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Child support cases reflect different situations

Kentucky parents who have entered the child support system recently may find all of the specialized terminology confusing or frustrating. It may not be clear why some families pay child support privately while others pay it through a state-monitored system. There are four different categories of child support cases -- IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D -- that all deal with these payment arrangements.

The term "IV" comes from Title IV of the 1975 Social Security Act, which deals with the grants provided by the federal government to the states for assistance to families with children in need. An IV-D case describes one in which the Office of Child Support Enforcement provides assistance to the custodial parent, whether in establishing paternity or enforcing an existing support order that is going unpaid. On the other hand, an IV-A case is one in which the custodial parent receives state-funded public assistance; the state will attempt to collect support from the non-custodial parent. IV-E child support cases involve foster parents or care by other relatives.

In non-IV-D cases, the majority of child support cases that emerge from a divorce or other voluntary proceeding between two parents, child support is established and paid privately. However, these can become IV-D cases if the non-custodial parent fails to live up to his or her obligations and the custodial parent seeks assistance in enforcing the child support order.

Support payments are critical to support a child's development. However, some non-custodial parents have trouble meeting these financial obligations. A family law attorney can help a parent who has lost a job or otherwise suffered hardship seek a modification of an existing child support order to reflect the new financial situation.

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