Idaho Child Support Services
Did you know that Idaho offers a number of child-related services? From medical HIV testing kits to one-on-one counseling interaction. These services are coordinated by the Idaho Child Support Services (ICSS) Division of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. They try to facilitate parents to meet their obligations to their children and to foster self-sufficient, positively-involved families. We applaud the job performed by the hard-working men and women of that division, and want to highlight some of the services they offer:
- Locating Parents: ICSS maintains computer databases that can help locate wayward parents. The database is cross-linked with other systems, including those from the Department of Health and Welfare, the Department of Labor, and the Federal Parent Locator Service. You may request from ICSS the address of the other parent, which starts a process of notifying the other parent and obtaining permission to release the address.
- Establish Fatherhood: A father can sign a simple acknowledgement form, the “Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit”, to establish fatherhood. The form describes the rights and responsibilities of the father, and there is also a prepared oral presentation available. The father, the mother, and if applicable the mother’s current husband must all sign the form, and the form must be notarized. This allows the biological father to be so named and to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. Note that there is a small $13 filing fee, unless the form is filled out within 10 days after the birth of the child. There is a 60-day period in which you can undo the acknowledgement by signing a “Rescission of Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit” form. After 60 days, the father must go to court to try to rescind the affidavit.
- DNA Testing: In lieu of the paternity affidavit, DNA testing is required. If the alleged father refuses to submit to the test, a court can declare him the father and require him to pay child support. The ICSS will work with legal representatives of a disputed father to coordinate everyone’s efforts at resolving the situation.
- Providing a Child Support Order: Idaho judges may order a parent to pay for a child’s support and medical care. ICSS can help you navigate the legal process that results in a support order, and will also work with your private attorney if you have one. The amount of the child support is determined using the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. Several factors are taken into account when calculating the support amount, including:
- parent’s income
- how many children being supported by each parent
- the parent’s cost of medical insurance
- any available tax credits
ICSS may have to charge for the legal services involved in securing a support order, although the price is much lower than what private lawyers charge. Depending on the circumstances, these fees can range from $270 (when no parent contests the order) to $450 (if both parents sign the order and avoid court) to $525 (if a court appearance is necessary). Usually, the parent who made application for the order is charged the legal fees, but ICSS will ask the court to transfer responsibility for the payment to the non-custodial parent.
- Ensuring Compliance with Child Support Orders: ICSS can help make sure that a child support order is enforced. The Division uses computer technology to track whether payments are being made. If a parent falls behind on payments, ICSS can withhold income, garnish accounts including retirement accounts, intercept incoming funds from lotteries or government sources, file liens, suspend licenses, update the parent’s credit report, deny passports, and obtain court judgments and orders to show cause.
- Ensuring Children Receive Medical Support: This is an important responsibility of parents. ICSS can help ensure that non-custodial parents contribute to the medical coverage of their children, if it is available from the parent’s employer.
These are just some of the services offered by ICSS. As you can see, ICSS takes a very active interest in the needs of Idaho children.