Public Notice - SRMT Family Support Act

Sep 27, 2013

Issued by the Tribal Clerk of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
At the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Work Session Held
September 26, 2013

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, working in conjunction with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Child Support Enforcement Unit (SRMT CSEU) submits the following Draft Legislation for adoption by Tribal Council.
The name of the proposed legislation is the SAINT REGIS MOHAWK TRIBE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT.

There are six major functions that Tribal child support programs must perform in processing child support cases. How the Tribe will provide these basic services must be outlined in the Tribal IV-D Plan.
  • Intake
  • Locate
  • Establishment of Paternity
  • Establishment of a Support Obligation
  • Enforcement of a Support Obligation
  • Collection and Distribution of Child Support
The purpose of this Act is to provide a process that ensures that the basic health and financial needs of Mohawk children are met when their parents do not live together. Child support is based on the financial resources of the parents, the financial needs of the children, and is an entitlement of the child. Culturally, children of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are cared for by parents, extended family, and the community. This Act focuses on the parents’ duty to meet the needs of their children.

Copies of the Proposed Act can be obtained at the Community Building, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe website, or the Public Information Office.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Child Support Enforcement Unit conducted three (3) Public Meetings dates which were August 7, 2013; August 21, 2013 and August 28, 2013.
Questions from the Community and Answers from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe CSEU were as follows:
1. Community Member Question: Can a mother who is unmarried but living with the father of the child apply for Child Support Services?
SRMT CSEU Answer: No. Child Support is for the children of parents who do not reside together.
2. Community Member Question: How will this Act protect the men in our community from Paternity Fraud?
SRMT CSEU Answer: The proposed Act Section 2 Paternity Establishment 2.Summons for Paternity Establishment number 6 states that any party has the right to have genetic testing if paternity is contested by either party Currently in New York State there is only a 60 day window to contest a signed Acknowledgment of Paternity. After the 60 days paternity is contested there are only three ways that Paternity can be disestablished. All three are hard to prove and rarely happen. In the eyes of the NYS Family Court if they feel paternity disestablishment would not be in the best interest of the child, they will not allow.
3. Community Member Question: How will the SRMT CSEU collect child support from a person who lives on another reservation and will not honor any orders from any other court?
SRMT CSEU Answer: Matters like this will be difficult to address but with government to government negotiations other Tribal Nations may be more willing to work with us regarding income withholding orders for Non-Custodial Parents who work and reside on their territory.

The comment period for this Draft Act will end on October 30, 2013 and a Final Act shall be adopted by Tribal Council at their regularly scheduled work session on November 5, 2013.