12. Closure‎ > ‎

12.1 Introduction


Chapter Federal Authority
Case Closure 45 CFR 303.11 Case Closure
45 CFR 305.63 Standards for determining substantial compliance with IV-D requirements
45 CFR 308 – Annual State Self Assessment Review and Report
Subject State Authority
Case Closure None
Policy Number Effective Date
12.1 July 1, 2015

Chapter

This chapter contains the following sections:

  • Special Circumstances
  • Termination of Support
  • Retention of Closed Cases

Overview

In 1974 Congress established the Child Support Enforcement Program granted by the authority in Title IV-D of the Social Security Act to establish paternity along with child and medical support and enforce child support obligations.  After the implementation of the IV-D child support enforcement program and at the request of its state partners, the federal OCSE created regulations to guide states through the IV-D child support closure process.  The closure regulations provide closure criteria in a two-pronged approach – whether the case should be closed and how it should be closed.  

Following are the federal timeframes including the closure reasons, notice requirements, and self-assessment provisions.

Federal Timeframes

Federal Closure Reasons

Under certain circumstances, a IV-D child support case may be closed as long as it meets the following requirements which are outlined in the federal regulations (45 CFR 303.11).  

1) There is no longer a current support order and arrears are under $500.00 or unenforceable ((b)(1)).


Note:  If the remaining arrears are being collected through an enforcement action (e.g. wage withholding), do not close the case until the arrears are paid in full or the non-custodial parent stops paying.


Note: The following criteria must be met for a support case to be considered unenforceable:
  • The case is currently not a paying case, no payments have been posted for the past 12 months, and no payments are anticipated in the near future.
  • No federal offset money has been received by the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) during the last two (2) years.
  • CSE shall have collected $500 or less on the case over the past two (2) years by methods other than federal offset.
  • There are no financial institution accounts belonging to the obligor that can be attached.
  • No executable assets have been identified for the obligor.

2) The non-custodial parent or alleged father is deceased and no further action, including a levy against the estate, can be taken ((b)(2)).

3) Paternity cannot be established because:

    • The child is at least 18 years old and action to establish paternity is barred by a statute of limitations ((b)(3)(i));
    • A genetic test or court order has excluded the alleged father ((b)(3)(ii));
    • The Wyoming CSE Program determined that it would not be in the best interest of the child to establish paternity ((b)(3)(iii)); or
    • The identity of the alleged father is unknown and cannot be identified through diligent  efforts including at least one interview by the Wyoming CSE Program with the recipient of services ((b)(3)(iv)).

4) The non-custodial parent’s location is unknown and the case worker has made diligent efforts  all of which have been unsuccessful to locate the non-custodial parent:

    • over a three (3)  year period when sufficient information is available to initiate automated locate sources ((b)(4)(i)); or
    • over a one (1) year period when there is not sufficient information to access automated locate sources ((b)(4)(ii))

5) The non-custodial parent cannot pay support for the duration of the child’s minority because the non-custodial parent:

    • Has been institutionalized in a psychiatric facility;
    • Is incarcerated with no chance for parole; or
    • Has a medically verified total and permanent disability.

Wyoming shall ensure that no income or assets are available including social security disability or other benefits ((b)(5)).


Note  If Wyoming CSE receives SVES verification through the portal of the non-custodial parent’s disability or if the non-custodial parent provides a letter from the Social Security Administration that states the non-custodial parent is receiving SSI benefits, Wyoming CSED shall accept the SVES verification or the the letter as determination of a total permanent disability.  Once the disability is identified and confirmed, the District CSE office shall follow-up to ensure the non-custodial parent has nt other income or assets available for garnishment. 

6) The non-custodial parent is a citizen of, or lives in, a foreign country, does not work for the United States or a corporation with offices in the United States, and has no reachable domestic assets. Additionally, Wyoming does not have reciprocity with the foreign country ((b)(6)).


Note  Citizenship shall be determined using the best information available at the time the decision is made to close the case.

7) The services provided are “locate only” ((b)(7)).

8) The Non-IV-A recipient of services or the Initiating State requests closure and there is no assignment to Wyoming ((b)(8)).


Note  When the recipient of services requests closure, the case worker will send a Response to Request for Closure of a Child Support Case.  This document lists the actions cancelled when closing a child support case.  For a list of the actions stopped at closure, please see Appendix 12.A - Child Support Enforcement Actions Cancelled.


9) There is a finding of good cause that child support enforcement may not proceed without risk of harm to the child or caretaker relative ((b)(9)).  (See 6.2 Intake – Application for details regarding good cause).

10) The IV-D agency is unable to contact the Non-IV-A custodial parent within a 60 day period despite an attempt via first class mail to the last known address ((b)(10)).

11) The Non-IV-A recipient of services does not cooperate with a documented request by the Wyoming CSE Program and the requested action is essential for the next step in providing IV-D services ((b)(11).


Note  Failure to complete and return the Statement of Understanding (See Appendix 6.A for an example) does not qualify as non-cooperation.

12) The Responding State documents failure by the Initiating State to take action essential for the next step in services ((b)(12)).

13) The Initiating agency notifies the Responding State that the Initiating State has closed its case ((b)(13)).

14) The Initiating agency notifies the Responding State that its intergovernmental services are no longer needed ((b)(14)).


Note  If the underlying support order is a Wyoming order and is connected to a Wyoming Mother vs. Father POSSE case, the children shall be transferred back to the original Mother vs. Father POSSE case before closure.



Note:  When closing an enforcement case, the case worker shall  send a notice terminating wage withholding orders to all employers associated with the non-custodial parent for the last three (3)  years and a notice terminating health insurance to the most recent employer.



Note:  Do not remove the intergovernmental information on a Case where Wyoming is the Responding State.


Notice of Closure

Federal regulation requires notice to the recipient of services or the Initiating State in cases meeting closure criteria above for (1) through (6) and (10) through (12).

When a case worker sets a case for closure in POSSE and in addition to any specific District CSE Office procedures, the case worker shall ensure the paternity data in POSSE is updated according to Appendix 12.E – PEP Data Reliability Review.  

Self Assessment Visit

To comply with this federal regulation through the self-assessment review as described in 17.3 Audits – Self-Assessment Review, a state shall properly close IV-D cases 90% of the time.  (45 CFR 305.63(b)(2) and 45 CFR 308.2(a))  

Approval Process

Once a case worker determines a case should be closed, the case closure shall be reviewed and approved by the District CSE Office Manager or designee prior to closure.


Note:  If the arrears are assigned to Wyoming, the District CSE Manager shall contact the IV-D Director or designee for written approval to close the case.

Reinstated Closed Cases

An applicant may request the District CSE Office re-open a closed child support case by completing the application as described in 6.2 Intake – Application and paying the application fee as provided in 5.2 Fees - Application Fee.  

Cross Reference

Version Number Last Revised Date
5July 1, 2015