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Eye On Boise

An overview of Idaho’s child support enforcement system…

Idaho lawmakers hear from Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong on Monday (AP / Otto Kitsinger)
Idaho lawmakers hear from Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong on Monday (AP / Otto Kitsinger)

State Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong told the House and Senate judiciary committees that in 2014, 416,000 parents, children and other guardians were impacted by Idaho’s child support enforcement system. That included 183,000 children, 155,000 of them living in Idaho. One in four Idaho children receive child support, he said. Idaho also enforces support for 28,000 children who live outside of Idaho but have Idaho parents. In 2014, $28 million was collected from parents living outside Idaho for Idaho kids, while $11.5 million was collected from Idaho parents for their out-of-state children. For Idaho children, $193 million was collected in 2014.

Lori Wolff, state Division of Welfare administrator, is now explaining details of how the UIFSA, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, works. It first was adopted by states in the 1990s for interstate child support enforcement, she said.  Since the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support, collection across international as well as state boundaries was eased. “Probably the biggest benefit to the United States was reciprocity,” Wolff told the lawmakers. U.S. courts already often enforced foreign child support orders, but foreign countries weren’t enforcing U.S. orders. “Ratification of this treaty will mean that more children residing in the United States will get the financial support they need,” she said. "There are multiple layers of standards and safeguards in place to protect individual privacy and personal information."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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