Overview for Parents and Caretakers*
Child Support Enforcement Program (“IV-D” Program)
The child support enforcement program is sometimes referred to as a "IV-D program" because Title IV-D of the Social Security Act requires each state to establish and enforce support orders when the government provides aid (“welfare”) or, when a parent or legal caretaker requests services. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is the State’s IV-D agency set up to establish parentage and enforce support orders. The local child support agency (LCSA) responsible for providing those services in Los Angeles County is the County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Department (CSSD).
IV-D services include: opening a case; finding parents; establishing a parent-child relationship (“parentage”); establishing a child support order; and enforcing support orders. IV-D agencies provide services at no or little cost to the person who receives them.
IV-D agencies do not represent any individual. The agencies act in the “public interest” and there is no attorney-client relationship between the agency or its attorneys and either party or the child.
For more detailed information, please see Child Support Process. Additional information can also be found in the Child Support Handbook published by DCSS.
State Disbursement Unit
All collections in IV-D cases are processed at a centralized site called the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), which keeps payment records for the LCSAs. California law also requires that support payments in cases that are not enforced by an LCSA ("non-IV-D cases”) be paid through the SDU if the payments are made by wage withholding.
In non-IV-D cases, the SDU acts as a go-between only. The noncustodial parent's (NCP) employer is instructed to withhold an amount from the NCP’s wages and send the payment to the SDU; the SDU then sends the payment to the custodial party. The SDU does not keep a record of the support obligation or arrears, if any. If you currently have a non-IV-D case and are interested in learning more about the full range of IV-D services, we invite you to take a look at the Child Support Process.
Customer Connect Now Offers eDocuments - Enroll Now!
Parents and caretakers now have the option to view, save and print documents through Customer Connect. By enrolling to receive eDocuments, you will no longer receive statements by mail. Instead, you will receive an email when a statement is available to view. Once you submit your request for enrollment, a verification email will be sent to you to complete the enrollment process.
*NOTE: The information throughout this website is intended to provide general information only. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as legal advice.