- With the passage of the Social Security Amendments of 1974, it greatly increased the ability of the government to enforce child support orders with the creation of OCSE and the requirement that all states have child support enforcement programs as a condition for receiving federal welfare money.
- Initially, the emphasis was on Title IV-D cases (low-income) because the legislation was seen as welfare reform. However, it became clear within a few years of its passage that enforcement was needed to apply to all cases.
- As a new government bureaucracy, OCSE helped push a constant stream of federal legislation that focused on ensuring that non-custodial parents were financially responsible for their children.
- Even with its expanded scope, the amount of existing child support awards was insufficient to reduce federal public welfare expenditures.
- The full implementation of FSA caused child support collections to dramatically increase.
- Over time, the OCSE caseload changed from primarily serving Title IV-D to Non Title IV-D cases
- Most states have implemented criminal penalties for non-payment (See List)
- Most states have implemented license suspensions (See list)
- Most states assess interest on past due child support (See list)
- The passage of enforcement and collection measures in the past 40 years in a one-size-fits-all approach has done little to lift and/or keep children out-of-poverty. While the amount of child support collected has increased, the amount of arrears has also dramatically increased.
- Several articles about child support arrears point to a fundamental problem in that the majority of child support is owed by low-wage, low income obligators with little ability to pay unrealistic child support awards (versus the perception the media has played that rich non-custodial parents who have the ability to pay but don’t). See also Low-Income.
- For those that cannot pay, they are faced with draconian enforcement measures like the suspension of professional/ drivers licenses as well as jail time that further alienate parents from their children.
- The people with the most arrears have no reported income (See study)