What does the Social Security Act have to do with child support?

Back in the early 1970s, Congress began to realize the importance of non-custodial parents to their children. In particular, lawmakers realized that parents whom were legally obligated to support their children were also often more involved in their children's overall development -- especially with regards to their children's scholastic and extracurricular activities.

Government officials also realized that custodial parents who received little or no support from their children's other parent were often forced to rely on federal, state or local welfare programs in order to get by.

In 1975, Congress addressed the issue of non-custodial parents shirking their financial obligations by passing what has come to be known as Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Here in Arizona, our state's Child Support Services program was created as a result of that act. Generally, the act grants CSS the authority to collect child support payments from parents who are failing to provide that support on their own initiative.

In addition to reducing the costs to taxpayers and ensuring that children's needs are met, Title IV-D also has the goal of making things easier for foster families and other surrogates. Grandparents and other relatives who provide the day-to-day care for children not their own are often able to enlist CSS to help them get child support payments from the children's biological parents.

Knowing your rights and obligations under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act is important regardless of whether you are currently receiving child support or under a court order to pay it. This can be especially true if your child's health care needs have changed significantly or your ability to earn income has diminished due to an illness or disability.

Your Arizona family law attorney can visit with you and review your particular circumstances. Based on outcome of that assessment your attorney may suggest a modification to an existing child support order that still meets Title IV-D requirements.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, "Division of Child Support Services Program Overview," accessed March. 31, 2015

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