Modification of Child Support
What is 252H? Chapter 252H is one part of Iowa code 252, dealing with modification of child support orders. It works hand in hand with the other parts of code 252. By the way, code 252 is labeled as the code dealing with support for the poor. Funny, I thought it dealt with making people poor.
What all is contained in Chapter252? Chapter 252A and chapter 252K deal with support of dependents and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act respectively. 252B deals with child support. It is under code 252B that the Child Support Recovery Unit was formed and gets it’s authority. It is also under this authority that Child Support gets it’s marching orders. It’s mission is outlined here. It is here that the DHS says that child support shall go after you to collect money for your children should they receive public assistance. It is here that it says that if you don’t collect public assistance, and want to receive child support, you’re S.O.L getting much help from them. 252B really is the nuts and bolts of Child Support. It’s heavy reading, but explains a lot. You’ll also see references to Title IV throughout the law. 252C is more ways that they can sue you and enforce their orders. 252D deals with Income Withholding mainly. 252E deals with medical support. 252F deals with establishing paternity. 252G deals with a centralized database that all employers must access to see if you’re on there. The employer can get in huge trouble if they don’t check in with “big brother” and tattle on you. 252H, is the code dealing with modification. 252I is the code that allows Child Support to come after you worse than the IRS has ever dreamed of. If that ain’t bad enough, 252J takes away you’re ability to drive, register a car, or remain a doctor. And again, 252K deals with the feds.
So, what exactly is the 252H? Here it is, straight from the code: This chapter is intended to provide a means for state compliance
with Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, as amended,
requiring states to provide procedures for the review and adjustment
of support orders being enforced under Title IV-D of the federal
Social Security Act, and also to provide an expedited modification
process when review and adjustment procedures are not required,
appropriate, or applicable. Actions under this chapter shall be
initiated only by the child support recovery unit.
In other words, it’s child support’s way of modifying your child support order without going into district court every time. Child support is kind of given a blank check to kick you around a little bit. When you are dealing with this sort of modification, remember, you are playing by the rules set forth in this chapter of Iowa’s code, not the rest of Iowa’s laws. This section is strictly for Child Support.
Is this the only way to modify child support? No. Here is a section from 252H: 252H.11 CONCURRENT ACTIONS.
This chapter does not prohibit or affect the ability or right of a
parent or the parent's attorney to file a modification action at the
parent's own initiative. If a modification action is filed by a
parent concerning an order for which an action has been initiated but
has not yet been completed by the unit under this chapter, the unit
shall terminate any action initiated under this chapter, subject to
Then it goes on into a bunch of circumstances. Technically, this deals with any action you bring into district court.
What is and is not covered under the modification rules of 252H? The only things that this chapter deals with, is the amount of your child support, and any medical provisions. Nothing else will be dealt with here. So, when child support attempts a modification on you under this chapter, the only thing they will deal with is your income, and your medical insurance and getting both for your child. Period. They don’t care about visitation, taxes, or anything else. That all has to be dealt with through the district courts.
What if I disagree with what child support is ordering me to pay? Then you ask for a 252H hearing. You will then be granted a hearing in front of a judge. This will be an administrative law judge. An administrative law judge is a district judge that has a hearing and instead of using the entire code of Iowa, he operates within a limited scope of law. In this case, Chapter 252 of Iowa’s code, and any federal or state laws that affect chapter 252. This judge will not care about anything other than income and medical. Your other option is to go into district court.
What now? The best thing you can do is read and make yourself knowledgeable. Again, it is heavy reading, but it helps to understand why child support does the things that they do. They are following the law. This is what we need to change. If you understand the law, it will help you make informed decisions that will guide you through the nearly twenty years that most non-custodial parents end up dealing with the child support system. Only your mortgage lender, if you have a thirty year loan, will be a longer lasting financial partner in your life. You can read and browse through the different codes and sections of Iowa’s chapter 252 here: http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?category=billinfo&service=IowaCode&input=252