Child support programs work with our partners to help parents who are incarcerated or returning to their communities. Fundamental fairness and access to justice are critical to effective child support enforcement. Child support is a legal obligation. When child support procedures are clear, realistic, and fair, parents are more likely to make reliable support payments that their children can count on.
If you would like to do more to help incarcerated parents with their child support, contact your local correctional institutions, including jails and state or federal prisons.
- Federal prisons have a Reentry Affairs Coordinator (RAC) who can help.
- Provide the Bureau of Prison’s case management staff with one of these documents:
- a copy of the court order or judgment ordering child support
- a letter from a state child support enforcement unit that explains the inmate’s obligation
- Ensure obligations become part of the Bureau of Prison’s Inmate Financial Responsibility Program.
Strategies for child support staff:
- Visit correctional facilities or station a staff person at the prison to meet individually with inmates.
- Produce videos or other materials to share with incarcerated parents.
- Offer modification materials to incarcerated parents.
- Help parents complete the required paperwork.
- Offer child support assistance at sentencing, prison intake, or pre-release.
- Work with reentry organizations to provide child support information or help.
- Reach out to local US probation offices and Residential Reentry Centers.
Changing a Child Support Order
- Guide to Changing a Child Support Order (PDF) (PDF) — information to help parents understand the child support review and modification process
- State by State - How to Change a Child Support Order — an interactive map to get information about how to change a child support order in your state
- State Strategies to Improve Child Support Outcomes for Incarcerated Parents (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Medicaid Guidance (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Report on the Importance of Medicaid Coverage for Justice-Involved Populations (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Roadmap to Reentry (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Protecting Credit While Incarcerated (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Fair Housing Guidance (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- FAQ on Use of Arrest Records (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Connecting People Returning from Incarceration with Housing and Homelessness Assistance (PDF) (PDF) Visit disclaimer page
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Reentry Resource Guide (PDF)