Child Support Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Open a Case

Open a Case

Receiving child support payments depends on the circumstances of each individual case, such as:  paternity establishment, location of the Person Paying Support (PPS), current employment information and the existence of a valid court order.


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It depends. Please telephone us at (866) 901-3212 or visit one of our offices to get more information.


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Federal and state laws require all child support agencies to send their computer records to the federal government. We are required to notify all Persons Receiving Support (PRS) and Persons Paying Support (PPS) of this procedure. If you have domestic violence issues or a current restraining order, you may opt out of having your case information downloaded to the federal system by returning the questionnaire form with a copy of your restraining order or any other supporting documentation. It is important to know that case information reported to the federal system may become accessible to other people or agencies through public records. If you do not have concerns about domestic violence or the accessibility of your records, it is not absolutely necessary to return the form, but we prefer that you do.


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Yes. If you are a parent of the child, you do not need to have your own court order or have been married to the other parent in order to apply for services. Once a completed, signed application is received, our office will take the legal steps to establish parentage (a legal parent-child relationship) and obtain and enforce a court order for child support.

However, if you are not a parent of the child, you do need to provide evidence that you have legal custody or guardianship of the child, which is best provided by a court order.


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No. Applications submitted for services for an unborn child will be rejected. You may submit an application for services once the baby is born.


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When cash aid ends, the child support case remains open and the local child support agency (LCSA) will continue to collect current support and arrears (unpaid, past-due support) owed to you unless you notify the LCSA in writing that you no longer want child support services or ask that your case be closed. The LCSA will continue to collect past-due child support owed to reimburse the county for the CalWORKs benefits.


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If you are the parent or caretaker who the child lives with most of the time (custodial party) and you are currently receiving public assistance for the child in the form of cash aid, or the reason the child is not receiving cash is that you have exceeded the maximum family grant, you do not need to apply for child support services. When you receive aid, the public social services agency automatically sends a referral to the local child support services agency (LCSA) to open a case against the Person Paying Support (PPS).

You give up your right to child support during the period you receive aid in exchange for receiving public aid. However, the first $50 collected each month will generally be sent to you. The balance will be used to pay back the county for the cost of the CalWORKs benefit. This $50 payment is called a disregard, and will not reduce the amount of your CalWORKs benefit.

If you are the parent who has been ordered to pay child support (Person Paying Support) and you are receiving some form of public assistance, you may be entitled to a reduction of your child support obligation. Contact Us for more information.


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No. We DO NOT represent any individual person and no attorney-client relationship is created between the Child Support Services Department (or its attorneys) and either parent (or caretaker), or the child.


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If your child is currently receiving aid ("welfare") you do not have to complete an application form.  We will automatically open a case for you.

If you are not receiving aid:

  • You may apply online (Recommended method).  Quick and easy interactive web-based process that guides you through the child support application process and electronically submits your forms.
  • You may e-mail a request for an application, with your name and mailing address, to our Customer Service unit at cservice@cssd.lacounty.gov
  • You may call (866)901-3212 to request an application from the automated system or speak to a child support officer.
  • You may download the application.
  • Or you may request an application in person at one of our public contact offices.
  • Once completed, send the signed, completed application and all forms to:

Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department
Case Initiation Unit
5770 S. Eastern Avenue,
Commerce, CA 90040-2924


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Beginning October 1, 2011, the State will charge an annual service fee of $25 per year, per case, for never-aided cases when payments to the custodial party for the federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30) have reached $500 or more.


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Locate a Parent

Locate a Parent

We have access to local, state and federal databases that help us locate a person and their assets. We can’t give you the information we find because there are also state and federal rules about confidentiality of information; but if we can find the person, we can often take legal action to obtain an order or enforce an order.


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All identifying information that you can provide will be helpful to us. Key information includes the person’s full name, any aliases, social security number, date of birth, driver license number, and the last known addresses of where he or she lives and works.


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Establish Paternity

Establish Paternity

The laboratory will mail you the results when the testing is complete. The process usually takes a few weeks. If many weeks have gone by, you may Contact Us for status. It might be that the other parent was scheduled at a later date.


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Call the phone number on the appointment letter and talk to a Child Support Services Department representative.


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Yes. Parents may obtain a Request for a Filed Declaration of Paternity form by contacting the California Department of Child Support Services at (866) 249-0773 or you may obtain additional information, including the form, by accessing Requesting a Filed Copy of the Declaration of Paternity.


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You may cancel or rescind the declaration if you file a Declaration of Paternity Rescission form within 60 days after the date the declaration was signed by the last person who signed it. You may obtain a Declaration of Paternity Rescission form by contacting our local office, the Office of the Family Law Facilitator, or the Office of Vital Records (OVR). You may also obtain more information, including a copy of the rescission form, directly from DCSS by calling (866) 249-0773, emailing the State at askpop@dcss.ca.gov or accessing Rescind or Cancel Filed Declaration of Paternity.

If more than 60 days have passed, it will take a court order to cancel the declaration. You can contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.


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No. We don’t use needles or draw blood. The laboratory technician will gently swab the inside of the child’s cheek and the cheeks of the mother and alleged father to collect buccal cells, which will be compared to each other during genetic testing in the laboratory. The collection of these cells is not painful.


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No. Only an unmarried woman may sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity.


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No. The Child Support Services Department cannot assist you in changing birth certificate information. However, you may contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance or contact the Office of Vital Records (OVR) for detailed instructions and fee information.


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Beginning in January 1997, if parents are unmarried, the father’s name cannot be placed on the original birth certificate unless the parents sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity before the baby leaves the hospital. If the parents sign and file a voluntary Declaration of Paternity with the State later, or if paternity is established by court order, you may request that the birth certificate be altered to add your name. You may contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance or contact the Office of Vital Records (OVR) for detailed instructions and fee information.


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The father’s name on a child’s birth certificate does not create a legal parent-child relationship; and the lack of the name does not mean a man is not the legal father.


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Legal parentage provides benefits to the parents and child:

  • Father’s name on the child’s birth certificate
  • Financial support
  • Access to important family medical records
  • Medical and life insurance coverage, if available
  • Social security or veteran’s benefits
  • Inheritance
  • Custody and visitation
  • The emotional advantage of knowing both parents

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No. If you and the other parent agree that the two of you are the parents of the child, and the mother is unmarried, you can both sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity and file it with the State to establish paternity. It will have the same effect as a Judgment.


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Establish a Court Order

Establish a Court Order

Yes. If both parents agree to a child support amount, you can avoid going to court by signing a stipulation—a formal agreement that will be filed with the Court. Please Contact Us to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.


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The Child Support Services Department is responsible for managing the child support program in Los Angeles County. We are required to establish paternity, child support and health insurance orders for children receiving public aid. We provide similar services to parents and legal caretakers of non-aided children at the Person's Receiving Support (PRS) request. An agreement, even a notarized agreement, is not an enforceable court order. If you already have a court order for the same child, please Contact Us.


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The State of California created legal guidelines for calculating the amount of child support a parent should pay based on a standard mathematical formula. Some factors include:  the income of each parent; the amount of time each parent takes care of the child; certain expenses; and the number of minor children that the parent is required by law to support. You may estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered by using the public Guideline Calculator.


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If you have been served with a Summons, Complaint and Proposed Judgment (S&C), you can ask for genetic testing in the Answer form you file with the Court. If your case is eligible for genetic testing, we will schedule it and send you an appointment letter. For more information, see Genetic Testing.

If you have questions, please Contact Us or you may obtain assistance at the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.


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When you file an Answer with the Court, your case will be scheduled for a hearing. On the court date, you will meet with a representative from the Child Support Services Department. You may provide additional information regarding your case, e.g., financial information or information about how often the child is in your care. If you cannot reach an agreement about child support, you will have an opportunity to talk to the judicial officer. For more information, see Going to Court.


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If you were served with a Summons, Complaint and Proposed Judgment and do not file an Answer, we will ask the Court to proceed without you. Usually, the Proposed Judgment that was served with the Summons and Complaint will become a Final Judgment.


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If you received a Summons, Complaint and Proposed Judgment (S&C) packet from the Child Support Services Department (CSSD), read the documents carefully. The documents advise you of your legal rights and deadlines that must be met.

  • If you were personally served (i.e., you were given the papers in person), you have 30 days to respond by filing an Answer with the court or by entering into a stipulation (agreement) with CSSD.
  • If you were substitute-served (i.e., the papers were left with someone at your work or home and copies were mailed to you), you have 40 days from the date the copies were mailed to you to respond by filing an Answer with the court or by entering into a stipulation with CSSD.

You can file an Answer at the Central Civil West (CCW) Superior Court in Los Angeles. There is NO FEE to file an Answer with the court. If you believe you are not the father of the child listed in the S&C, you may request Genetic Testing. If the case qualifies for genetic testing, CSSD will schedule it.

You can also visit a CSSD office to enter into a stipulation regarding your case. Please Contact Us to find out what information you should bring with you. If you are not able to reach a stipulation with CSSD, you will be reminded of your option to file an Answer.

You have the right to obtain the legal services of a private attorney at any time. You can also visit the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.


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Enforcing a Court Order

Enforcing a Court Order

If you owe more than $2,500 in past due child support, federal law requires that the issuance or renewal of a passport be denied. In most cases, you will have to pay the arrears in full before your passport will be released. For more information on the Passport Denial Program in California, please see California’s Passport Denial Program.

 

If you have questions about releasing your passport, you may Contact Us.


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No. You will need to contact the appropriate licensing board to get information about any license holds or suspensions that are not related to child support.


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You do NOT pay the $15 fee to us.

The licensing board may charge you an administrative fee for processing your license suspension/release as a result of delinquent child support. If you believe that you were reported to the State Licensing Match System by mistake, you may request that we issue a fee waiver letter along with the license release form. The letter will ask the licensing board to waive the $15 administrative fee.


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We will need to verify that you are receiving those benefits and can then process a release of the hold on your license. If you are aided in another county or state, you will need to provide proof.


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If you have additional holds on your license from other counties, we will work to resolve the cases with those other counties; in some situations, you might need to contact the other counties directly.


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Once we authorize release, the DMV or other licensing board should be able to process the release within 5 to 7 working days.


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The amount is reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on how much you owe and your payment history. Please Contact Us to discuss your license suspension and what arrangements you can make to gain release of your license.


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You may Contact Us. Depending on your situation, you might enter into a repayment plan, or make a lump sum payment. If you cannot reach an agreement with us, you can seek relief in court. If you would like assistance, you may contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator, located in various Superior Courts throughout Los Angeles County and the State of California.


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You can Contact Us if you want to set up a repayment plan.

If you disagree with the action, you can complete and submit a Request for Review form to the Child Support Services Department (CSSD). You can explain why you disagree in the space provided. CSSD must conduct a review within 75 days of receiving your Request for Review. You may contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.


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The licensing board is responsible for sending a Notice of Intent to Suspend License to your last known address. The Notice informs you that your license will be suspended and that a temporary license valid for 150 days is being issued. You have 150 days to address this matter before the suspension goes into effect.


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California licensing boards, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, are required to work with the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to enforce delinquent child support orders. When a Person Paying Support (PPS) does not pay support as ordered, DCSS reports his or her name to the State Licensing Match System (SLMS). The SLMS program requires licensing boards to deny, suspend or revoke driver, professional and recreational licenses.


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By law, you will owe interest on your unpaid balance at the rate of 10 percent (10%) per year.

In addition, we may:

  • Suspend your driver and other licenses, including professional licenses
  • Report your delinquency to credit reporting agencies
  • Intercept your federal and state tax refunds
  • Attach your bank accounts
  • Deny a passport application

For information about your specific case, please Contact Us.


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Out of State

Out of State

The United States has reciprocal agreements with many nations around the world. For information about your specific case, please Contact Us.


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Yes. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) establishes procedures for how child support orders can be established and enforced when the parties live in different states. For assistance, please Contact Us.


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Close a Case

Close a Case

Person Receiving Support (PRS) can reopen his or her case at any time as long as the supported child is still a minor who has not emancipated. The age of majority in California is eighteen; however, if the child is a full time high school student, support extends to the date of graduation or nineteenth birthday, whichever occurs first.

In all other situations, Contact Us to find out whether you can reopen your case.


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If you are a Person Receiving Support (PRS)  who is not receiving aid, you can close your case at any time. If there are arrears owed to the government, we will leave the case open and continue to enforce those arrears but will stop enforcing the support owed to you. If you are a PRS who is receiving aid, you cannot close the case because all the support you are entitled to while on aid is due to the government instead by law.


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When a case is closed it means that we will no longer provide services for that case. The fact that a case is closed does not affect the underlying orders for support. This means that if the Person Paying Support (PPS) was ordered to pay current support, he or she must continue to pay that support to the Person Receiving Support (PRS). If the PPS owes arrears (past-due support) to the PRS, the PPS must pay those arrears to the PRS.


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A case opened or enforced by us can be closed for many reasons. To find out why your case was closed you can contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.


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Going to Court

Going to Court

There are a number of ways that you can make payments. For details, please see Making a Payment.


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Yes. You can make payments at the Central Civil West (CCW) courthouse. Go to the cashier's window on the 18th floor of the building.


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CSSD does not provide free parking. Parking at CCW is available under the building and in adjacent lots for a fee. Metered parking is available on the streets surrounding the building.


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We have limited seating available in our waiting area. Your friends and family members will not be able to sit with you in the waiting area on the 18th floor unless we asked you to bring them; therefore, it may be best for you not to bring them with you to court. If they need to come with you for some reason, they can wait in the courtroom on the 16th floor.


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Please do not bring your children, unless asked to do so. We have limited seating available in our waiting area and the judicial officer may not allow children in the courtroom. Most courthouses, including the Central Civil West courthouse, do not provide childcare.


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Spanish interpreters are readily available. For help with other languages, please contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212 before your court date.


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Please alert our staff before your court date if you have a restraining order or there is a history of domestic violence involving the other party. You may contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.

If your court hearing is scheduled at the Central Civil West District courthouse, also alert our staff on the 18th floor when you arrive. We can arrange for you to wait in a different area from the main lobby and will interview each party separately.

If your court hearing is scheduled at another courthouse, alert the bailiff when you check in.


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If we sent you a letter telling you to come to court, you MUST bring that letter with you. If your case involves determining the correct amount of support for your child, the judicial officer will need proof of your income and other factors that are used in calculating support. Please bring ALL documents that apply from the following list:

  • Tax returns for the past two (2) years. If self-employed, bring Schedule “C” and current profit-and-loss statement
  • Last three (3) paycheck stubs
  • Proof of unemployment benefits
  • Proof of disability and/or disability benefits
  • Proof of health insurance premium payments
  • Proof of child care expenses
  • Proof of child support and/or spousal support paid by you for any other relationship
  • Proof of visitation/timeshare (time spent with the child(ren))
  • Proof of your biological or legally adopted children living with you
  • Proof of mortgage payments and property tax bill, if you own property
  • All loan applications (whether or not the loan was granted) for the last two (2) years
  • Any other documents or information the judicial officer or we have told you to bring

You must also complete an Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150) and bring it with you to court.


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The paperwork you received with your court date will tell you what time to arrive. Please arrive by your designated time. If you arrive late, your case may be delayed or it may be decided without you. Please note that if your hearing is set at the Central Civil West (CCW) courthouse, the public is not allowed to enter the building until 7:30 a.m.
In most cases you must go to the 18th floor to check in.
If you have a criminal case you should check in as follows:

  • Persons Receiving Support (PRS) should check in on the 5th floor at CCW, room 513.
  • Defendants already represented by the Public Defender should report directly to the Public Defender’s offices, also on the 5th floor at CCW, room 510.
  • Defendants represented by private counsel should follow their attorney’s directions regarding where to report.
  • Defendants who are not represented in criminal cases should report directly to Department 2H on the 16th floor.

If you are surrendering (walking in) on an outstanding bench warrant or arrest warrant see the instructions above regarding where to go.
Note:  If you have a civil case on calendar the same day as the criminal case, you must also check in on the 18th floor.

If your case is set at another courthouse, plan to arrive by the time shown on the paperwork and check in with the bailiff (sheriff) in the courtroom. The courtroom number or department should be listed on the paperwork.


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The Central Civil West Courthouse is located at 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005, at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and 6th Street. The nearest major intersection is Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. The closest Metro Redline station is located at Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.


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Telephonic appearances are granted at the discretion of the judicial officer. A request for telephonic appearance must be filed with the court clerk at least 12 days before the hearing. You must make your request on a Request for Telephone Appearance (FL-679).

Once you have completed the form, you can fax it to the courtroom where your case is assigned. You can find the courtroom on your court paperwork.

Department

Facsimile (FAX) Number

2E

(213) 738-9578

2F

(213) 738-9577

2G

(213) 738-9576

2H

(213) 738-9575


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Generally, you or your attorney must appear on the court date. You can request a continuance (that the date be rescheduled), but there is no guarantee that the judicial officer will grant your request for a continuance. You can contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212 to ask that a Child Support Services Department attorney request a continuance on your behalf or you can call the court clerk in the courtroom where your case is assigned. You can the find the courtroom on your court paperwork.

Department

Telephone Number

2E

(213) 351-8715

2F

(213) 351-8875

2G

(213) 351-8864

2H

(213) 351-8161


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No. The Child Support Services Department does not represent either party or the child. We are required to establish, modify and enforce support obligations for children who receive public aid and for non-aided children at the Person's Receiving Support (PRS) request. You can hire an attorney to represent you or you can represent yourself. You may also contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.


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Modify My Order

Modify My Order

  • You may submit a request online.  Quick and easy interactive web-based process that guides you through the process of preparing your request and electronically submits the forms needed in order to conduct a modification review.  By using the online request process, you can keep informed of the status of your request.
  • You may call our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.
  • Or you may request a modification review in person at one of our public contact offices.

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The modification review may result in either an increase or decrease in your child support amount depending on the circumstances of both parents. Generally, the process will continue regardless of whether your child support amount will increase or decrease. However, both parties can agree in writing that they don’t want the order changed. If you have a question about modifying your order, you may Contact Us.


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You are not required to have an attorney for this process but you always have the right to hire private counsel.


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Your new support obligation and the date it starts will be stated in the order. Sometimes your new support amount begin on the first of the month after the date the motion was filed with the court.


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We check all of the financial information that is available to us from various sources through our automated (computer) system.


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To begin the process, ask our office to review your case for modification. You will be asked to complete an Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150); you may be asked to submit supporting documents, e.g., pay stubs or proof of expenses you pay. We will collect financial information from both parties. A modification may be appropriate if the current support order would increase or decrease by at least 20% or $50.00 per month, whichever is less.
You may choose to file your own request for modification with the court. For assistance, you may contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator. If you are a Person Receiving Support (PRS) who wants to file your own request for modification, please see Independent Enforcement.


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The review and modification should be completed within six months; however, this may vary according to court scheduling.


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Reduce My Debt

Reduce My Debt

No. The Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP) does not allow compromise of spousal support. Likewise, the Compromise of Assigned Arrears-Family Reunification (COAA-FR) program, designed to help parents who have reunited with their children, does not include compromise of spousal support arrears.


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Yes. Any agreement between you and the local child support agency (LCSA) will be rescinded (cancelled), and the past due support that would have been compromised will be due again if you do any of the following:

  • Fail to pay your entire current child support obligation at any time during the agreement period, unless you made contact with the LCSA to request a modification
  • Do not provide the LCSA with all of your income, assets, or other property information, or you purposely withheld information about income, assets or other property that you knew you were going to receive at a future date
  • Purposely withheld, destroyed, mutilated, or falsified any information, document, or record, or purposely made false statements related to your financial condition

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If you qualify for the Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP), you must do the following:

  • Sign a Compromise Agreement
  • Pay your current child support as ordered by the court
  • Pay all past due child support owed to the Person Receiving Support (PRS)
  • Pay the reduced past due child support owed to the government in one lump sum, or make appropriate payment arrangements if available

If you qualify for the Compromise of Assigned Arrears-Family Reunification (COAA-FR) program, the staff member who works with you will assist you through the process.


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To request that your debt be lowered, you must do the following:

  • If the child does not live with you, begin paying the current support obligation, if any. If you are paying now, don’t stop or you will not be allowed to participate.
  • If the child lives with you, call our office at (866) 901-3212 to learn more about which program may best apply.
  • Ask us for a compromise of arrears application package.
  • Fill out and return the application to our office for review.

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The amount that your past due child support debt can be lowered is determined by a formula based on your ability to pay and the facts of your case.


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No. The request will be denied since only permanently assigned welfare or foster care arrears can be compromised. These are arrears owed to the government during the time a child receives aid.


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Making/Receiving Payment

Making/Receiving Payment

You have the ability to set your own dollar amount threshold for low balance alert when you sign up for that option.


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Once you enroll in the Electronic Payment Card (EPC) program, it will take approximately 10-14 business days to receive your card in the mail. You will receive information with your card; be sure to read it carefully.


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You can sign up for an Electronic Payment Card (EPC):

  • By Phone – call the State Disbursement Unit's Electronic Help Desk at (866) 901-3212.

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The benefits of receiving child support payments by Electronic Payment Card (EPC) include:

  • Time – receiving child support payments by EPC saves time and is faster than receiving a check.
  • Convenience – use the EPC for purchases everywhere Mastercard is accepted, point of sale terminals, and to make withdrawals at virtually any ATM 24 hrs a day.
  • Security – you don’t have to carry large amounts of cash, or worry about losing a check with the EPC.
  • Cost – eliminate check cashing costs.
  • Control – improve control over your money. Use only what you need, when you need it.
  • Assistance – account information and customer service is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
  • Notification options – you may choose to receive deposit notifications and low balance alerts by mail, phone or text message.

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An Electronic Payment Card (EPC) is a Mastercard branded card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. An EPC provides the custodial party with access to his or her child support funds 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.


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You can sign up for Direct Deposit in these ways:

  • By Phone – call the SDU Electronic Help Desk at (866) 901-3212.
  • By Mail – you can download and print a Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Mail the completed form to:  California State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 989064, West Sacramento, CA 95798.

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There are several reasons why payments from employers can be delayed.

Some employers hold the money and send multiple payments to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) at one time. Sometimes the employers don't properly identify the payments with the noncustodial parent's name, case number(s) or ID number(s). In other situations, the employer’s payroll department is located out-of-state. There can also be delays when two or more child support agencies are involved. For information on your specific case, contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.


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The employer is required to begin deductions within ten (10) working days of receiving the wage assignment. The employer has an additional ten days to send the payment to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). When the SDU receives the payment it will be disbursed. For your convenience, you may obtain payment information by phone 24-hours a day by calling (866) 901-3212.


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If you have not received the check ten (10) business days after it was issued, Contact Us and we will send you the appropriate forms to complete. When we receive the completed forms back from you, a "Stop Payment" will be put on the check and the payment will be reissued.


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You have several options:

  • Direct Deposit - Your payment can be automatically deposited into your checking or savings account. You can download the Direct Deposit Form or call the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) at (866) 901-3212, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
  • Electronic Payment Card (EPC) - Your payment can be applied to a Mastercard branded card, that works like a debit card. To enroll in the EPC program by phone, contact the SDU at (866) 901-3212. An automated phone menu will provide enrollment instructions for the EPC program or you can enroll online at Enroll for EPC.
  • The SDU will mail a standard bank check to your mailing address on record with our office.

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There are a number of possible reasons. When a new judgment or order is issued, there is generally a slight delay from the time the judgment is entered until the time the employer begins withholding wages. It is your responsibility to send the payments until the wage assignment is working. Some companies’ payroll departments are located in other states, causing additional delays in processing time.

Some employers prorate over the period of one year. This means that depending on how many weeks are in each month, there will be some months when the amount withheld may not total the monthly obligation. In other months, the account will seem to be overpaid. By the end of the year, the full child support obligation for the year will have been paid.

There may be other reasons why you became delinquent, for example, your order might have been modified back to the date when the request for modification was filed with the court even though you didn't come to court until a later date.

For information about your particular case, you may Contact Us.


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We may use more than one enforcement tool to collect support. This means that even though you are making payments by wage assignment, if you still owe some arrears, we will collect the tax refund. We submit cases to the tax refund intercept program annually. If your account has become current (paid in full) since the submittal date, the money will be returned to you. For information about your particular case, you may Contact Us.


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To make a payment through the SDU website, or by telephone, or PDA/mobile phone, you must have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and your Participant ID number.

You have three options to register and obtain your PIN:

When you register, the statewide computer system will automatically generate a PIN and mail it to the address on file with our office.

Your Participant ID number is located on your billing statement and other correspondence received from us. If you do not know your Participant ID number, please contact us or call the SDU at (866) 901-3212.


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We do not charge a fee for paying by credit card.


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No. You may only use VISA© and MasterCard branded debit or credit cards issued within the United States.


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As soon as you receive the PIN through the mail, you can make payments online at the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU) or by telephone at (866) 901-3212. Remember to keep your PIN, as you will need it if you want to change your payment information, payment schedule, or amount.


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Yes. To get a Personal Identification Number (PIN), register online or register by telephone at (866) 901-3212. When you register, the statewide computer system will generate a PIN and mail it to you at your last known address on file with our office. Keep a record of your PIN; it is required to make payments online and over the telephone.


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You have several options:

  • Pay by check or money order – mail your payment to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU):
    California State Disbursement Unit
    P.O. Box 989067
    West Sacramento, CA 95798
    • DO NOT MAIL CASH
    • Include your full name, case number, and participant identification number on the payment
    • Mail Payments only to the SDU; mail other correspondence to our office. For address information, Contact Us.
  • Pay by credit or debit card – make a single credit card payment or automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings account at SDU online or by calling (866) 901-3212.
  • Pay at any one of our offices; for the location nearest you, Contact Us. You may also make a payment at the Central Civil West (CCW) courthouse located at 600 S. Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90005. The cashier's window is located on the 18th floor.

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There are many reasons why you may not receive your full amount of child support. There may have been a change in the Person's Paying Support (PPS) wages due to a change in work hours, unemployment, disability or other factors that may impact the amount that you receive. Also, if your child has never received public assistance, beginning October 1, 2011, a $25 annual service fee will be deducted from your payment(s) if you received at least $500 in the prior federal fiscal year, which runs from September 30 to October 1. For information about your specific case, you may contact our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.


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Military

Military

You may qualify for the 6% interest rate under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) if:

  • Child support arrears accrued prior to your being placed on active duty; and
  • You can show that the military service materially affects your ability to pay the usual interest rate of 10% (e.g., there is a reduction in income due to military service).

If you send us a Notice of Deployment – Request for Review of Child Support Order (DCSS 0585) with proof of your active duty status, and the date when active duty began, we will review your case to see if you qualify.


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The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) applies to active military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) personnel, including reservists, who are on active duty military service. It also applies to members of the National Guard who are called to active duty for more than 30 days. The SCRA does not apply to Department of Defense civilians, contract employees and military retirees, and most of its provisions do not apply to military dependents directly.


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