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What Options Are Available to States Under Current Law Regarding Child Support Distribution and Retained Collections? 

There are many questions surrounding pass-through payments, and we can help.  

Child support distribution can be very complex, including the rules around assignments and retained collections when a family receives cash assistance from the state. Can child support programs make changes to their policies that benefit low-income families?

Our child support subject matter experts help states navigate the complexities of child support distribution, and Public Knowledge® can do the same for you.


Can a State Send All Child Support to the Family in Current and Former Assistance Cases?

Under current federal law, options exist to allow states to send all child support to the family rather than retaining child support collections to reimburse the state. In former assistance cases, states can pass-through to the family all collections applied to assigned arrears without paying the federal share of the collections. States can also pass-through support collected in current assistance cases if the applicable federal share is paid.

Examples of States Where Implemented New Pass-Through Policies

Colorado has been passing through all current support in their current assistance caseload since 2017. One Colorado study indicates that parents are more likely to pay support and will pay more support when they know their payments are going to the family and not to the state.

States like California and New Mexico have recently been successful in convincing their state decision-makers that paying the federal share out of state budgets and investing in families by passing through child support is instrumental in crafting a more family-centered program.

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