Understanding Child Support Debt – A Guide to Exploring Child Support Debt in Your Stateclick to download
One of my top priorities for the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program has been to gain a greater understanding of child support debt, since the amount of unpaid child support debt in the United States is growing at an alarming rate. With more knowledge about the composition of unpaid child support debt, we should be able to design and implement more effective strategies to collect arrears from those who have the ability to pay and develop more appropriate policies for low-income parents who are unable to pay.
This Guide, Understanding Child Support Debt, provides a framework for State CSE program staff to examine child support debt. Such debt analyses should not focus on how to write off debt. Instead, they should first be aimed at generating insights into how we can make smarter use of our technological tools and other resources to increase child support collections from parents who are able to pay. For example, we need to fully use all existing tools such as the National Directory of New Hires, Passport Denial Program, Multi-State Financial Institution Data Match, and Federal Tax Refund Intercept. In addition, we need to take actions to prevent the accumulation of large amounts of debt and find new tools and resources to help get the debt paid.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation have a contract with the Urban Institute to conduct a “Child Support Debt Analysis Study” in nine States with the largest caseloads. The aim of this study is to understand the composition of child support debt, the causes for dramatic growth, and what steps may be taken to curb future arrears growth.
Issue(s): Child Support
Issues & Focus Areas
- Child Support
- Child Welfare
- Early Childhood & Education
- Economic Security & Healthcare
- Father Engagement & Healthy Relationships
- Gender-Based Violence