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1950

Federal Enforcement of Child Support

Title 18, United States Code, Section 228, the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 (CSRA), makes the willful failure to pay a past due support obligation with respect to a child residing in another State a Federal offense. A first violation of the CSRA is punishable by a maximum six months imprisonment and/or a fine. Subsequent violations are punishable by a maximum two years imprisonment and/or a fine.

Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 651 et seq., requires states to establish programs for the enforcement of child support. The agencies operating these programs are known as IV-D agencies and must pursue child support on behalf of individuals who are receiving public assistance as well as at the request of individuals who are not. IV-D agencies have a great deal of information concerning violations of the CSRA. U.S. Attorneys are encouraged to coordinate with IV-D officials or their designees and other appropriate officials on local and state levels to establish and/or update referral procedures, and may wish to establish local committees to develop guidelines and procedures, or draft and execute a Memorandum of Understanding to define the referral procedures and guidelines.

Complaints and referrals for investigation may also come from private lawyers, advocacy groups, or from individuals. These complainants should be strongly encouraged to pursue their available remedies, and to seek any subsequent referral for prosecution through the IV-D agency or other appropriate state or local agency.

It is recommended that U.S. Attorneys in multi-district states work together to develop a uniform state-wide approach to avoid marked differences in referral procedures and guidelines within the same state.

[cited in USAM 9-74.100]