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Tribal Cases

Many tribes have child support programs to enforce cases in a culturally appropriate way.

They can help:

  • Find the noncustodial parent
  • Establish paternity
  • Open a case
  • Collect child support
  • Connect you to employment programs, health care coverage, parenting programs, family violence centers, and other services

Contact your tribe to apply for services or get more information. Our contact map lists all tribal child support programs by state.

Learn the Basics

  • Does my tribe have a child support program?

    See an alphabetical list of tribal child support programs (PDF). The program can help you open a tribal child support case or answer questions about an existing case.

    If your tribe does not have a child support program, you can still apply for services through your state. Contact your state child support program for more information.

  • How will my tribal child support order be enforced?

    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 equal 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.

    Check with your tribe to determine how they will enforce your order.

  • How do I apply for services?

    Contact your tribal child support agency to apply for services. Each tribe will provide information about the documentation necessary to complete the application.

  • Other social services for tribal members

    You may also be eligible for services to help with job preparation, housing, health, early education for your children, and other family support services.

    • TANF Program: cash assistance and work opportunities
    • Head Start Program: early education for your children
    • Family Support: housing, parent education, and other services
    • Health Coverage: Medicaid, CHIP, and other coverage options

    Some of these programs have tailored services for tribal families.

    More Resources:

    See if your tribe has a TANF program
    Find a Head Start Program near you
    Find resources on housing, parent education, and other family services
    Learn more about health coverage for American Indians & Alaska Natives

Top Tribal Cases Resources

Last Reviewed: February 12, 2020

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