Strengthening Child Support Rules

Congress should support federal updates to the child support system that would be benefit families, children, and states.


In fall 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Support Enforcement—after consulting with states, law enforcement officials, employers, and other stakeholders—published and sought public comment on a set of proposed changes that would modernize the federal rules that govern the child support system. These changes would strengthen the child support system in ways that would increase regular, on-time payments to families; boost employment and earnings for noncustodial parents; and increase the amount of time that noncustodial parents spend with their children.

Unfortunately, even though the public comments on the proposed updates have been overwhelmingly positive, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other congressional Republicans have introduced legislation to block them. Instead of playing politics, Rep. Ryan and his colleagues should support these important updates as a modest first step toward improving the child support system for parents and children.

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