Reduce my Debt

If you owe child support arrears to the government because your child received public assistance (“welfare” or foster care), you may qualify for one of California’s arrears reduction programs.

Child Support Debt Reduction Program

The Child Support Debt Reduction Program is a California program designed to help you reduce the child support debt you owe to the government. If you qualify for this program you will be allowed to pay off your debt for less than the full amount owed.

You may qualify for this program if you are able to pay both your current child support obligation AND an ongoing debt payment. If you don’t owe child support, only the ability to make the debt payment is considered. Your current income, assets, and cost of living are all taken into account, as is the total size and makeup of your family.

EVERY case is different, and these are very general items for your review. Other details of your case may also affect your eligibility.

What the Debt Reduction Program won’t do:

* It will not forgive the entire debt.
* It does not change your monthly child support obligation.
* It will not reduce unpaid child support that is owed directly to the person receiving support – you can only reduce the amount you owe to the government.
* It will not reduce spousal support arrears.

Some rules:

* Don’t stop paying your child support because you are applying for the Debt Reduction Program. This is grounds for a denial of your application.
* Provide complete information and documents with your application. Your application cannot be considered until you have done this.
* Be honest. If you do not tell the truth on your application, or if you hide income or assets, your application will be denied.
* Make your payments as agreed. If you do not make the debt reduction payments after an agreement has been reached, your agreement will be canceled and you will owe the unpaid amount to the state again.
* Even if you are approved, keep paying your regular child support. If you miss any current child support payments your agreement will be canceled. You will owe the full amount of your pre-agreement arrears and will not receive a refund for any payments made.

For more information:

See Debt Reduction Program Contact Us


Compromise of Assigned Arrearages-Family Reunification (COAA-FR) program

California has adopted the COAA-FR program to help bring parents and children placed in out-of-home care back together. This program allows the compromise of child support arrears owed to the government when a child who was placed in foster care, or with a relative caretaker or guardian, later returns to the home of a parent who was ordered to pay support.

You may qualify for this program if:

  • You are the parent of a child and you owe support debt to the government because your child received aid from one of the following while your child was not living with either parent:
    • Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC)
    • California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
    • Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP)
  • ONE of the following situations applies:
    • Your child was made a dependent of the court, placed in foster care, and the court later gave custody to you – OR –
    • Your child was voluntarily placed with a relative or guardian (not the other parent); and the child lived with you at some point in the past.
  • Your child is living with you now at least 50% of the time
  • Your child has not reached the age of majority (AOM) or emancipated
  • Your net disposable income (after taxes) is less than 250% of the federal poverty level and a compromise is necessary to help you support the child
  • You are following any reunification plan required by the county welfare department or the court
For more information:

Visit Family Law Facilitator Website Go to Contact Us Page

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