42 U.S.C. 654 - State plan for child and spousal support

Cite as:42 U.S.C. 654
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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A State plan for child and spousal support must-

(1) provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State;

(2) provide for financial participation by the State;

(3) provide for the establishment or designation of a single and separate organizational unit, which meets such staffing and organizational requirements as the Secretary may by regulation prescribe, within the State to administer the plan;

(4) provide that the State will-

(A) provide services relating to the establishment of paternity or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of child support obligations, as appropriate, under the plan with respect to-

(i) each child for whom (I) assistance is provided under the State program funded under part A of this subchapter, (II) benefits or services for foster care maintenance are provided under the State program funded under part E of this subchapter, (III) medical assistance is provided under the State plan approved under subchapter XIX, or (IV) cooperation is required pursuant to section 2015(l)(1) of title 7, unless, in accordance with paragraph (29), good cause or other exceptions exist;

(ii) any other child, if an individual applies for such services with respect to the child (except that, if the individual applying for the services resides in a foreign reciprocating country or foreign treaty country, the State may opt to require the individual to request the services through the Central Authority for child support enforcement in the foreign reciprocating country or the foreign treaty country, and if the individual resides in a foreign country that is not a foreign reciprocating country or a foreign treaty country, a State may accept or reject the application); and

(B) enforce any support obligation established with respect to-

(i) a child with respect to whom the State provides services under the plan; or

(ii) the custodial parent of such a child;

(5) provide that (A) in any case in which support payments are collected for an individual with respect to whom an assignment pursuant to section 608(a)(3) of this title is effective, such payments shall be made to the State for distribution pursuant to section 657 of this title and shall not be paid directly to the family, and the individual will be notified on a monthly basis (or on a quarterly basis for so long as the Secretary determines with respect to a State that requiring such notice on a monthly basis would impose an unreasonable administrative burden) of the amount of the support payments collected, and (B) in any case in which support payments are collected for an individual pursuant to the assignment made under section 1396k of this title, such payments shall be made to the State for distribution pursuant to section 1396k of this title, except that this clause shall not apply to such payments for any month after the month in which the individual ceases to be eligible for medical assistance;

(6) provide that-

(A) services under the plan shall be made available to residents of other States on the same terms as to residents of the State submitting the plan;

(B)

(i) an application fee for furnishing such services shall be imposed on an individual, other than an individual receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A or E, or under a State plan approved under subchapter XIX, or who is required by the State to cooperate with the State agency administering the program under this part pursuant to subsection (l) or (m) of section 2015 of title 7, and shall be paid by the individual applying for such services, or recovered from the absent parent, or paid by the State out of its own funds (the payment of which from State funds shall not be considered as an administrative cost of the State for the operation of the plan, and shall be considered income to the program), the amount of which (I) will not exceed $25 (or such higher or lower amount (which shall be uniform for all States) as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate for any fiscal year to reflect increases or decreases in administrative costs), and (II) may vary among such individuals on the basis of ability to pay (as determined by the State); and

(ii) in the case of an individual who has never received assistance under a State program funded under part A and for whom the State has collected at least $550 of support, the State shall impose an annual fee of $35 for each case in which services are furnished, which shall be retained by the State from support collected on behalf of the individual (but not from the first $550 so collected), paid by the individual applying for the services, recovered from the absent parent, or paid by the State out of its own funds (the payment of which from State funds shall not be considered as an administrative cost of the State for the operation of the plan, and the fees shall be considered income to the program);

(C) a fee of not more than $25 may be imposed in any case where the State requests the Secretary of the Treasury to withhold past-due support owed to or on behalf of such individual from a tax refund pursuant to section 664(a)(2) of this title;

(D) a fee (in accordance with regulations of the Secretary) for performing genetic tests may be imposed on any individual who is not a recipient of assistance under a State program funded under part A; and

(E) any costs in excess of the fees so imposed may be collected-

(i) from the parent who owes the child or spousal support obligation involved; or

(ii) at the option of the State, from the individual to whom such services are made available, but only if such State has in effect a procedure whereby all persons in such State having authority to order child or spousal support are informed that such costs are to be collected from the individual to whom such services were made available;

(7) provide for entering into cooperative arrangements with appropriate courts and law enforcement officials and Indian tribes or tribal organizations (as defined in subsections (e) and (l) of section 5304 of title 25) (A) to assist the agency administering the plan, including the entering into of financial arrangements with such courts and officials in order to assure optimum results under such program, and (B) with respect to any other matters of common concern to such courts or officials and the agency administering the plan;

(8) provide that, for the purpose of establishing parentage, establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations, or making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination, as defined in section 663(d)(1) of this title the agency administering the plan will establish a service to locate parents utilizing-

(A) all sources of information and available records; and

(B) the Federal Parent Locator Service established under section 653 of this title,

and shall, subject to the privacy safeguards required under paragraph (26), disclose only the information described in sections 653 and 663 of this title to the authorized persons specified in such sections for the purposes specified in such sections;

(9) provide that the State will, in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, cooperate with any other State-

(A) in establishing paternity, if necessary;

(B) in locating a noncustodial parent residing in the State (whether or not permanently) against whom any action is being taken under a program established under a plan approved under this part in another State;

(C) in securing compliance by a noncustodial parent residing in such State (whether or not permanently) with an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction against such parent for the support and maintenance of the child or children or the parent of such child or children with respect to whom aid is being provided under the plan of such other State;

(D) in carrying out other functions required under a plan approved under this part; and

(E) not later than March 1, 1997, in using the forms promulgated pursuant to section 652(a)(11) of this title for income withholding, imposition of liens, and issuance of administrative subpoenas in interstate child support cases;

(10) provide that the State will maintain a full record of collections and disbursements made under the plan and have an adequate reporting system;

(11)

(A) provide that amounts collected as support shall be distributed as provided in section 657 of this title; and

(B) provide that any payment required to be made under section 656 or 657 of this title to a family shall be made to the resident parent, legal guardian, or caretaker relative having custody of or responsibility for the child or children;

(12) provide for the establishment of procedures to require the State to provide individuals who are applying for or receiving services under the State plan, or who are parties to cases in which services are being provided under the State plan-

(A) with notice of all proceedings in which support obligations might be established or modified; and

(B) with a copy of any order establishing or modifying a child support obligation, or (in the case of a petition for modification) a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the child support award, within 14 days after issuance of such order or determination;

(13) provide that the State will comply with such other requirements and standards as the Secretary determines to be necessary to the establishment of an effective program for locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, obtaining support orders, and collecting support payments and provide that information requests by parents who are residents of other States be treated with the same priority as requests by parents who are residents of the State submitting the plan;

(14)

(A) comply with such bonding requirements, for employees who receive, disburse, handle, or have access to, cash, as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe;

(B) maintain methods of administration which are designed to assure that persons responsible for handling cash receipts shall not participate in accounting or operating functions which would permit them to conceal in the accounting records the misuse of cash receipts (except that the Secretary shall by regulations provide for exceptions to this requirement in the case of sparsely populated areas where the hiring of unreasonable additional staff would otherwise be necessary);

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