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e-CFR data is current as of January 21, 2020

Title 45Subtitle BChapter IIIPart 309 → Subpart C


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 309—TRIBAL CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT (IV-D) PROGRAM


Subpart C—Tribal IV-D Plan Requirements


Contents
§309.55   What does this subpart cover?
§309.60   Who is responsible for administration of the Tribal IV-D program under the Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.65   What must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan in order to demonstrate capacity to operate a Tribal IV-D program?
§309.70   What provisions governing jurisdiction must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.75   What administrative and management procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.80   What safeguarding procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.85   What records must a Tribe or Tribal organization agree to maintain in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.90   What governing Tribal law or regulations must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.95   What procedures governing the location of custodial and noncustodial parents must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.100   What procedures for the establishment of paternity must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.105   What procedures governing child support guidelines must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.110   What procedures governing income withholding must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.115   What procedures governing the distribution of child support must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?
§309.120   What intergovernmental procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

§309.55   What does this subpart cover?

This subpart defines the Tribal IV-D plan provisions that are required to demonstrate that a Tribe or Tribal organization has the capacity to operate a child support enforcement program meeting the objectives of title IV-D of the Act and these regulations, including establishment of paternity, establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders, and location of noncustodial parents.

§309.60   Who is responsible for administration of the Tribal IV-D program under the Tribal IV-D plan?

(a) Under the Tribal IV-D plan, the Tribe or Tribal organization shall establish or designate an agency to administer the Tribal IV-D plan. That agency shall be referred to as the Tribal IV-D agency.

(b) The Tribe or Tribal organization is responsible and accountable for the operation of the Tribal IV-D program. Except where otherwise provided in this part, the Tribal IV-D agency need not perform all the functions of the Tribal IV-D program, so long as the Tribe or Tribal organization ensures that all approved functions are carried out properly, efficiently and effectively.

(c) If the Tribe or Tribal organization delegates any of the functions of the Tribal IV-D program to another Tribe, a State, and/or another agency or entity pursuant to a cooperative arrangement, contract, or Tribal resolution, the Tribe or Tribal organization is responsible for securing compliance with the requirements of the Tribal IV-D plan by such Tribe, State, agency or entity. The Tribe or Tribal organization is responsible for submitting copies and appending to the Tribal IV-D plan any agreements, contracts, or Tribal resolutions between the Tribal IV-D agency and a Tribe, State, other agency or entity.

§309.65   What must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan in order to demonstrate capacity to operate a Tribal IV-D program?

(a) A Tribe or Tribal organization demonstrates capacity to operate a Tribal IV-D program meeting the objectives of title IV-D of the Act and these regulations by submission of a Tribal IV-D plan which contains the required elements listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (14) of this section:

(1) A description of the population subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribal court or administrative agency for child support purposes as specified under §309.70;

(2) Evidence that the Tribe or Tribal organization has in place procedures for accepting all applications for IV-D services and promptly providing IV-D services required by law and regulation;

(3) Assurance that the due process rights of the individuals involved will be protected in all activities of the Tribal IV-D program, including establishment of paternity, and establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders;

(4) Administrative and management procedures as specified under §309.75;

(5) Safeguarding procedures as specified under §309.80;

(6) Assurance that the Tribe or Tribal organization will maintain records as specified under §309.85;

(7) Copies of all applicable Tribal laws and regulations as specified under §309.90;

(8) Procedures for the location of noncustodial parents as specified under §309.95;

(9) Procedures for the establishment of paternity as specified under §309.100;

(10) Guidelines for the establishment and modification of child support obligations as specified under §309.105;

(11) Procedures for income withholding as specified under §309.110;

(12) Procedures for the distribution of child support collections as specified under §309.115;

(13) Procedures for intergovernmental case processing as specified under §309.120; and

(14) Tribally-determined performance targets for paternity establishment, support order establishment, amount of current support to be collected, amount of past due support to be collected, and any other performance measures a Tribe or Tribal organization may want to submit.

(b) If a Tribe or Tribal organization currently is unable to satisfy any or all of the requirements specified in paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) It may demonstrate capacity to operate a Tribal IV-D program meeting the objectives of title IV-D of the Act and these regulations by submission of an application for start-up funding as required by §309.16(a) of this part.

(2) The Secretary may cease start-up funding to a Tribe or Tribal organization if that Tribe or Tribal organization fails to satisfy one or more provisions or milestones described in its program development plan within the timeframe specified in such plan.

§309.70   What provisions governing jurisdiction must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan a description of the population subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribal court or administrative agency for child support enforcement purposes and certify that there are at least 100 children under the age of majority in the population subject to the jurisdiction of the Tribe in accordance with §309.10 of this part and subject to §309.10(c).

§309.75   What administrative and management procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan the administrative and management provisions contained in this section:

(a) A description of the structure of the IV-D agency and the distribution of responsibilities within the agency.

(b) Evidence that all Federal funds and amounts collected by the Tribal IV-D agency are protected against loss. Tribes and Tribal organizations may comply with this paragraph by submitting documentation that establishes that every person who receives, disburses, handles, or has access to or control over funds collected under the Tribal IV-D program is covered by a bond or insurance sufficient to cover all losses.

(c) Procedures under which notices of support collected, itemized by month of collection, are provided to families receiving services under the Tribal IV-D program at least once a year. In addition, a notice must be provided at any time to either the custodial or noncustodial parent upon request.

(d) A certification that for each year during which the Tribe or Tribal organization receives or expends funds pursuant to section 455(f) of the Act and this part, it shall comply with the provisions of chapter 75 of Title 31 of the United States Code (the Single Audit Act of 1984, Pub. L. 98-502, as amended) and OMB Circular A-133.

(e) If the Tribe or Tribal organization intends to charge an application fee or recover costs in excess of the fee, the Tribal IV-D plan must provide that:

(1) The application fee must be uniformly applied by the Tribe or Tribal organization and must be:

(i) A flat amount not to exceed $25.00; or

(ii) An amount based on a fee schedule not to exceed $25.00.

(2) The Tribal IV-D agency may not charge an application fee in an intergovernmental case referred to the Tribal IV-D agency for services under §309.120.

(3) No application fee may be charged to an individual receiving services under titles IV-A, IV-E foster care maintenance assistance, or XIX (Medicaid) of the Act.

(4) The Tribal IV-D agency must exclude from its quarterly expenditure claims an amount equal to all fees which are collected and costs recovered during the quarter.

§309.80   What safeguarding procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan safeguarding provisions in accordance with this section:

(a) Procedures under which the use or disclosure of personal information received by or maintained by the Tribal IV-D agency is limited to purposes directly connected with the administration of the Tribal IV-D program, or titles IV-A and XIX with the administration of other programs or purposes prescribed by the Secretary in regulations.

(b) Procedures for safeguards that are applicable to all confidential information handled by the Tribal IV-D agency and that are designed to protect the privacy rights of the parties, including:

(1) Safeguards against unauthorized use or disclosure of information relating to proceedings or actions to establish paternity, or to establish, modify or enforce support;

(2) Prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another party against whom a protective order with respect to the former party or the child has been entered;

(3) Prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another person if the Tribe has reason to believe that the release of the information to that person may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or child; and

(4) Procedures in accordance with any specific safeguarding regulations applicable to Tribal IV-D programs promulgated by the Secretary.

(c) Procedures under which sanctions must be imposed for the unauthorized use or disclosure of information covered by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

§309.85   What records must a Tribe or Tribal organization agree to maintain in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribal IV-D plan must provide that:

(a) The Tribal IV-D agency will maintain records necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the program, including records regarding:

(1) Applications for child support services;

(2) Efforts to locate noncustodial parents;

(3) Actions taken to establish paternity and obtain and enforce support;

(4) Amounts owed, arrearages, amounts and sources of support collections, and the distribution of such collections;

(5) IV-D program expenditures;

(6) Any fees charged and collected, if applicable; and

(7) Statistical, fiscal, and other records necessary for reporting and accountability required by the Secretary.

(b) The Tribal IV-D agency will comply with the retention and access requirements at 45 CFR 75.361 through 75.370, including the requirement that records be retained for at least three years.

[69 FR 16672, Mar. 30, 2004, as amended at 81 FR 3021, Jan. 20, 2016]

§309.90   What governing Tribal law or regulations must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

(a) A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan Tribal law, code, regulations, and/or other evidence that provides for:

(1) Establishment of paternity for any child up to and including at least 18 years of age;

(2) Establishment and modification of child support obligations;

(3) Enforcement of child support obligations, including requirements that Tribal employers comply with income withholding as required under §309.110; and

(4) Location of custodial and noncustodial parents.

(b) In the absence of written laws and regulations, a Tribe or Tribal organization may provide in its plan detailed descriptions of any Tribal custom or common law with the force and effect of law which enables the Tribe or Tribal organization to satisfy the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section.

§309.95   What procedures governing the location of custodial and noncustodial parents must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan the provisions governing the location of custodial and noncustodial parents and their assets set forth in this section.

(a) The Tribal IV-D agency must attempt to locate custodial or noncustodial parents or sources of income and/or assets when location is required to take necessary action in a case; and

(b) The Tribal IV-D agency must use all sources of information and records reasonably available to the Tribe or Tribal organization to locate custodial or noncustodial parents and their sources of income and assets.

§309.100   What procedures for the establishment of paternity must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

(a) A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan the procedures for the establishment of paternity included in this section. The Tribe must include in its Tribal IV-D plan procedures under which the Tribal IV-D agency will:

(1) Attempt to establish paternity by the process established under Tribal law, code, and/or custom in accordance with this section;

(2) Provide an alleged father the opportunity to voluntarily acknowledge paternity; and

(3) In a contested paternity case (unless otherwise barred by Tribal law) require the child and all other parties to submit to genetic tests upon the request of any such party, if the request is supported by a sworn statement by the party—

(i) Alleging paternity, and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the requisite sexual contact between parties; or

(ii) Denying paternity, and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the nonexistence of sexual contact between the parties.

(b) The Tribal IV-D agency need not attempt to establish paternity in any case involving incest or forcible rape, or in any case in which legal proceedings for adoption are pending, if, in the opinion of the Tribal IV-D agency, it would not be in the best interests of the child to establish paternity.

(c) When genetic testing is used to establish paternity, the Tribal IV-D agency must identify and use accredited laboratories which perform, at reasonable cost, legally and medically-acceptable genetic tests which intend to identify the father or exclude the alleged father.

(d) Establishment of paternity under this section has no effect on Tribal enrollment or membership.

§309.105   What procedures governing child support guidelines must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

(a) A Tribal IV-D plan must: (1) Establish one set of child support guidelines by law or action of the tribunal for setting and modifying child support obligation amounts;

(2) Include a copy of child support guidelines governing the establishment and modification of child support obligations;

(3) Indicate whether non-cash payments will be permitted to satisfy support obligations, and if so;

(i) Require that Tribal support orders allowing non-cash payments also state the specific dollar amount of the support obligation; and

(ii) Describe the type(s) of non-cash support that will be permitted to satisfy the underlying specific dollar amount of the support order; and

(iii) Provide that non-cash payments will not be permitted to satisfy assigned support obligations;

(4) Indicate that child support guidelines will be reviewed and revised, if appropriate, at least once every four years;

(5) Provide that there shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award that would result from the application of the guidelines established consistent with this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded; and

(6) Provide for the application of the guidelines unless there is a written finding or a specific finding on the record of the tribunal that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case in accordance with criteria established by the Tribe or Tribal organization. Such criteria must take into consideration the needs of the child. Findings that rebut the guidelines must state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines and include a justification of why the order varies from the guidelines.

(b) The guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section must at a minimum:

(1) Take into account the needs of the child and the earnings and income of the noncustodial parent; and

(2) Be based on specific descriptive and numeric criteria and result in a computation of the support obligation.

§309.110   What procedures governing income withholding must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must include in its Tribal IV-D plan copies of Tribal laws providing for income withholding in accordance with this section.

(a) In the case of each noncustodial parent against whom a support order is or has been issued or modified under the Tribal IV-D plan, or is being enforced under such plan, so much of his or her income, as defined in §309.05, must be withheld as is necessary to comply with the order.

(b) In addition to the amount to be withheld to pay the current month's obligation, the amount withheld must include an amount to be applied toward liquidation of any overdue support.

(c) The total amount to be withheld under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section may not exceed the maximum amount permitted under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)), but may be set at a lower amount.

(d) Income withholding must be carried out in compliance with the procedural due process requirements established by the Tribe or Tribal organization.

(e) The Tribal IV-D agency will promptly refund amounts which have been improperly withheld.

(f) The Tribal IV-D agency will promptly terminate income withholding in cases where there is no longer a current order for support and all arrearages have been satisfied.

(g) If the employer fails to withhold income in accordance with the provision of the income withholding order, the employer will be liable for the accumulated amount the employer should have withheld from the noncustodial parent's income.

(h) Income shall not be subject to withholding in any case where:

(1) Either the custodial or noncustodial parent demonstrates, and the tribunal enters a finding, that there is good cause not to require income withholding; or

(2) A signed written agreement is reached between the noncustodial and custodial parent, which provides for an alternative arrangement, and is reviewed and entered into the record by the tribunal.

(i) Where immediate income withholding is not in place, the income of the noncustodial parent shall become subject to withholding, at the earliest, on the date on which the payments which the noncustodial parent has failed to make under a Tribal support order are at least equal to the support payable for one month.

(j) The only basis for contesting a withholding is a mistake of fact, which for purposes of this paragraph, means an error in the amount of current or overdue support or in the identity of the alleged noncustodial parent.

(k) Tribal law must provide that the employer is subject to a fine to be determined under Tribal law for discharging a noncustodial parent from employment, refusing to employ, or taking disciplinary action against any noncustodial parent because of the withholding.

(l) To initiate income withholding, the Tribal IV-D agency must send the noncustodial parent's employer a notice using the standard Federal income withholding form.

(m) The Tribal IV-D agency must allocate withheld amounts across multiple withholding orders to ensure that in no case shall allocation result in a withholding for one of the support obligations not being implemented.

(n) The Tribal IV-D agency is responsible for receiving and processing income withholding orders from States, Tribes, and other entities, and ensuring orders are properly and promptly served on employers within the Tribe's jurisdiction.

§309.115   What procedures governing the distribution of child support must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must specify in its Tribal IV-D plan procedures for the distribution of child support collections in each Tribal IV-D case, in accordance with this section.

(a) General Rule: The Tribal IV-D agency must, in a timely manner:

(1) Apply collections first to satisfy current support obligations, except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section; and

(2) Pay all support collections to the family unless the family is currently receiving or formerly received assistance from the Tribal TANF program and there is an assignment of support rights to the Tribe's TANF agency, or the Tribal IV-D agency has received a request for assistance in collecting support on behalf of the family from a State or Tribal IV-D agency.

(b) Current Receipt of Tribal TANF: If the family is currently receiving assistance from the Tribal TANF program and has assigned support rights to the Tribe and:

(1) There is no request for assistance in collecting support on behalf of the family from a State or Tribal IV-D agency under §309.120 of this part, the Tribal IV-D agency may retain collections on behalf of the family, not to exceed the total amount of Tribal TANF paid to the family. Any remaining collections must be paid to the family.

(2) There is a request for assistance in collecting support on behalf of the family from a State or Tribal IV-D agency under §309.120, the Tribal IV-D agency may retain collections, not to exceed the total amount of Tribal TANF paid to the family. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, the Tribal IV-D agency must send any remaining collections, as appropriate, to the requesting State IV-D agency for distribution under section 457 of the Act and 45 CFR 302.51 or 302.52, or to the requesting Tribal IV-D agency for distribution in accordance with this section.

(c) Former Receipt of Tribal TANF: If the family formerly received assistance from the Tribal TANF program and there is an assignment of support rights to the Tribe and:

(1) There is no request for assistance in collecting support from a State or Tribal IV-D agency under §309.120 of this part, the Tribal IV-D agency must pay current support and any arrearages owed to the family to the family and may then retain any excess collections, not to exceed the total amount of Tribal TANF paid to the family. Any remaining collections must be paid to the family.

(2) There is a request for assistance in collecting support from a State or Tribal IV-D agency under §309.120 of this part, the Tribal IV-D agency must send all support collected, as appropriate, to the requesting State IV-D agency for distribution under section 457 of the Act or 45 CFR 302.51 or 302.52, or to the requesting Tribal IV-D agency for distribution under this section, except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

(d) Requests for Assistance from State or Tribal IV-D Agency: If there is no assignment of support rights to the Tribe as a condition of receipt of Tribal TANF and the Tribal IV-D agency has received a request for assistance in collecting support on behalf of the family from a State or another Tribal IV-D agency under §309.120 of this part, the Tribal IV-D agency must send all support collected to either the State IV-D agency for distribution in accordance with section 457 of the Act and 45 CFR 302.51 and 302.52, or to the Tribal IV-D agency for distribution under this section, as appropriate, except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

(e) Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Collections: Any collections received based on Federal income tax refund offset under section 464 of the Act and distributed by the Tribal IV-D agency must be applied to satisfy child support arrearages.

(f) Option to Contact Requesting Agency for Appropriate Distribution: Rather than send collections to a State or another Tribal IV-D agency for distribution as required under §309.115 (b)(2), (c)(2) and (d), a Tribal IV-D agency may contact the requesting State IV-D agency to determine appropriate distribution under section 457 of the Act, or the other Tribal IV-D agency to determine appropriate distribution under this section, and distribute collections as directed by the other agency.

[69 FR 16672, Mar. 30, 2004, as amended at 81 FR 93569, Dec. 20, 2016]

§309.120   What intergovernmental procedures must a Tribe or Tribal organization include in a Tribal IV-D plan?

A Tribe or Tribal organization must specify in its Tribal IV-D plan:

(a) That the Tribal IV-D agency will extend the full range of services available under its IV-D plan to respond to all requests from, and cooperate with, State and other Tribal IV-D agencies; and

(b) That the Tribe or Tribal organization will recognize child support orders issued by other Tribes and Tribal organizations, and by States, in accordance with the requirements under the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act, 28 U.S.C. 1738B.

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