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2019 spring report – reporting item No. 11 " Child support advance payments: Federal government does not assert compensation claims against state governments "

Apr 02, 2020

Although we have repeatedly drawn attention to the situation, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has not brought claims for damages against state governments because these improperly implemented the Child Support Advance Payment Act. We found that the offices responsible for making child support advance payments did not consistently bring and conclude claims against defaulting absent parents. As a result, past-due obligations are no longer recoverable because of statutory limitation or forfeiture. Major causes for this are organisational management shortcomings and little or insufficient knowledge of the staff in charge. Since the federal government funds 40 per cent of past-due child support obligations of the states, these revenues forgone place a continuous burden on the federal budget. The Ministry needs to regularly engage with state governments to assess shortfalls in revenue, pursue possible cases of liability and use available enforcement remedies.

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