Help for Iowans Who Owe Back Child Support

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Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


There is help for Iowans who owe back child support. If a person owes back child support, the back support is collected through an income withholding order. If a person only owes back child support, the person can ask for a smaller amount of money to be taken out. This is called asking for a "hardship." Hardship exists if the income of the person owing child support is equal to or less than 200 percent of the poverty level for one person. To ask for a hardship or reduction in the amount taken for back child support, a person must send a written request to Child Support Recovery.  A person can request a hardship at any time. The hardship amount is based on a formula but cannot be less than $15 per month.

The Child Support Recovery Unit will notify the person if the hardship request was approved and the amended amount to be taken. If the request is not approved, the reasons for the denial will be set out.

A hardship period will usually last for two years.  If the hardship is because the person receives social security disability benefits, social security retirement benefits or supplemental security income disability benefits, the hardship period will continue while the person is receiving those benefits.

Last Review and Update: Sep 21, 2022
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