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Iowa Child Support Enforcement

Posted by Tamara

In Iowa, the Child Support Recovery Unit or CSRU is a specific branch of the Iowa Department of Human Services. The CSRU is responsible for tracking down deadbeat fathers and mothers who are behind in their child support, and collecting payments. The state also enforces any court ruling that requires the non-custodial parent to provide medical care or health insurance.

The Iowa CSRU does this partly by requiring that employers report all newly hired employees. The CSRU compares new employee date including social security numbers to its list of parents who owe child support payments.

The Iowa CSRU will also investigate to establish paternity, to ensure that there is a source of support for each child. The CSRU has the authority to establish or modify a support order, withholding child support payments from the parent’s paycheck. They also enforce support orders from other states. The agency can also intercept a delinquent parent’s state or federal tax refunds, take money from a bank account and obtain contempt of court orders to put child support scofflaws in jail.

In extreme cases, the Iowa CSRU can deny documents to a parent who is in violation of a child support order including denying a drivers license, professional license such as contractor’s or doctor’s license, denying recreational licenses, motor vehicle registrations and even passports. 

The Iowa CSRU will automatically seek child support for any child on public assistance including the Family Investment Program and Medicaid. They also pursue child support payments for children in foster care. In additional, custodial parents can apply for establishment or enforcement services from the CSRU even if they are not on public assistance.

The agency has 23 offices in four regions throughout the state offering a “one-stop” child support service center for employers. The agency handles all aspects of child support enforcement, from withholding wages to taking money from saving or investment accounts.


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