By Michael McGuire, Marion County Prosecutor's Office
The Title IV-D program was created by Congress under the Social Security Act in 1975. The program started as a cost recovery program to recoup Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits and is now one that establishes paternity, enforces child support orders and modifies child support across the country. The Title IV-D program in Indiana is governed by the Indiana Child Support Bureau and administered by local prosecutors’ offices through a cooperative agreement. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office Child Support Division (MCPO-CSD) currently has approximately 48,000 active cases. The custodial parent is not required to pay a fee to open a Title IV-D case in Indiana.
If a custodial parent wishes to open a Title IV-D case in Marion County while he/she is represented by private counsel, the case will be opened for administrative enforcement only. MCPO-CSD only represents the state of Indiana, not either party in the action. The MCPO-CSD does not pursue court actions when the parent is represented by private counsel.
After the case is opened and reviewed, the assigned deputy prosecutor will notify the parties or the parties’ counsel the current arrears balance amount. Once a Title IV-D case is opened in Marion County, the following administrative enforcement tools are available if certain arrears thresholds are met and it is deemed appropriate: Credit Bureau reporting ($1,000 threshold), driver’s license suspension ($2,000 or 3 months in arrears), casino winning interception, income withholding, sending National Medical Support Notices to employers, Tax Offset Program ($150, TANF cases, $500 non-TANF cases or a combined $500 if more than one case), passport suspension ($2,500), liens on vehicles, and lottery interceptions ($600.00).
Private attorneys may refer clients to MCPO-CSD to open a Title IV-D case after an order has been established even if the attorney remains on the case. When the custodial parent no longer has a private attorney, the Title IV-D office will consider court action if appropriate. A custodial parent, not receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), may close her/his Title IV-D case at any time by submitting a signed opt-out form to MCPO-CSD.
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