The Child Support Enforcement Division prosecutes parents criminally for failure to meet their financial obligation to support their children. The division collects and distributes monies recouped to certified petitioners and to AFDC.
Support Enforcement Services are available for applicants who receive:
· Foster Care cases, also known as IV-E cases (foster care cases in which the child received or may have been eligible for AFDC when he or she was judicially removed from the home)
· Non-IV-E Medicaid, and
· Non-AFDC Medicaid
The same services are also available to applicants who are not on any of the above forms of assistance and who pay a one-time $25.00 application fee. These cases are called non-AFDC cases. Additionally, a non-resident applicant who applies for services through the IV-D agency in his state is also eligible for assistance from the Louisiana IV-D Program.
IV-D Program Functions:
There are five major program services in child support enforcement:
1. Absent parent location (also known as Parent Locate)
2. Establishment of paternity
3. Establishment of support obligation, including medical support obligations
4. Collection and distribution of support payments, including spousal support in conjunction with child support order
5. Enforcement of support obligation, including medical and spousal
UIFSA went into effect on January 1, 1996, making Louisiana the 26th state to adopt it. This law is part of a national effort to streamline the establishment and collection of child support obligations across state lines. It implements a one order system, which can be amended and modified as necessary only by the state which has continuing exclusive jurisdiction.
Louisiana’s new license suspension statutes (La. R.S. 9:315.32 et seq.), which permits the suspension and/or revocation of various professional, recreational and driver’s licenses are a powerful new tool in collecting past due child support. Louisiana Supreme Court Rule19A renders attorneys who fail to pay child support, ineligible to practice law after a contradictory hearing.
The following is an illustrative list of other remedies available to District Attorneys in establishing and collecting child support:
· Court ordered blood testing of alleged fathers
· Income assignment in both interstate and intrastate cases
· Federal tax refund offsets
· Louisiana state tax refund offsets
· Reporting delinquency information to credit bureaus
· Louisiana Lottery offset against winnings for child support arrears
· Immediate income assignment orders are required on all new or modified orders for child support under La.R.S. 46:236.3; income can be assigned from: worker’s compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, federal government employees, military personnel
· Bond sanctions for self-employed parents
· Unless it is protected by the Longshoreman’s Act
The Louisiana Automated Support Enforcement System or LASES, is a computer system designed to support the administration and carrying out of Louisiana’s IV-D child support program. It received a full federal certification in 1996.
Other federal legislation includes the Child Support Recovery Act which creates a federal crime for willfully failing to pay a past due support obligation with respect to a child who resides in another state. The Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act prohibits states from modifying another states’ orders unless certain jurisdictional requirements are met. The intent of this law is to avoid establishment of a new order in a case where there is already an existing order.