Summary: H.R.6091 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6091. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/01/1992)

Interstate Child Support Enforcement Act - Title I: Locate and Case Tracking - Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA) to allow the Federal Parent Locator System (FPLS) to be used for the purposes of parentage establishment, child support establishment, modification, and enforcement, and child visitation enforcement provided that safeguards are in place to prevent release of information when it may jeopardize the safety of the children or either parent.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to enter into an agreement to provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with access to the quarterly estimated Federal income tax returns filed by individuals with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Requires States to have in place procedures under which the State agency responsible for child support enforcement shall: (1) have access to data base information regarding residential addresses, employers and employer addresses, income and assets, and medical insurance benefits of absent parents; and (2) maintain child support order registries.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the HHS Secretary should investigate accessing certain Federal data banks not already linked to FPLS.

Requires the HHS Secretary to expand FPLS to provide a national network to State agencies and courts for locate and case tracking.

Requires that private attorneys and pro se obligees be allowed access to State locate resources and other public enforcement techniques for the limited purpose of establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support and other orders.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to: (1) establish a system for reporting new employees and information on their W-4 forms to the appropriate State employment security agency; and (2) modify the W-4 form completed by new employees to include child support and health insurance information.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to require employers to withhold from employee wages amounts owed for child support.

Amends SSA title IV part D to establish procedures for verification of child support information by the State and for the imposition of monetary penalties on: (1) employees who fail to report to their employers amounts owed for child support; and (2) employers who fail to withhold such amounts and properly disburse them.

Requires States to: (1) notify the employer in cases where the employee has not correctly reported information regarding his or her child support obligations on the W-4 form; (2) broadcast over FPLS to other States information based on the W-4 form that has been sent to the State employment security agency; and (3) notify an individual owed child support when there is a match between W-4 related information and information on file relating to support orders.

Requires the heads of the National Criminal Information Center, the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Network, and any other national or regional systems for tracking individuals to allow access to information to Federal, State and local child support agencies.

Requires States to broadcast on their local and State crime information systems failure-to-appear warrants, capiases, and bench warrants issued by courts in civil and criminal parentage and chid support proceedings.

Provides that if a defendant posts security after being arrested, the State shall remit any subsequent forfeiture to the individual owed the child support to the extent of any child support arrearage.

Title II: Establishment - Amends SSA title IV part D to require States to pass long-arm statutes which provide for jurisdiction over a non-resident in an action to establish, enforce, or modify a child support order, or determine parentage if certain conditions are met.

Requires States to promulgate procedures under which they shall treat out-of-State service of process in child support and parentage actions in the same manner as in-State service of process.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the courts of a State may, consistent with due process, exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident who is the parent or presumed parent of a resident child in order to establish, enforce, or modify a child support order or determine parentage.

Requires States to recognize and enforce parentage and child support orders of other States where jurisdiction was properly asserted

Specifies the conditions under which a State court has personal jurisdiction over a nonresident contestant.

Requires State courts to maintain continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a child support order for as long as the State remains the child's State or the residence of any contestant, unless another State court has modified such order.

Specifies the conditions under which a State court may modify a parentage or child support order made by another State court.

Provides that a court in a State shall not exercise jurisdiction in a parentage or child support proceeding during the pendency of a proceeding in a court of another Stte which has jurisdiction, except under certain circumstances.

Requires State courts to apply the law of the forum State in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage or to establish a child support order except: (1) when they interpret an order issued by a court of another State; or (2) in permitting an action to collect child support arrearages, when the statute of limitations of the forum State would preclude the action but the statute of limitations of the issuing State would permit the action.

Sets forth provisions regarding service of process on Federal employees and members of the armed forces relating to child support, alimony, and parentage obligations.

Requires that parents' identification and locate information be filed with the State court adjudicating parentage and child support actions. Requires safeguards on such information where there is a court order for the physical protection of the child or one parent entered against the other parent.

Requires State child support agencies to timely notify any individual owed child support of all hearings in which such support might be established, modified, or enforced, and promptly provided copies of any such orders.

Requires States to allow parties seeking both parentage adjudication and child support establishment in a judicial proceeding to bring a joint action in a single cause of action. Sets forth guidelines for uniform State procedures regarding jurisdiction, venue, and Federal employee residential status.

Amends the Consumer Credit Protection Act to allow State child support agencies to use credit reporting agencies for the purposes of obtaining information relevant to the setting of an initial or modified child support award, without the necessity of obtaining a court order.

Creates a National Child Support Guidelines Commission to: (1) study and report to the President and the Congress on the desirability of national child support guidelines; and (2) if such guidelines are advisable, develop them for congressional consideration.

Amends SSA title IV part D to specify certain principles to be included in State child support guidelines.

Requires States to provide for a continuing support obligation by one or both parents until a child reaches age 18 or graduates from or is no longer enrolled in secondary school or its equivalent, whichever is later. Provides that a support order shall also cease when a child marries or is otherwise emancipated by a court.

Requires States to give their courts with child support jurisdiction discretionary power to order: (1) child support payable at least up to age 22 for a child who is a student in good standing in an accredited post-secondary or vocational school or college; and (2) either or both parents to pay for post-secondary school support based on each parent's financial ability to pay.

Requires States to provide for the continuation of child support beyond the child's age of majority provided the child is disabled, unable to be self-supportive, and the disability arose during the child's minority.

Requires the Office of Child Support Enforcement (designated under title VI of this Act) to draft and distribute a national subpoena duces tecum for local and State child support agencies to use to reach income information pertaining to all private, Federal, State, and local government employees.

Requires States to establish procedures with respect to out-of-State orders, decrees, or judgments related to parentage or child support, and other evidentiary documents.

Requires HHS to develop a uniform abstract of a child support order for use by all State courts.

Requires States to: (1) list on marriage licenses the applicants' social security numbers; and (2) use procedures that require individuals who have been issued subpoenas to produce and deliver documents to or to appear at a court or administrative agency on a certain date.

Title III: Parentage - Amends SSA title IV part D to require States to provide for hospital-based paternity establishment and the establishment of paternity outreach programs.

Provides for 90 percent Federal matching for State paternity outreach programs.

Requires States to adopt various specified procedures for establishment of parentage.

Title IV: Enforcement - Amends several anti-assignment provisions under SSA title IV part D to make it possible for child support to be withheld from certain governmental sources, including veterans' disability, military disability, railroad workers' disability and retirement, long shore and harbor workers' benefits, black lung benefits, and Federal health benefits.

Requires States to mandate that any individual or entity engaged in commerce, as a condition of doing business in that State, honor income withholding notices or others issued by a court of any other State.

Requires the HHS Secretary to develop a uniform withholding notice to be used in all income withholding cases.

Requires State procedures setting the priority for applying proceeds withheld from income in the following manner: (1) payments on current support obligations; (2) payments of premiums for health insurance for dependent children; and (3) payments on past-due child support obligations and unreimbursed health-care expenses.

Allows worker's compensation income to be subject to income withholding.

Amends the Consumer Credit Protection Act with respect to State laws and garnishments for the purpose of securing child support.

Requires that Federal debts receive a lower priority than child support debts when the obligor's disposable income cannot satisfy both debts through withholding.

Prohibits employers from discharging any employee whose earnings are subject to garnishment for additional indebtedness arising from a child support order.

Requires States to: (1) provide that the election of remedies prohibition does not apply in child support cases; and (2) establish procedures for refusing issuance or renewal of the professional, occupational, or business licenses of noncustodial parents who are the subjects of outstanding failure-to-appear warrants, capiases, and bench warrants related to child support.

Requires the Federal Government to withhold issuance or renewal of the professional, occupational, or business license of a delinquent child support obligor until the pro se obligee, the obligee's attorney, or State prosecutor involved in the case against the obligor consents to renewal, a court responsible for the enforcement of the child support order orders the release of the hold on the license, or an expedited inquiry and review is completed while the obligor is granted a temporary license.

Requires States to develop procedures under which motor vehicle departments may not issue or renew, or may suspend, driver's licenses or vehicle registrations of noncustodial parents who are the subject of outstanding failure to appear warrants, capiases, or bench warrants related to a child support proceeding.

Requires States to provide for the use of temporary licenses or registrations by the subjects of such warrants pending a specified show cause hearing or the removal of such warrants, whichever occurs firsts.

Requires States to: (1) establish procedures for placing liens on vehicle titles for child support arrearages; (2) authorize post-judgment seizure of bank accounts in child support cases without the need to obtain a separate court attachment order; (3) establish procedures under which liens can be imposed against lottery or gambler's winnings, insurance settlements or policy payouts, awards, judgments or settlements resulting from lawsuits, and property seized or forfeited to the State if the beneficiary owes past-due child support; and (4) establish procedures that provide for badges of fraud creating a prima facie case that an obligor transferred income or property to avoid paying a child support creditor.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue should instruct Internal Revenue Service field officers and agents to give a high priority to requests for the use of full collection in child support arrearage cases.

Requires the Secretary of Treasury to simplify the full collection process and reduce the amount of child support arrearage needed before an individual may apply for full collection.

Requires States to develop procedures which allow the posting of a cash bond, security deposit, or personal undertaking with the State child enforcement agency in order to provide for timely child support payments.

Makes it possible for individuals who are owed past-due child support, and do not receive assistance under SSA title IV part A (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) (AFDC), to use Federal and State tax refund procedures to collect past-due child support, regardless of the child's age.

Requires States to: (1) establish procedures under which a child support obligor may attach lump sum funds invested by the obligor or the employer of the obligor in public and private retirement funds; (2) mandate reporting to credit bureaus of overdue support equaling one month's child support payment; and (3) enact laws that provide for criminal penalties for non-support.

Amends the Federal criminal code to make it illegal for individuals who owe child support arrearages to leave the State in which such arrearages are owed in order to avoid payment.

Amends SSA title IV part D to require States to: (1) permit the enforcement of any child support order until at least the child's 30th birthday; (2) enact procedures to assess and collect interest on all child support judgments; and (3) provide for health care insurance for the child.

Amends the Federal bankruptcy code to: (1) allow parentage and child support case establishment, modification, and enforcement to proceed without interruption after the filing of a bankruptcy petition; (2) treat the debt owed to child support creditors as debt outside chapter 11, 12, or 13 plans, except as specified; and (3) provide that a claim for payment of a debt for child support may be asserted by the filing in court of a claim form that describes the debt.

Sets forth requirements applicable to parentage establishment with respect to child support obligations of military personnel.

Requires that each State adopt verbatim the officially approved version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

Title V: Collection and Distribution - Amends SSA title IV part D to set priorities for State distribution of child support collections.

Authorizes the Comptroller General to analyze the existing child support distribution system and authorize, under certain circumstances, pilot projects for the distribution of arrearages in a specified manner.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise the Federal income tax refund offset mechanism.

Amends SSA title IV part D to require States to enact laws limiting any claims they may have against a noncustodial parent for reimbursement of the child's portion of AFDC assistance to the amount specified as child support under a court or administrative order.

Allows States to assess charges above the application fee for non-AFDC child support services against persons other than the custodial parent.

Requires States to provide either one central, statewide collection, accounting, and disbursement point for child support cases, or several local or regional collection and disbursement points throughout the State for all cases.

Title VI: Federal Role - Amends SSA title IV part D to: (1) designate the separate organizational unit charged under current law with various child support and parentage responsibilities as the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE); and (2) change OCSE's organizational structure.

Requires HHS to provide: (1) training assistance to the States; and (2) conduct staffing studies of each State's child support enforcement program.

Requires the Comptroller General to study and report to the Congress on the incentive formula operating with respect to State child support agencies.

Defines "child support" to include periodic and lump sum payments for current and past-due economic support, payments of premiums for health insurance for children, payments for or provisions of child care, and payments for educational services.

Requires the HHS Secretary to: (1) contract for a study of and report to the Congress on the audit process of OCSE to improve the criteria and methodology for auditing State child support enforcement agencies; and (2) provide for demonstration projects to determine the feasibility and utility of a child support assurance program.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish in the Treasury a Children's Trust Fund (Fund) funded by voluntary contributions of taxpayers as indicated on their Federal tax returns.

Requires that Fund amounts be dedicated to programs regarding child support and parentage establishment.

Title VII: State Role - Amends SSA title IV part D to require that States not deny establishment, enforcement, or modification services to applicants because of nonresidency.

Makes it the mission of every State administrative agency to promote the greatest economic security possible for children, within the obligor's ability to pay. Requires such agencies to provide all custodial parents with certain information.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that State and local child support enforcement agencies should provide: (1) offices in easily accessible locations near public transportation; (2) office hours that allow parents to meet with attorneys and caseworkers without taking time off from work; and (3) office environments conductive to discussion of legal and personal matters in privacy.

Requires States to develop preocedures under which a change in child support payee does not require a court hearing or order to take effect and may be done administratively, as long as a statement by an official is included in the court or administrative file documenting the change.

Title VIII: Effective Date - Sets forth the effective date of this Act.