Get Child Support Help at a Title IV-D Agency

Help for Single Moms Through a Title IV-D Agency

Waiting in line at the IV-D Agency
Photo © Mats Anda/Getty Images

What is an IV-D Agency?

A state's IV-D agency is the organization that runs the child support program for that state. It may also be called the local Office of Child Support Enforcement or simply the state's "Child Support Agency."

What does the label IV-D mean?

"Title IV" of the Social Security Act of 1975 requires individual states to run their own child support collection agencies. This portion of the Social Security Act also covers federal grants to states for the purpose of providing financial aid and supportive services to needy families with children, as well as child-welfare services.

"Title IV-D," specifically, refers to state-run child support enforcement programs, which help parents establish paternity, initiate new child support orders, and collect unpaid child support, among other services.

Are all child support cases labeled "IV-D" cases?

While there are different types of child support cases, Title IV-D cases are cases where child support collection is being facilitated through a state’s Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Is the correct term IV-D Agency or Title IV-D Agency?

Both phrases are commonly used.

What types of assistance are available through an IV-D agency?

An IV-D agency can help you:

Who typically receives services through an IV-D agency?

IV-D agencies typically provide assistance to single mothers who need help filing for child support or following up on unpaid child support.

This includes finding parents who owe back child support payments. Non-custodial parents also rely on IV-D agencies to modify child support orders following a job loss or change in circumstances.

Tips for single moms using an IV-D agency to collect child support:

  • Bring the right paperwork with you when you go to the IV-D office. This will allow you to initiate a case and reach a resolution much more quickly.
  • Be aware that the state will attempt to locate your child's father and have him pay child support before they agree to provide you with other forms of assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or SNAP benefits.
  • Call ahead to find out the best day and time to file your paperwork. Even then, be prepared to wait in line. Bring something to read, activities for your kids, and plenty of snacks! 
  • You may have to go back multiple times. As frustrating as this is, it's part of the process.
  • Write down the name and ID number of every case manager you speak with. This will help the next person you speak with at the IV-D agency to locate your information more quickly.