group of kids, children, or supporters clappingPeople commonly hear of “IV-D” or “4D” or “Title IV-D Courts” when child support issues are being discussed. But what exactly is IV-D? Where does the reference come from?

First, Title IV-D refers to a section of US Federal Law known as the Social Security Act. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Social Security Act as the law dealing with retirement checks and disability payments. But you may not have known that the Social Security Act covers issues involving child support and other child welfare programs. A compilation of the various sections or “Titles” of the Act is listed here on the Social Security Administration’s website.  You’ll note that one of the Titles, “Title IV Grants to States for Aid and Services to Needy Families with Children and for Child-Welfare Services” deals with the welfare of children when those children or their families receive state benefits. You’ll also note that one of the Title’s parts, “Part D—Child Support and Establishment of Paternity,” deals with the specifics of states’ child support programs. Texas has one of those child support programs, and it is currently administered by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. 
 
So whenever you hear of “IV-D” as  in IV-D court or a state’s IV-D program, it is simply a reference to the section of the Social Security Act dealing with child support.