What in the world is IV-D?

Decoding the jargon child support personnel use

Child Support Enforcement agencies, whether they are ran by a State's Department of Social Services, Department of Revenue or some other agency, are collectively referred to as IV-D agencies.

This strange moniker comes from the fact that child support enforcement agencies are organized under the provisions of Title IV, Subsection D, of the Federal Social Security Act. This is the federal law that authorizes such agencies to exist. (Originally passed as Public Law 93-647 for those that want to know those kinds of things.) It is expressed typically as a Roman numeral, Title IV and a separating dash, then the title section, D. You may also see it expressed as 4D, or 4-D; it all means the same.

The agency in each state that administers public assistance programs, such as Temporary Aid to Needy Families (formerly known as AFDC) is organized under title IV-A of the SSA, and you will often hear Division of Family Services and equivalent agencies referred to as the IV-A agency.

Last updated 12-11-99