Iowa Child Support
Information, Laws & Enforcement

The Iowa Child Support Enforcement Agency has the experience needed to help you with your child support issues. Fast and friendly service is very important in helping you establish a child support case. Child support services include establishing paternity, establishing child support, medical orders, collecting support payments and locating non-custodial parents.

If paternity needs to be established it can be done by agreement of the parents or through genetic testing. After paternity is established a payment amount can be established using the Iowa Supreme Court Guidelines.

Iowa Child Support

Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit

The Child Support Recovery Unit uses the Iowa Supreme Court's Guidelines to establish the child support amount. The Recovery Unit uses both parents' net monthly incomes and the number of children to establish the child support amount.

The guidelines recognizes the importance of both parents in supporting their children. Stepparent income is not included. If you receive public assistance, payments do not count as part of the monthly income. Each parent's net monthly income is found by taking deductions from the gross monthly income. Below are some of these deductions.

  • Federal income tax
  • State income tax
  • Pension plans
  • Union dues
  • Health insurance

Note: If the person paying support receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and has no other source of income, support will be set at zero. The child support amount set using the guidelines can only be changed by the court.

Applying For Services

To apply for Iowa Child Support services you must complete an application for Services form. Mail the completed form to the Iowa Child Support Enforcement Office serving your county. If you already have an order then you must send copies of any court orders and payment records that already exist for your case. Not supplying the court orders and payment records could delay you in getting services. There is a fee to apply for these services.

Child Support Modification

Administrative Modification process and the Review and Adjustment process can change child support payment amounts. You can also change an amount through a private attorney. Your case will be reviewed to determine the most effective action.

Child Support Enforcement

Using these enforcement tools below may not always result in immediate or consistent payments, but the Child Support Recovery Unit will continue its efforts to collect child support payments for you and your children.

Enforcement Tools

  • Paycheck income withholding
  • Intercepting tax refunds
  • Collecting payments from bank accounts
  • Working with other states to collect child support outside of Iowa.
  • Suspending licenses
  • Suspending passports
  • Taking court action when necessary

What is the difference between an "official" payment record and an "unofficial" payment record?

An "official" payment record has been certified by a designated employee of the Collection Services Center as a true, accurate, and correct copy of the original on file. You may want to use one when showing your payments to the court or applying for a loan, for example.

An "unofficial" payment record has been printed from this website and has not been certified by a designated employee of the Collection Services Center. You may want to use one to compare your records to those of the Collection Services Center or to verify your eligibility for certain assistance programs, such as subsidized housing or energy assistance.

How do I get a lien on my house removed?

To get a lien on property removed, a Release of Lien or a Satisfaction of Judgment must be filed with the Clerk of the District Court in the county where the child support order is filed. Contact the Child Support Recovery Unit for assistance if part or all of the child support is owed to the State of Iowa. Contact a private attorney if all of the child support is owed to the other parent.

Establishing the legal paternity

Iowa Child Support takes all steps required by law in presenting the order to a judge for approval to establishing legal paternity to a child born out of wedlock. A court hearing is not held unless a custodial parent asks for one. First, the mother of the child born out of wedlock must sign a written statement naming a man as the father of her child. Then she must give us information to support her statement. A notice is then served on the alleged father along with a request for financial information and an explanation of how child support amounts are figured.

To challenge this action:

The alleged father has 10 days from being served with notice to request a conference with Iowa Child Support to discuss the action taken against him. There is a minimum of 20 days from service to ask for a court hearing, which may be extended by having a conference or having a genetic test.

Normally, paternity and support is established at the same time. Child Support prepares and sends a worksheet to both parents showing how the amount of support was determined using the mandatory Iowa child support guidelines.

Customer Service Center

Customer service center is open weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST to take your calls. Local Phone Number: (641)844-5390 Nationwide toll-free number: 1-888-229-9223

Send payments to:

Collection Services Center 

PO Box 9125 

Des Moines, IA 50306

** Make payments payable to the Collection Services Center and list the case number on the check to ensure proper credit.

Find the Answers to Your Child Support Services Questions

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