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New model may help with Florida child support enforcement

If a 2019 fiscal year budget request from the White House and Department of Health and Human Services is granted, $63 million will go toward a federal effort to collect child support. The Child Support Technology Fund would be used to monitor payment and enforcement, and states themselves would be able to have access to the system directly.

If implemented, it could save money at the state and federal level. Typically, states pay to upgrade their own child support enforcement and collection systems. The creation of state collection and enforcement efforts was mandated by the 1995 Family Support Act. Such efforts cost $120 million on average, and the Department of Health and Human Services reimburses the state for roughly two-thirds of the cost to do so. It is estimated that opting for the new proposal would save about $800 million over the next decade.

It may also enhance the ability of the states to collect child support in an effective manner. The state of Indiana tried to develop its own system for years before finally giving up on the initiative, citing technological concerns. There has been no timetable given for when the new system may begin or what it would look like specifically. The Department of Health and Human Services said that there was no specific state model it was looking to replicate.

Working with a child support attorney may be beneficial for parents who are entitled to such payments. It might be possible to take steps such as garnishing wages or state tax refunds in an effort to compel payment. Federal tax refunds and other payments may be withheld as well until back support payments are made. An attorney may help those seeking support or seeking a modification to a current child support order.

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