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8.H IV-D PEP Q & A


Appendix 8.H – IV-D PEP Q & A

Purpose:

The purpose of this Appendix is to provide guidance and support for questions that may arise when completing the paternity audit for children in Wyoming’s caseload.  See Appendix 8.G – IV-D PEP Procedures.

Procedures:

The Appendix provides general questions and answers that will arise.

General Rules

1. The case file should include one Paternity Matrix per child on neon orange paper.

2. Place a tab on the outside edge of any documents (birth certificate, paternity affidavit, divorce decree, etc.) used to verify the paternity for a child.  It is not necessary to place a tab on the Matrix.

3. All case notes should use the log type “Other” and the log title “Paternity Audit.”

4. 100% accuracy is the only acceptable standard.

5. It is recommended to review connected and related cases for a child at the same time.  All of your documentation can be labeled and copied to save time.

6. A support order in a file may list more than one child.  However, only the children that are listed on the POSSE case are to be audited.

7. It is possible that paternity has been established more than one way for a child.  There is no one method that carries more weight than another.  What is important is that you document the method you have chosen.

8. You will have children on cases that were Added In Error.  A Paternity Matrix should be placed in the file, but it is at the individual discretion of each District CSE Office if these kids will be locked in POSSE.

9.    You will have children on cases that were Added in Error.  A Paternity Matrix should be placed in the file but it's at the individual discretion of each child support office if these kids will be locked.  

CP-NCP Relationship Field

This field is case specific.  The question you should ask yourself is “what is the relationship between the custodial and non-custodial parent on the case you are currently reviewing?”

The only time this field should be blank is if the case you are reviewing is already closed.  Do not re-open the case to fill in this information.

Born-Out-of-Wedlock (BOOW) Indicator

It is important to note that the BOOW indicator is specific to the child not a case.  A child is either BOOW or not.  Any documentation that supports the BOOW indicator should be placed in each file related to the child.

State Paternity Established

While it is very important to have this field correct for Data Reliability purposes, it has no bearing on how IV-D PEP is calculated or audited.  (Originally placed on POSSE to calculate Statewide PEP.)

Q & A

It's sometimes difficult to locate the state in which the child is born. Many older cases and orders do not have this information. POSSE will not allow finalization of information on the Kid Maintenance Screen without the state designated.

Check the social security number (SSN) for the child. Usually a child born in Wyoming will have a SSN beginning with 520.  

Documentation

The following is a brief list of documents you can use and flag to support the establishment method you have chosen:

1. 543 – Information from the 543 can be used to support your establishment method.  If there is conflicting information on the 543 (i.e., date of marriage is 5/1/94 but a divorce decree states 5/1/95), then independent documentation to support your method shall be obtained.

2. Birth Certificate – For children born in Wyoming, this should be requested from the State Office only if it is necessary to document paternity or clear up discrepancies on a child’s date of birth.

3. Paternity Affidavit – For children born in Wyoming, this should be requested from the State Office only if it is necessary to document paternity or clear up discrepancies on a child’s date of birth.

4. Marriage & Divorce Certificate

5. Divorce Complaint and Decree

6. Paternity Order

7. Support Order

8. CSENet and Transmittal

Q & A

Is a birth certificate necessary if there is a paternity order?

A birth certificate is not necessary if an order is in the file. However in all cases, a birth certificate should be requested of the custodial parent when a case is opened. 

Do we need both a birth certificate and a paternity affidavit in the file? 

No, it is not necessary. 

Do we really need a birth certificate in a case where the paternity method is “Presumed?”

No, it is not necessary.

Is the birth certificate sufficient documentation when the establishment method is “Voluntary” or is the paternity affidavit necessary? 

For a child born in Wyoming the birth verification or birth certificate is not sufficient documentation to establish paternity if the voluntary box is marked. The paternity affidavit is required. 

For a child born in another state, check the Intergovernmental Referral Guide (IRG) of the child’s birth state for any conditions which allow a man’s name to be put on a birth certificate. If the birth certificate is sufficient to establish your method, copy and file the IRG information in the case file for supporting documentation purposes.

Excluded status

Q & A 

A child is born of a marriage and the parents later divorce. The divorce decree states that the child is not the biological offspring of the husband. How is POSSE marked in this case?

The child should be end-dated the last day of the month of the order.  The child’s paternity status is “Excluded.”

If paternity is “Excluded,” does a matrix need to be in the file? 

Yes.


Unknown status

If documentation is not in the file to support a paternity method and there is no order, leave the paternity status and method as “Unknown.” 


Note:  
it;s at the discretion of each district to determine if a case should be locked down or not.

Q & A

What happens to a child’s paternity establishment status and method if the parent’s marriage is annulled?

If the marriage is annulled by court order, then the marriage never existed and the child is BOOW. The child’s paternity status and method are both “Unknown.”

Default method

This establishment method should not be used.  A true default will have an Order filed with the court.  Based upon the order, “Adjudicated” would be the correct establishment method.

Voluntary method

Q & A

If the parties signed a paternity affidavit but it is voided or invalid because the mother was married to someone else, how is the matrix completed? 

Use “Unknown” as the correct status and method. You can also use “Excluded” as the reason for closure, if necessary.

Which date on a paternity affidavit is used to establish paternity? 

On the current single page Wyoming paternity affidavits, use the date filed at the State Vital Records Office in the upper right hand corner. On the older two-page affidavits, use the latter date with a parent signature.

On out-of-state paternity affidavits, use the date of the last signature. If following that state’s IRG be sure to copy the information for the file.

What establishment date is used when there is both a Paternity Affidavit and a Denial of Paternity filed for the child?

On the current single page Wyoming paternity affidavits, use the date filed at the State Vital Records Office in the upper right hand corner. On the older two-page affidavits, use the latter date with a parent signature.

Unless all three sign the paternity affidavit and denial (mom, legal dad and biological dad), paternity is not established. The child is not BOOW in this instance.  

If paternity is entered as voluntary on POSSE, but an order is later received because a private attorney did genetic tests on their own, is the establishment method changed to adjudicated? 

If an order is issued as a result of genetic tests being done, the establishment method can be changed to “Adjudicated,” but it isn’t required.  “Voluntary” is still appropriate, just document the method you have chosen. 

Presumed method

Q & A

If a child is born within 300 days of a Wyoming termination of the marriage, is the BOOW box checked as well as the presumed box for paternity establishment

Wyoming statute states that if a child is born within 300 days of the marriage termination, the child is born as an issue of the marriage. The BOOW box should not be checked; paternity should be marked as “Presumed.”

If the marriage termination was filed in another state, refer to that state’s IRG to determine if they have a similar statute.  If so, copy and file that documentation.

What if a divorce decree does not list the dates of birth or marriage?

The divorce decree is sufficient documentation if it states the “child was born of the marriage.”  If the divorce does not contain this statement you will need independent information of the dates of birth or marriage.

Adjudicated method

Adjudication can be used even if a child isn’t born out of wedlock.  For older cases where an order already exists but we’ve lost all contact with the parties, you may have to adjudicate paternity based upon the order of support you have.  (Any order that establishes a child support obligation also establishes paternity, either implied or explicitly.)

Q & A

When using the “Adjudicated” method, what date is used for the date paternity is established?

Use the court’s file-stamped date on the paternity or support order. If using an administrative order, use the date when the agency/attorney/representative signed the order.

When a child is NOT born of a marriage and then the child’s parents marry and subsequently divorce, the divorce decree states the child was born of the marriage. Is this adjudicated or presumed? (Note: the BOOW box is already marked) 

The establishment method is “Adjudicated.” Although a divorce order may state the child is born of the marriage, or born as issue of the marriage, the documentation provided indicates the child was born before the marriage. The BOOW box should remain marked. 

Do genetic tests alone establish paternity?

Genetic test results without a court order will not be used as a method to establish paternity.

Adoption method

Generally, adoption records are sealed and not available to the general public or the child support office.  Some Wyoming Clerks of District Court will provide you with a date of adoption if asked.  For more information see Appendix 8.J – Adoption Request Form.

Q & A

What happens if I request a birth certificate or paternity from the State CSE Office liaison and she replies that the child has been adopted and the form I requested is no longer available?

The State CSE Office has received requests for birth information for children that have been adopted after the paternity action has been completed. Once a child is adopted, the birth certificate shows the adoptive parents’ information and not that of the birth parents. If there was a paternity affidavit, it is no longer available to us.  It would also no longer be valid and you should pursue the “Adoption” method.

A child is adopted in another state. The birth certificate lists the adoptive parents. Would the date the birth certificate is filed be sufficient to establish a date for paternity? 

Yes. If all that is available is the birth certificate, use the date on the birth certificate and document in the log notes. If the parents are divorced, paternity is “Adjudicated.”

Closed cases

Q & A

How is a case marked that was closed before paternity was established? 

Treat this case like any other case. Follow the documentation and mark POSSE and the paternity matrix accordingly.

A case is opened to clear overcharge funds then closed the same day, but it appears on the audit report. How is that handled? 

If the case is changed back to Non-IV-D then the kids on these types of cases will not be reported on the OCSE-157 Report and will not appear on the federal audit report. It is not necessary to include a paternity matrix in the file for kids on these types of cases.  However, if the case is re-closed using a federal closure reason, then a complete paternity audit needs to be done.


NCP Mom Cases

 Q & A

What should the paternity status be when opening an NCP mom case and paternity has not been established?

Paternity should be left as unknown until paternity has been established.  Once established, it is necessary to check all cases the child in question is attached to make sure the paternity method and date is same on all of the cases.

If the case is closed before an order was established, how is the NCP Mom case marked?

The paternity status should be left as unknown.  If the child is BOOW, documentation for the BOOW should be tabbed and in the file.

Should All Cases Be Worked or Just the Open Cases?


All cases that have ever been IV-D and are listed on the report should be worked and not just the cases that are currently open.  This is because the auditors will continue to go back and look at all cases until they find the information they need to complete the audit.  It is imperative for the data to match on all cases.  


Should Non IV-D Cases be worked?


Cases that have always been Non  IV-D are listed on the report but do not have to be worked. However, if a case is currently listed as Non IV-D but was open IV-D at any time, the case should be worked.


Does the Documentation Need to be Recreated if Not in the File?


Documentation of the paternity establishment method should be in every file the child is attached to.  You may need to order birth information or copies of orders from the courts to recreate the documentation.  If the information is no longer available, any attempt to obtain the information should be documented in the log notes.  If the file has been shredded, there is no need to recreate the file.