45 CFR 303.8 - Review and adjustment of child support orders.

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§ 303.8 Review and adjustment of child support orders.

(a) Definition. For purposes of this section, Parent includes any custodial parent or noncustodial parent (or for purposes of requesting a review, any other person or entity who may have standing to request an adjustment to the child support order).

(b)Required procedures. Pursuant to section 466(a)(10) of the Act, when providing services under this chapter:

(1) The State must have procedures under which, within 36 months after establishment of the order or the most recent review of the order (or such shorter cycle as the State may determine), if there is an assignment under part A, or upon the request of either parent, the State shall, with respect to a support order being enforced under title IV-D of the Act, taking into account the best interests of the child involved:

(i) Review and, if appropriate, adjust the order in accordance with the State's guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a) of the Act if the amount of the child support award under the order differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the guidelines;

(ii) Apply a cost-of-living adjustment to the order in accordance with a formula developed by the State; or

(iii) Use automated methods (including automated comparisons with wage or State income tax data) to identify orders eligible for review, conduct the review, identify orders eligible for adjustment, and apply the appropriate adjustment to the orders eligible for adjustment under any threshold that may be established by the State.

(2) The State may elect in its State plan to initiate review of an order, after learning that a noncustodial parent will be incarcerated for more than 180 calendar days, without the need for a specific request and, upon notice to both parents, review and, if appropriate, adjust the order, in accordance with paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) If the State elects to conduct the review under paragraph (b)(1)(ii) or (iii) of this section, the State must have procedures which permit either party to contest the adjustment, within 30 days after the date of the notice of the adjustment, by making a request for review and, if appropriate, adjustment of the order in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a) of the Act.

(4) If the State conducts a guideline review under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section:

(i)Review means an objective evaluation, conducted through a proceeding before a court, quasi-judicial process, or administrative body or agency, of information necessary for application of the State's guidelines for support to determine:

(A) The appropriate support award amount; and

(B) The need to provide for the child's health care needs in the order through health insurance coverage or other means.

(ii)Adjustment applies only to the child support provisions of the order, and means:

(A) An upward or downward change in the amount of child support based upon an application of State guidelines for setting and adjusting child support awards; and/or

(B) Provision for the child's health care needs, through health insurance coverage or other means.

(5) The State must have procedures which provide that any adjustment under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section shall be made without a requirement for proof or showing of a change in circumstances.

(6) The State must have procedures under which, in the case of a request for a review, and if appropriate, an adjustment outside the 3-year cycle (or such shorter cycle as the State may determine) under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the State shall review and, if the requesting party demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances, adjust the order in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to section 467(a) of the Act.

(7) The State must provide notice -

(i) Not less than once every 3 years to both parents subject to an order informing the parents of their right to request the State to review and, if appropriate, adjust the order consistent with this section. The notice must specify the place and manner in which the request should be made. The initial notice may be included in the order.

(ii) If the State has not elected paragraph (b)(2) of this section, within 15 business days of when the IV-D agency learns that a noncustodial parent will be incarcerated for more than 180 calendar days, to both parents informing them of the right to request the State to review and, if appropriate, adjust the order, consistent with this section. The notice must specify, at a minimum, the place and manner in which the request should be made. Neither the notice nor a review is required under this paragraph if the State has a comparable law or rule that modifies a child support obligation upon incarceration by operation of State law.

(c) Standard for adequate grounds. The State may establish a reasonable quantitative standard based upon either a fixed dollar amount or percentage, or both, as a basis for determining whether an inconsistency between the existent child support award amount and the amount of support determined as a result of a review is adequate grounds for petitioning for adjustment of the order. Such reasonable quantitative standard must not exclude incarceration as a basis for determining whether an inconsistency between the existing child support order amount and the amount of support determined as a result of a review is adequate grounds for petitioning for adjustment of the order.

(d)Health care needs must be an adequate basis. The need to provide for the child's health care needs in the order, through health insurance or other means, must be an adequate basis under State law to initiate an adjustment of an order, regardless of whether an adjustment in the amount of child support is necessary.

(e) Timeframes for review and adjustment. Within 180 calendar days of receiving a request for a review or locating the non-requesting parent, whichever occurs later, a State must: Conduct a review of the order and adjust the order or determine that the order should not be adjusted, in accordance with this section.

(f) Interstate review and adjustment. (1) In interstate cases, the State with legal authority to adjust the order must conduct the review and adjust the order pursuant to this section.

(2) The applicable laws and procedures for review and adjustment of child support orders, including the State guidelines for setting child support awards, established in accordance with § 302.56 of this chapter, are those of the State in which the review and adjustment, or determination that there be no adjustment, takes place.

[ 68 FR 25303, May 12, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 77661, Dec. 28, 2004; 73 FR 74920, Dec. 9, 2008; 81 FR 93564, Dec. 20, 2016]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code

Title 45 published on 2015-11-20

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 45 CFR Part 303 after this date.

  • 2016-12-20; vol. 81 # 244 - Tuesday, December 20, 2016
    1. 81 FR 93492 - Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Administration for Children and Families
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective on January 19, 2017. States may comply any time after the effective date, but before the final compliance date, except for the amendment to § 433.152, which is effective on January 20, 2017. The compliance dates, or the dates that States must comply with the final rule, vary for the various sections of the Federal regulations. The reasons for delaying compliance dates include State legislative changes, system modifications, avoiding the need for a special guidelines commission review, etc. The compliance date, or the date by which the States must follow the rule, will be February 21, 2017 except, as noted below: • Guidelines for setting child support orders [§ 302.56(a)-(g)], Establishment of support obligations [§ 303.4], and Review and adjustment of child support orders [§ 303.8(c) and (d)]: The compliance date is 1 year after completion of the first quadrennial review of the State's guidelines that commences more than 1 year after publication of the final rule. • The requirements for reviewing guidelines for setting child support awards [§ 302.56(h)]: The compliance date is for the first quadrennial review of the guidelines commencing after the State's guidelines have initially been revised under this final rule. • Continuation of service for IV-E cases [§ 302.33(a)(4)], Location of noncustodial parents in IV-D cases [§ 303.3], Mandatory notice under Review and adjustment of child support orders [§ 303.8(b)(7)(ii)], Mandatory provisions of Case closure criteria [§ 303.11(c) and (d)], and Functional requirements for computerized support enforcement systems in operation by October 1, 2000 [§ 307.11(c)(3)(i) and (ii)]: The compliance date is 1 year from date of publication of the final rule, or December 20, 2017. However, if State law changes are needed, then the compliance date will be the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after the effective date of the final rule. • Optional provisions (such as Paternity-only Limited Service [§ 302.33(a)(6)], Case closure criteria [§ 303.11(b)], Review and adjustment of child support orders [§  303.8 (b)(2)], Availability and rate of Federal financial participation [§ 304.20], and Topic 2 Revisions): There is no specific compliance date for optional provisions. • Payments to the family [§ 302.38], Enforcement of support obligations [§  303.6(c)( 4)], and Securing and enforcing medical support obligations [§ 303.31]: If State law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation. If State law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 60 days after publication of the final rule. • Collection and disbursement of support payments by the IV-D agency [§ 302.32], Required State laws [§ 302.70], Procedures for income withholding [§ 303.100], Expenditures for which Federal financial participation is not available [§ 304.23], and Topic 3 revisions: The compliance date is the same as the effective date for the regulation since these revisions reflect existing requirements.
      42 CFR Part 433