe.
Yes, you may request that the state transfer your case to your tribal child support program. If you received TANF benefits from the state and there are TANF arrears owed to the state, the tribe will work with the state to reimburse the TANF program.
Yes, tribes are required to recognize and enforce child support orders issued by state courts and other tribal courts.
Yes. The state will enforce a tribal order. State and tribal child support agencies are required to recognize and enforce the child support orders issued by the other jurisdiction.
If the noncustodial parent still lives on the reservation, the tribe will continue to enforce the order. If the noncustodial parent moves off the reservation, the tribe may ask the state for assistance in enforcing the order. If the noncustodial parent met the obligation with in-kind payments and the state is helping to enforce the order, the noncustodial parent will now pay the order in cash rather than in-kind, non-cash payments.
Enforcement of a tribal child support order is very similar to enforcement of a state child support order. Income withholding is required when the arrears equals one month of support payments. Tribes have some traditional methods that have had success: grandparent mediators and garnishing per capita payments or Individual Indian Money Accounts. The methods of enforcement are as varied as the tribal programs. Some tribes work with states to offset federal tax refunds and deny passports.
Contact your tribe to determine how they will enforce your order.