By JOSEPH MARTIN
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Tribal Council has introduced legislation to provide guidelines for child support enforcement. The ordinance will remain on the table for 25 days, where the proposal could come up for discussion in the Feb. 7 session.
The Child Support Services program was established through an ordinance in 2012. The intent was to provide child support to children within the tribe’s jurisdiction, but the Attorney General’s office noted there are several required legal components absent from tribal law. “In order to bring our tribal laws up to date, a modification to the tribal child support enforcement law is needed.”
In the section of the law referring to amount of payment, monthly basis and termination, the proposal calls for a review of North Carolina child support guidelines every four years on the same schedule the state uses to review and modify guidelines. The ordinance states, “The court shall note any revisions made to the guidelines and ensure that the court’s local rules are consistent with the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines if necessary.”
In determining income withholding amounts, the proposal is to initiate income withholding from employers through the tribal child support agency through a federal income withholding form. If passed, that agency will also be responsible for refunding amounts that have been improperly withheld.