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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVII PUBLIC WELFARE
  • CHAPTER 119A CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
  • Section 2 Services provided; enforcement of subrogation rights; collection of support payments; publicizing services available

Section 2. (a) In accordance with the provisions of Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act, the IV-D agency shall provide IV-D services to children and families, whether or not they are recipients of public assistance, to establish, modify, and enforce child support obligations. Said services shall include, through the use of expedited administrative and judicial procedures, the location of obligees and obligors, the establishment of paternity, the establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support orders, including orders for health care coverage, the collection and disbursement of support payments, the enforcement of support orders through civil and criminal proceedings, including criminal contempt and criminal prosecution for failure to pay support, and any other services or responsibilities required by said Title IV, Part D and this chapter. Said IV-D agency shall accept applications for services from individuals seeking to establish, modify, or enforce orders of child support, including orders for health care coverage, with respect to a child who is not a recipient of public assistance, and may charge a fee for such services which shall be established pursuant to the provisions of section 3B of chapter 7, subject to the provisions of federal law.

The IV-D agency shall also enforce the subrogation rights of the department of transitional assistance under section 21 of chapter 18, the subrogation rights of the department of children and families under section 23 of chapter 119, and the subrogation rights of the division of medical assistance under section 23 of chapter 118E, and shall provide IV-D services for each child for whom assistance is provided pursuant to Title IV, Parts A and E, and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, or other public assistance programs as required by federal or state law, and for whom such assistance has been provided. In enforcing such subrogation rights, the IV-D agency may proceed to establish a support order pursuant to section 32F of chapter 209, or to establish paternity or a support order pursuant to chapter 209C, notwithstanding the failure of the obligee whose rights to support have been subrogated to the commonwealth to attend a hearing in an action pursuant to said chapters, upon a showing that written notice of the hearing was provided to the obligee by first class mail to the most recent residential address that the obligee has provided to the department of transitional assistance, the department of children and families or the division of medical assistance. Pursuant to section 18A of chapter 18, the IV-D agency shall make the determination and redetermination at appropriate intervals as to whether an individual who has applied for or is receiving assistance under Part A or Title XIX of the Social Security Act is cooperating in good faith with the IV-D agency in establishing the paternity of, or in establishing, modifying, or enforcing a support order for, any child of the individual by providing the IV-D agency with the name of and such other information with respect to the noncustodial parent of the child, as required by regulation promulgated by the commissioner of revenue and subject to good cause and other exceptions determined by the department of transitional assistance and the division of medical assistance. IV-D services shall be made available to residents of other states and to residents of foreign reciprocating countries on the same basis as to residents of the commonwealth, provided there is jurisdiction over the parties, their income or assets; provided further that no application will be required from, and no costs for such services will be assessed against, the foreign reciprocating country or foreign obligee; provided, however, that costs may be assessed against the obligor. The IV-D agency shall enforce any support obligation established with respect to the custodial parent of a child receiving IV-D services from the IV-D agency; provided, however, the IV-D agency is not required to establish or modify a support obligation with respect to such custodial parent.

(b) The first priority of the IV-D agency with regard to the enforcement of the subrogation rights of the department of transitional assistance shall be the collection of sufficient support payments on behalf of recipients of public assistance to enable such recipients to live independently of public assistance; provided, however, that the department of transitional assistance is authorized to receive support payments made on behalf of a current recipient, or on behalf of a former recipient for arrearages owed to the department of transitional assistance, only to the extent required by the provisions of Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act.

(c) In carrying out said responsibilities, the IV-D agency may expend such funds necessary for public information, including paid advertisements and outreach programs to advise the public of the services available through the agency to establish, modify, or enforce orders of child support, and to publicize the availability and to encourage the use of procedures for voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and of other IV-D services. Any penalty, fee or interest that this chapter authorizes to be assessed by the IV-D agency shall be collected and enforced by any means authorized under this chapter for the enforcement and collection of child support. Upon collection, a penalty or fee shall be retained by the IV-D agency; but, the penalty or fee shall be placed in the child support trust fund established pursuant to Section 9. Upon collection, interest shall be distributed to the individual obligee on whose behalf the collection was made.