Child Support Collection Procedures
Child Support payments can be made in person to the TCSEP Office or can be mailed to the following mailing address. TCSEP accepts cash, checks, money orders, cashier’s checks or proof of non-monetary payment signed by the CP.

Department of Human Resource Development Tribal Child Support Enforcement Program
P.O. Box 278
Pablo, MT  59855

The TCSEP Administrative Assistant will provide one copy of the receipt to the payer, and one to the TCSEP Case Manager, along with a copy of any check, money order or cashier’s check to file and enter it into the financial accounting software. The last receipt remains in the receipt book. Completed receipt books are maintained in the TCSEP office.

The TCSEP Administrative Assistant will place all payments in the safe to deposit at the end of the day. The TCSEP Administrative Assistant will prepare the deposit and have the TCSEP Project Director verify and sign the deposit. All deposits will be made daily to the Tribal Accounting office.

Payments Made Directly to a Custodial Parent
TCSEP strongly discourages NCP’s from making payments directly to the other parent. The TCSEP Case Manager will inform all NCP’s that TCSEP will continue collection actions on Child Support Enforcement Obligations until the CP verifies the payment in writing.

Child Support Distribution Procedures
TSCEP distributes all Child Support payments in a timely manner, generally within four (4) business days after receipt. The TCSEP Administrative Assistant is responsible for entering a Child Support Obligation into the financial accounting software upon the receipt, entry or modification of a Child Support Order.

All Child Support payments will be made directly by TCSEP to the family unless there is a request for assistance on behalf of a family from another IV-D Program.

The TCSEP Administrative Assistant is responsible for distributing Child Support payments based on the following criteria:

1)    All amounts collected on a case must be distributed among all open cases on a percentage basis;

2)    Current support amounts should always be satisfied first;

3)    If the payment exceeds current support the remaining payment should be used to satisfy any arrears owed to the CP;

4)    If there is no debt owed to the CP, or if there is any remaining payment, it will be used to satisfy any arrears owed to the State or outside jurisdiction; and

5)    In the event that there is an overpayment of Child Support, the NCP will be contacted by the TCSEP Case Manager and given the choice of a refund or a credit. The TCSEP Case Manager will inform the TCSEP Administrative Assistant of the outcome.

Multiple Withholding Orders
In cases where a non-custodial parent has multiple withholding orders, the amounts withheld and collected shall be allocated in an equitable manner across all withholding orders. In no case shall one order be given preference over another order to the extent that the second order is not implemented as required.

Tribal TANF
CPs who are currently receiving Tribal TANF will not be required to assign their Child Support rights to the Tribe. The Tribal TANF program will count Child Support payments received as income in determining the amount of a TANF award. TANF recipients must sign a release of information form that allows TCSEP to provide monthly financial information upon their request. The TCSEP Administrative Assistant is responsible for coordinating with the Tribal TANF office and providing them with timely information.

All collection will be distributed in a timely manner. TCSEP will apply collections first to satisfy current support obligations, except for Federal Income Tax Refund Offset collections. Any collections received based on Federal income tax refund off-set must be applied to satisfy arrearages.  All collections shall be made directly to the family unless the family is currently receiving or formerly received assistance from the Tribal TANF program and there is an assignment of support rights to the Tribe’s TANF program, or other Tribal IV-D program. If the Tribe has support rights and there is no request from a State or Tribal IV-D program, TCSEP may retain the collections on behalf of the family up to the amount of TANF received from the Tribe’s TANF. Any remaining collections will be paid directly to the family.

If the Tribe has support rights and there is a request from a Tribal IV-D program, TCSEP will retain collections on behalf of the family, up to the amount of TANF received from the Tribe.  Any remaining support will be paid to the requesting Tribal IV-D program.

If the Tribe has no support rights and there is no request from a State or Tribal IV-D program, TCESP may retain support collections on behalf of the family up to the amount of TANF received from the Tribe’s. Any remaining collections will be paid to the family. If the Tribe has support rights and there is a request from a State or Tribal IV-D program, TCSEP may retain collections on behalf of the family up to the amount of TANF received from the Tribe. Any remaining collections will be paid to the requesting State or Tribal IV-D program.

If the Tribe does not have support rights and there is a request from a State or Tribal IV-D program, TCSEP will not retain collections on behalf of the family up to the amount of TANF received from the Tribe. All collections will be paid to the requesting State or Tribal IV-D program.

Referrals from Other IV-D Programs
TCSEP does not release money on “full referral” cases directly to a CP. The TCSEP Administrative Assistant will pay collections on these cases directly to the referring program. The TCSEP Administrative Assistant can contact the referring Program to determine appropriate distribution. If directed by the referring Program, the TCSEP Administrative Assistant will then distribute payments using the criteria above.

In the event that the referral is an “arrears only referral”, and TCSEP has a current case, the current support and family arrears will be released directly to the family while the State or Tribal arrears portion will be sent to the referring jurisdiction.

Federal Income Tax Refunds
Any collections received that are based on a Federal income tax refund offset will be distributed according to current Federal/State law.

Returned Child Support Payments
Child Support payments may sometimes be returned to TCSEP. The TCSEP Case Manager will immediately contact the CP in these cases to obtain a current address. In the event that a current address cannot easily be obtained, the TCSEP Case Manager will initiate a locate process.

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