We recognize that many of our parents and caretakers may be called to active duty in the United States' military. If you are called to active duty, you are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly called the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. The purpose of the SCRA is to allow United States military personnel to devote their full attention to the defense of our nation by temporarily suspending judicial and administrative civil proceedings that may impact their rights.
You may visit the California Department of Child Support Services website by clicking Recently Activated Military Personnel.
Some of the protections you may be entitled to under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) are:
Stay of Proceedings
You may be entitled to place court proceedings on hold for a certain period of time. This is called a “stay” of proceedings. You must show that you cannot attend the proceeding due to military service.
Stay of Execution (Enforcement) of a Judgment
A service member can request that the court stop the execution of a judgment, attachment, or garnishment order. You must show the court that the military service prevented you from complying with the judgment and that the support case began prior to, during, or within 90 days after your military service.
Expedited Modification of Support
If you have a child support obligation, or are receiving child support payments for a child in your custody, and are being deployed out-of-state, you have an opportunity to request a review and possible modification of the child support order before you deploy. For more information, see Notice to PRS's and PPS's Deploying Out-of-State.
You may request that the interest rate being charged on child support arrears that accrued prior to your deployment be reduced to 6% for the duration of your deployment. To be eligible for a reduction in the interest rate, you must prove that your activation to military service has a “material effect” on your ability to pay the usual interest rate of 10%. Generally, this would be the case if you were earning more before your deployment.
To request a reduction in the interest rate please submit a Notice of Deployment - Request for Review of Child Support Order (DCSS 0585) to our office. You must also provide documentation of active duty status and provide the date when active duty began.
Military Compromise of Arrears Program (Military COAP)
The Military COAP Program allows the compromise of child support arrears owed to the government, which accrued during military service by a select group of PPS's. Eligibility is limited to a Reservist or a member of the National Guard whose income decreased due to activation to military service. For more information, see Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP).
For assistance or to find out more about your rights, you may contact the Judge Advocate General’s Corps Legal Assistance Officer or the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.