The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) looks at multiple subgroups who may have unique challenges in regards to child support and focuses on one of these subgroups in their “Veterans in the Child Support Caseload” fact sheet. About 6% of the 10.7 million child support cases in the U.S. involve a veteran, and they also have higher rates of arrears than their civilian counterparts.
CFRP is particularly interested in the military population because we are currently evaluating a pilot program of the Family Initiatives Division of the Texas Office of the Attorney General called Help Establishing Responsive Orders and Ensuring Support (HEROES) for Children in Military Families. This one-of-a-kind program provides responsive, specialized services to resolve the child support issues of active duty and veteran families. HEROES is designed to provide enhanced, family-centered child support services with the objectives of increasing compliance with current child support obligations; ensuring accurate establishment of support orders, expediting review and adjustments of orders; preventing the accumulation of arrears; and supporting increased parenting cooperation. The pilot program has now served more than 3,500 military and veteran families stationed or residing in Texas and is garnering the attention of the OCSE and other states. CFRP’s final findings are due later this year.