Child support subject to reform

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A Washington, D.C. – Congressman Artur Davis (D-Birmingham), introduced the Child Support Improvement Act Monday, legislation that would reform the child support collection system, including speeding payments for children and encouraging innovative local programs.

The Republican sponsor of this bill is Congressmen Mark Kennedy (R-MN).

“The child support system is too cumbersome, and it’s necessary to make sure programs help those who are in need,” said Congressman Davis.

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“This legislation works to lower administrative costs, increase efficiency, and get children and families more of the help they need.”

The Child Support Improvement Act, introduced in the Senate by Senators Cornyn and Lieberman, promotes self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, and allows families to keep more of the child support money collected on their behalf. The legislation does the following:

Encourages states to adopt electronic payment systems by 2008

Creates incentives for enforcement of medical support orders by increasing the federal matching funds for such activities from 66 to 90 percent

Creates an option for states to centralize all child support payments to reduce confusion among employers and facilitate payments to children

Gives priority to families for child support collected by the IRS, making sure children receive more money and treats child support collected though IRS refunds the same as child support collected through wage withholding.

Denies a passport to a non-custodial parent who owes more than $2,500 in child support.

Requires a report on undistributed collections to create solutions and ensure children get the support they deserve.