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Can a shared support enforcement system benefit states?

For Arizona parents who receive child support, tracking and enforcement payments by the paying parent is an important part of the process. Each state has its own system of doing this, and many states have attempted, planned or begun modernization efforts of these systems over the years. Currently, each state upgrades its own system with the federal government then reimbursing the state for 66 percent of the cost. The federal government is seeking to change the way this works.

The federal government is asking for $63 million to be added to the 2019 budget, delegated to the Department of Health and Human Services to be used to create a child support enforcement system that it would then make available to all states. While the details about the way this would work, what the system would be like and when it would be made available to the states have not been released, the government has stated that this will save money in the long run: up to $800 million in 10 years.

The shared support enforcement system would mean that states would not have to seek modernization on their own, which has become such a complicated project that some states have given up on it. One such example is Indiana where experts worry that the current system is facing catastrophic collapse if not modernized. The hope is that a shared enforcement system would benefit all states, helping them meet the standards set up by the 1995 Family Support Act.

When parents find themselves having to negotiate child support, they might also find it helpful to have the assistance of a lawyer who can guide them through the process. A family law attorney may explain the current legislation, the formula used for calculation and the way the state enforces payment of child support.

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