What is the Title IV-D Child Support Program?
Title IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act requires every state to provide child support services. This is called the Title IV-D Child Support Program. In Indiana, the Title IV-D Child Support Program is administrated by the Department of Child Services Child Support Bureau, and is carried out locally by the county prosecutor's office, the office of the county clerk, and the courts.
What does the Child Support Program do?
The Child Support Program is required to do a number of functions to assist in getting child support dollars to families. These functions include:
- Locating non-custodial parents
- Establishing paternity
- Establishing child support and medical support orders
- Enforcing payment of child support
The Child Support Program also reviews child support orders to insure they conform to the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, disburses child support payments to custodial parties, and assists other states, territories, and tribes in all of these activities. Most of these activities take place through the local county prosecutor's Title IV-D child support office.
What services are not available through the Child Support Program?
The county prosecutor's Title IV-D office cannot help with civil matters such as divorce petitions, custody, or parenting time/visitation, nor can they provide legal advice on these issues. The prosecutor's Title IV-D office represents only the best interest of the child(ren). The office does not represent either the custodial party or the non-custodial parent.
Who can open a Title IV-D Child Support case?
It is important to know that not every child support case is a Title IV-D Child Support case. If two parties represented themselves or hired a private attorney to go to court to establish a child support obligation they might not have a Title IV-D case.
However, anyone can receive Title IV-D services by filling out an application and paying a one-time application fee of $25.00. A child support case can also become a Title IV-D case if a person meets one of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement's criteria for being a mandatory referral to the Title IV-D Program, and in these situations, the $25.00 fee is waived.
If the custodial party or the person who has primary legal custody over the child or children applies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, the case is automatically referred to the Title-IV-D Child Support Program for establishment and enforcement of child support. The custodial party is required to cooperate with the local county prosecutor's Title IV-D child support office by providing any information or documents needed to establish paternity and a child support order.
Additionally, mandatory referrals to the Title IV-D Program include cases where there has been an intervention by the Department of Child Services Local Child Welfare office and the child or children are being cared for by another relative or the foster care system, and their case is receiving Federal Title IV-E funding.
Finally, if a person is receiving Medicaid benefits, they may be entitled to Title IV-D child support services. In these cases, a person must still fill out an application in their county prosecutor's Title IV-D child support office, provide a Medicaid card or proof of benefits, and the $25.00 fee will be waived.
If your child support case falls into one of these categories, then you are eligible for services through the Title IV-D Child Support Program and your local county prosecutor's Title IV-D child support office can assist with your case.
Who do I contact for more information?
In each county, the prosecutor's office provides child support enforcement services. The following link provides contact information for the county prosecutor's offices. Local Prosecutor Offices