"Dedicated to Child & Spousal Support Enforcement"

If We Don't Collect, You Don't Pay!

Follow Us

Facebook LinkedIn Google +

California State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
There are 51 local child support agencies, including 12 counties that have regionalized into 6 regions.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
No
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
No
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
N/A

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
Family Code section 5700.101 et. seq.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
One original and one copy of the required documents based on the action being requested.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
Bermuda, Canadian Province of Quebec, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand and the Republic of South Africa.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
N/A
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
The Yurok Tribe has a federally approved IV-D program, and interstate requests should be sent directly to the Yurok Child Support Services, PO Box 45, Eureka, CA 95502.
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
Yes
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **
Yes, California will accept an abstract or summary completed by an official of the foreign competent authority in lieu of the complete text.

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
18 years except an unmarried child who has attained the age of 18 years, is a full-time high school student, and who is not self-supporting, is considered a minor until the time the child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 19 years, whichever occurs first.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
Family Code section 3901.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
18 years except an unmarried child who has attained the age of 18 years, is a full-time high school student, and who is not self-supporting, is considered a minor until the time the child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 19 years, whichever occurs first.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
No
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
N/A
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
Notwithstanding D1, statute extends the parents' duty to support an incapacitated child when the child, regardless of age, is incapacitated from earning a living and is without sufficient means. In these situations, the court is allowed to order support beyond the child's majority. (Family Code section 3910)
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
Yes
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
In the case of an allocated order the child support is granted on a per child basis. When the child emancipates, the amount of current support charged is automatically reduced by the amount originally allocated to that emancipating child. However, if the case has an unallocated order, the current support amount is not affected by the emancipation of a child in the case of multiple children for unallocated orders.
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
Yes
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
N/A

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
There is no statute of limitations in California. Child support is enforceable until paid in full. (Family Code sections 291(a), 4502 and 4503)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
Paternity can be established at any time. IV-D will do this until the age of majority for any child who is not incapacitated.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
Yes
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
Renewal is possible but not necessary because support orders are enforceable until paid in full. (Family Code sections 291 and 4502)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer

F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Shared Income Model. The formula uses the percentage of both parents' net disposable incomes, adjusted according to the percentage of time each parent has primary physical responsibility for the child(ren). (Family Code section 4050 et seq.)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
Yes
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest is charged at the statutory rate of 10% per annum. Interest accrues beginning the first day of the month following either the date the installment is due (if payable in installments), or from the date of entry of judgment. (Code of Civil Procedure sections 685.010, 685.020, and 685.030, Family Code section 17433.5).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
Yes
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest is charged at the statutory rate of 10% per annum. Interest accrues beginning the first day of the month following either the date the installment is due (if payable in installments), or from the date of entry of judgment. (Code of Civil Procedure sections 685.010, 685.020, and 685.030, Family Code section 17433.5).
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
Yes
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Interest is charged at the statutory rate of 10% per annum. Interest accrues beginning the first day of the month following either the date the installment is due (if payable in installments), or from the date of entry of judgment. (Code of Civil Procedure sections 685.010, 685.020, and 685.030, Family Code section 17433.5)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
Yes
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
California will enforce a medical support debt for any percentage that has been reduced to a dollar amount in a judgment. (Family Code sections 4061-4063)
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
No
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
N/A
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
N/A
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
Yes
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
California will recover any fees from the obligor that are included in the current enforceable order.
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
Code of Civil Procedure section 410.10 and Family Code section 5700.201-5700.211.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
The California IV-D agency will not establish or modify spousal support only orders. Spousal support orders will be enforced if the IV-D agency is enforcing the current child support amount and the child(ren) are living with the spousal support obligee. (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 13, section 112100(b)(2)(A); Family Code section 17400(h))
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
No income information included, except in extraordinary cases where excluding the income would lead to extreme hardship to the child subject to the child support, in which case the court would also consider if including the income would lead to hardship to any child supported by the obligor/obligee or their spouse or partner. (Family Code section 4057.5)
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
From January 2008 through Federal Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2010, California paid the fees on behalf of families. Beginning October 1, 2010, when the fee is imposed it is retained from subsequent collections due to the custodial party until paid in full. (Family Code section 17208)
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
Yes.
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
Yes. California has chosen to retain the fee from subsequent collections due to the custodial party who is receiving services until paid in full.
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
No.
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
The state pays the federally mandated fee on behalf of state only aided custodial parties. Beginning federal fiscal year 2010-2011, for all other assessed cases, the state pays the mandated fee to the federal government and attempts to recover the fee from the custodial parties' subsequent disbursements.
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
California has implemented the required DRA limited-assignment provisions effective October 1, 2009.
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
Yes, pursuant to Family Code section 17504, California will continue to only pass through and disregard $50 per month of current support collections.
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No.
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
No
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
N/A
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
N/A
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
California will continue PRWORA distribution rules in accordance with FDRA provisions.
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
A payment received for the current month's support may be redirected if the child is receiving TANF and rights have been assigned.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
A payment received for the current month's support may be redirected if the child is receiving Medicaid and rights have been assigned.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
The custodial party must provide a written agreement authorizing the Department of Child Support Services to forward payments received from the non-custodial parent to the non-parent, third party caregiver. The custodial party must sign the agreement and have the signature notarized or verify his/her identity and sign the agreement in the presence of a local child support agency representative.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
Beginning October 1, 2010, when the fee is imposed it is retained from subsequent collections due to the custodial party until paid in full.
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
No
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
N/A
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
Yes.
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
Yes.

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
Needs based income sources, such as CalWORKS, Social Security public benefits (General Assistance, TANF) and Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Plan (SSI/SSP) are not subject to wage withholding. (Family Code section 17516, Welfare & Institutions Code 10051); US Dept. of Veterans Affairs disability benefits, except as remuneration for employment defined in 42 USC, sections 659(a) and (h).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
Yes
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
Except as provided by the court, the maximum withholding is 50% of the net disposable earnings. (Code of Civil Procedure section 706.052; Family Code section 5246(d)(2); 22 California Code of Regulations section 116100(a)(3)).
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
$1.50 per withholding. (Family Code section 5235(d), Code of Civil Procedure section 706.034)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
Unless the order states a later date, beginning as soon as possible after service on the employer but not later than 10 days after service of the order on the employer. (Family Code section 5233; Code of Civil Procedure section 706.022)
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Within 7 business days of the date the noncustodial parent is paid. (45 Code of Federal Regulations 303.100 (e)(1)(ii); Family Code section 5235(c))
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
Local child support agencies may pursue contempt charges and/or obtain a court order requiring payment of support by electronic funds transfer from the employer's bank account. The obligee may seek a civil penalty of $500 from the employer for each occurrence. (Family Code section 5241, Code of Civil Procedures sections 706.030(b)(4) and 1218)
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
Employers are subject to contempt charges and are liable for the amount of support not remitted including interest. Local child support agencies may obtain a court order requiring payment of support by electronic funds transfer from the employer's bank account. The court may impose a fee of up to 50% of the support amount that has not been received by the obligee. The employer shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each occurrence. (Family Code section 5241, Code of Civil Procedure sections 706.030(b)(4) and 1218) An employer who willfully fails to comply with an income-withholding order issued by another state and received for enforcement is subject to the same penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance with an order issued by a tribunal of this state. (Family Code section 5230.1)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
No
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
Direct withholding of UI benefits is not permitted. The initiating state must send a referral to California's Central Registry for creation of a two-state case.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
To intercept Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits from CA that are being paid to an NCP in another state which has no case with California, the request must be submitted to CA's Central Registry on a Transmittal #1 with the Child Support Confidential Information Form, with a copy of the court order and an arrears declaration included.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
Income withholding may only be used to garnish temporary disability benefits paid by the obligor's insurer. (California Family Code sections 5206(d) and 5246; California Code of Civil Procedure sections 704.160(b) and (c)). A lien must be filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) to attach a permanent disability award lump sum payment (Labor Code section 4903; 8 California Code of Regulations sections 10205.10 and 10770). Also, see M4, M7 and M7.1.
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
Within 10 days after the delivery of the copy of the assignment order to the obligor by the employer, a motion to quash must be filed with the court issuing the order to request a hearing. (Family Code section 5270 and 5271)
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
When there are multiple assignment orders for the same employee, the employer is instructed to prorate the withheld payments as follows: If the NCP has more than one assignment for support, the employer totals the amounts due for all assignments. If 50% of the NCP's net disposable earnings cannot satisfy all of the assignments, the employer prorates first among all the current assignments, in the same proportion that each assignment is to the total current support owed. Any remainder is applied to the assignments for arrears, in the same proportion that each assignment is to the total arrears owed. (Family Code section 5238 (b))
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
Yes. Net "disposable earnings" means income that is subject to withholding left after making mandatory deductions for taxes including State, federal, local, Social Security, Medicare taxes and union dues, along with deductions for disability insurance and payments to public employees' retirement systems, provided that the deductions are required as a condition of employment. (22 California Code of Regulations section 110280)
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
The employer must send notice of the termination no later than the due date of the next wage assignment. (Family Code section 5282)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
Generally, the employer must retain the IWO until such time that the employer has been notified that the IWO has been terminated. (Family Code section 5231) By operation of law a withholding order for support shall automatically terminate one year after the employment of the employee by the employer terminates. (California Code of Civil Procedure section 706.030(c)(1))
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
No.
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes. Electronic payments can be made through the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU) website. This Conduent hosted SDU website allows employers, non-custodial parents (NCP) and custodial parties to obtain information and make electronic recurring and non-recurring payments. An NCP can pay from his/her savings account, checking account, and by any Visa or MasterCard branded credit or debit card. An employer can make wage assignment payments from their savings account, checking account, and by any Visa or MasterCard branded credit or debit card. Custodial parties can enroll and cancel participation in California's Department of Child Support electronic disbursement programs. This website provides information that explains all collection, payment, and disbursement options.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Any IV-D agency, whether in state or out of state, may send a direct income withholding to any of the following: Employer, Insurance Company or any person or entity paying earnings as defined under Family Code sections 5206, 5210 and 17522; California Code of Civil Procedure sections 704.130, 706.011, 706.030 and 706.052; Government Code section 811.2. With respect to financial institutions, an income withholding order would be appropriate if the institution issues deferred compensation payments, such as annuity, retirement, or pension. An income withholding is not sent to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. (Family Code sections 5210, 5230, 5230.1, California Code of Civil Procedure section 704.160(b) and (c); Labor Code section 4903). Also see M7 and M7.1.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Priority shall be given as follows: 1) Current child, family and/or spousal support; 2) Health insurance premiums or Medical Support; 3) Amounts ordered for payments on arrears and 4) any remaining court ordered amounts. Exception: For non Title IV-A cases, the custodial party may elect to have health insurance premiums deducted before current support. (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 13, section 116116 (b)(2))
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
If California is the initiating jurisdiction, payments received from a responding agency must be allocated only to the associated intergovernmental case, even if the NCP has other cases. If California is the responding jurisdiction, and there are arrears owed to multiple states, current support collections must be distributed first to the state(s) with a current support obligation. Arrears collections are applied first to California's arrears. Any remaining arrears collections are allocated based on each state's proportionate share of the total arrears balance.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
N/A.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
California law requires a paternity index of 100 or greater and does not specify a percentage to create a rebuttable presumption of paternity. (Family Code section 7555)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
The voluntary declaration of paternity may be rescinded within 60 days after it was signed. It can be set aside up to two years after it was signed due to fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. The set aside must be done in court. (Family Code section 7575)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
01/01/1997
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
Yes
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
Declarations of paternity signed between 1/1/95 and 12/31/96 created a conclusive presumption which was rebuttable by any person requesting blood or genetic tests within three years of the date of execution of the declaration by the attesting father, or by the attesting mother, whichever signature is later. (Family Code section 7576)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
Marriage constitutes a rebuttable presumption of paternity up to two years from the date of the birth of the child. After those two years, marriage constitutes a conclusive presumption of paternity. A husband may move for blood tests within two years of the child's birth. (Family Code section 7541)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
No
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
In cases where the marital presumption prevails, a man is presumed to be the father of a child and a birth certificate is conclusive determination of paternity (See H8.1). After January 1, 1980, if the parents are not married to each other, the father's name shall not be listed on the birth certificate unless the father and the mother sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. Therefore, the voluntary declaration of paternity carries the evidentiary weight when the parents are unmarried (Health & Safety Code section 102425(a)(4), Family Code section 7571).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
N/A
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
Yes
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
The marital presumption applies if: (1) The presumed parent and the child's natural mother are, or have been, married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated; (2) Before the child's birth, the presumed parent and the natural mother attempt to marry and the child is born during the attempted marriage or within 300 days of termination of marriage or cohabitation; (3) After the child's birth the presumed parent and the natural mother marry or attempt to marry, and he or she consent to listing his or her name on the birth certificate; (4) The presumed parent is obligated by a written voluntary agreement or court order to support the child; or (5) The presumed parent receives the child into his or her home and openly holds out the child as his or her natural child (Family Code section 7611).
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
No
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
The official paternity documents and data are maintained by the California Department of Child Support Services (not the Vital Statistics Agency) through a vendor. There is no charge for a search or to obtain a certified copy of a Paternity Declaration. The state Office of Vital Records and local registrars do charge various fees for the documents they maintain. (Family Code sections 7570 - 7577)
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
No
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
N/A
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
Written depositions and interrogatories are accepted. Generally, teleconferencing and videotaping are not accepted in absence of stipulation or court approval. The court may designate the judge of the initiating court as a person before whom a deposition may be taken.
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
Code of Civil Procedure section 410.10 and Family Code sections 5700.201-5700.211.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
Yes
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
If the fee is court ordered, we will collect the costs of genetic testing.
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
Unwed parents may establish paternity by signing a voluntary declaration of paternity at the hospital after the baby is born to ensure the father is listed on the birth certificate. If the parents do not sign it at the hospital, they can sign it later, but it may result in a longer, complicated process to amend the birth record.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
One set of documents with the paternity affidavit for each child should be included in the packet.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Judicial
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
N/A
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
N/A
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
Net monthly disposable income of each parent is considered. (Family Code section 4050 et seq.)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
Support guidelines may be rebutted by admissible evidence showing that application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate in the particular case. Examples of this include an instance when support is not assigned and parties stipulate to a different amount; deferred sale of a home and rental value exceeds mortgage payments, homeowner's insurance, and taxes; parent ordered to pay support has extraordinarily high income; parent is not contributing to child's needs commensurate with that parent's custodial time; application of formula would be unjust or inappropriate due to extraordinary circumstances. (Family Code section 4057)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
No
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
N/A
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
No
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
N/A
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
California uses the judicial process except in certain circumstances when a local child support agency (LCSA) may administratively adjust child support balances if an obligor becomes incarcerated and qualifies for relief under Family Code Section 4007.5.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
Family Code Section 4007.5.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
Yes. California Government Code section 7480 (l)-(m).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
When public assistance is not being expended, a custodial party who is not the biological parent of the child must have legal custody to receive IV-D services. If aid is being expended, legal custody is not required.
I10. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
If aid is not being expended, then the custodial party needs to have legal custody of the child to receive IV-D services.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
The other jurisdiction should request modification.
I12. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
No, the other parent is not required to obtain legal custody before the order is modified or established.
I13. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child, and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
No, the other parent is not required to obtain legal custody.
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
Personal service is conducted by the sheriff, other public officials, or private contractors. The type of service is dependent on location of the party being served.
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
N/A
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
Child care expenses, extra-curricular activities, cash medical support, and/or extraordinary expenses: The court may take costs related to the educational, other special needs of the children and travel expenses for visitation.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
Family Code Section 4062
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
Yes
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
The use of mediation, conciliation, or similar processes is encouraged in every child support case.

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative. (Code of Civil Procedure sections 708.730, 708.780 and 708.795)
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both. Judicial: Money judgment or order needed first. Administrative: Liens perfected by filing with the appropriate agency.
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
Real Property (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 13, section 116130): Title IV-D child support money judgment or order is received by a local child support agency; a case is opened for enforcement of an existing order or judgment; or an existing order is registered for enforcement. Personal Property (Family Code section 17523): Title IV-D child support money judgment or order is being enforced by a local child support agency and the obligor is delinquent in child support payments.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
Real Property - County Recorder's Office (Code of Civil Procedure section 697.310) Personal Property - Secretary of State (Code of Civil Procedure section 697.570)
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
Yes
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
Amount varies. Both the County Recorder's Office and the Secretary of State charge a filing fee.
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Both.
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative (Family Code section 17453); however, judicial procedure regarding obligor claim of exemption for hardship (Family Code section 17453(j)(3); Code of Civil Procedure sections 703.510 - 703.530).
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
A Child Support Warning Notice is sent to the obligor upon becoming more than $5 overdue on support and then at least once every 12 months thereafter.
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
No.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
No
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
N/A
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
N/A
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
The obligor is eligible when the court-ordered amount is equal to 60 days of support and the aggregate amount exceeds $100 (Family Code section 17500(c)).
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
An amount equal to 60 days of the court-ordered support payment, of which the aggregate amount exceeds $100 makes an obligor eligible for financial asset seizure (Family Code section 17500(c)).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
Yes, more than 60 days providing that the aggregate amount is more than $100. (Family Code section 17500(c)) In addition, the obligor with an arrears balance of $3,500 or more may qualify for an exemption of $3,500 under the following criteria: 1) The court has ordered the obligor to make scheduled payments on a child support arrearage and the obligor is in compliance with that order; 2) An Income Withholding Order that includes an amount of past-due support has been served on the obligor's employer and earnings are being withheld per the Income Withholding Order; or 3) At least 50% of the obligor's earnings are being withheld for support. (Family Code section 17453(j)(1)(A)(B)(C)).
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
More than 60 days.
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
No
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
N/A
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
N/A
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
No
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
N/A
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
The obligor has 10 business days from the date the notice is served on the financial institution to challenge the action with the child support office or file a claim of exemption through the court pursuant to Family Code section 17454(d) (if eligible for Exempt Order to Withhold); or if not eligible under Family Code section 17453, then pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 703.510-703.520. Non-obligor account holders have the same timeframe to challenge the action with the child support office. See J5.10.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
N/A
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
A compliant obligor who is eligible for the statutory $3500 exemption may make an additional claim of exemption based solely on financial hardship for the obligor and the obligor's dependents (Family Code section 17453(j)(2)). The superior court in the county in which the local child support agency is enforcing the support obligation shall have jurisdiction to determine the amount of exemption that will be allowed, if any. (Family Code section 17453 (j)(7)). A non-compliant obligor not entitled to an Exempt Order to Withhold has the right to file a claim of exemption for financial hardship in local California court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 703.510 - 703.520. Other account holders can attempt to challenge/contest on the basis of mistake or hardship.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
Judicial: If an obligor is issued an Exempt Order to Withhold, they have the right to file a claim of exemption in a local California court (Family Code section 17453 (j). If an obligor is issued a non-exempt Order to Withhold, they have the right to file a claim of exemption in a local California court under Code of Civil Procedure section 703.520. Administrative: If the obligor disagrees with the levy, and the 10-day time frame for filing a Claim of Exemption has passed and the funds have been sent to the Department of Child Support Services to be disbursed to the custodial party, the complaint may then be heard through the administrative Complaint Resolution and State Hearing process (Family Code section 17800 et seq.; 22 CCR sections 120101, 120201)
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
The financial institution incurs no obligation or liability from compliance with an Order to Withhold unless amounts are refunded to the financial institution. If the seizure is incorrect, the amounts taken will be refunded to the financial institution and the levy will be withdrawn. (Family Code sections 17453(f)and 17456)
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
N/A
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
10 days from receipt of notice. No unique requirements. The non-debtor may have to provide copies of bank statements, deposits, identification and related information.
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
Both centralized and automated
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
No
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
Yes
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
The financial institution, person or securities intermediary in possession or control of the financial asset shall liquidate the financial asset in a commercially reasonable manner within 20 days of the issuance of the levy or the notice to withhold. If the value of the financial assets exceeds the total amount of support due, the obligor may, within 10 days after the service of the levy or notice to withhold, instruct the person, financial institution, or securities intermediary which financial assets are to be sold to satisfy the obligation for delinquent support. Within 5 days of liquidation the financial institution, person or securities intermediary shall transfer to the local child support agency, the Franchise Tax Board, or the state Department of Child Support Services, as applicable, the proceeds of the liquidation, less any reasonable commissions or fees, or both, which are charged in the normal course of business (Family Code section 17522.5)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
Yes, the financial institution must not transmit any funds to the department earlier than 10 business days after obligor's receipt of a notice to withhold (Family Code section 17454 (d)). Also, the local child support agency shall notify the state Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) within 2 business days of the receipt of a claim of exemption from an obligor. DCSS then directs the financial institution to hold any funds subject to the order pending notification by the state DCSS to remit or release the amounts held. (Family Code section 17453 (j)(6)).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
The institution must transmit all available funds, up to the full amount, to DCSS no earlier than 10 business days after receipt of the Order to Withhold or Exempt Order to Withhold. (Family Code section 17454(d))
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Administrative; this includes contract for services earning offset (Family Code sections 5206, 17400, 17450; lottery/other money owed by the State intercept (Code of Civil Procedure sections 708.730 and 708.795 and Government Code section 12419.5); State disability insurance compensation benefit (DIB) intercept (Code of Civil Procedure section 704.130 and Family Code section 17518); Unemployment insurance compensation benefit (UIB) intercept (Family Code section 17518); Workers' Compensation temporary disability benefits. (Code of Civil Procedure section 704.160 and Family Code sections 5206 and 5246)
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Other administrative enforcement procedures include application to OCSE for Federal Offset Program (FOP): IRS Tax Refund Offset, Administrative Offset, Passport Denial Program, Multi-State Financial Institution Data Match (MS-FIDM), Federal Insurance Match, Federal "Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)"; California State Licensing Non-Renewal, Suspension and Revocation regarding California driver, professional, recreational, and other license/credentials; California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) match. (Family Code section 17520).
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
Civil or criminal contempt proceedings, Creditor's Claim, Earnings Assignment Order for Support, Notice of Lien, Order of Examination, Qualified Domestic Relations Order, Probate Lien, (Probate) Request for Special Notice, Security Deposit of Money or Assets, Seek Work Orders, Voiding Fraudulent Transfers and Writs of Execution.
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
None (OCSE Notice of Lien form OMB 0970-0153 is used for interstate cases).
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
The Income Withholding Order for support issued in another state may be sent to the person or entity defined as the obligor's employer, without first filing a petition or comparable pleading or registering the order with a court in California (Family Code sections 5700.501 and 5210).
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
Registrations are completed upon filing of the order with the registering court. A support or income withholding order of another state may be registered in California by providing the required documents and information to the appropriate California court. (Family Code section 5700.602)
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
None
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
Yes
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
Code of Civil Procedure section 1710.10 et seq. (Sister State Judgments) and Code of Civil Procedure section 1713 et seq. (Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
All court ordered child support cases must be submitted for credit reporting, whether the obligor is current or past-due on their court-ordered obligation. (Family Code section 4701(d)(1)) The obligor will be sent a notification 30 days prior to being reported to the credit reporting agency to be given an opportunity to contest or to pay the arrearage, if any. (Family Code section 4701(d)(2)) An obligor may submit a dispute regarding the obligor's credit report information directly to the business address of any California local child support agency.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union.
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
Financial institution levies utilizing Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) and Multi-State Financial Institution Data Match (MS-FIDM).
J19. What documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
A fully completed Transmittal #3, Child Support Confidential Information Form, a copy of court order, arrears balance with a payment history and bank account information are required to process the request. Please note on the Transmittal that you want California to close the case once the action is completed.
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?
1. Petitioner first and last name, SSN, tribal affiliation/country (if applicable); 2. Respondent first and last name, SSN, address, tribal affiliation/country (if applicable); 3. Requesting state case type; 4. Requesting state FIPS code; 5. Requesting state IV-D case number; 6. Requesting state tribunal case number (court case number); 7. Responding state agency name and address; 8. Requesting state contact information; 9. Requesting state payment address; 10. Children's legal names; 11. Provide financial institution name; 12. Arrears balance and a payment history. Note: Payment history of one year is requested, primarily including the most recent three months.
For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
In addition to providing financial institution name, please provide the account holder's name and account type to aid in processing the AEI request.
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
One. Documents may be sent/received via Electronic Document Exchange (EDE).
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
When responding to an AEI request our Intergovernmental Services Section requires information needed to complete the Transmittal #3 form. Other factors considered include, where there exists, an asset balance, no other case management or legal status, no recent levy issued within the past 90 days, and that due process has been given to the obligor, i.e. annual notice. Compliant cases are provided a $3,500 levy exemption amount. There is a minimum threshold of $100.00.
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
No
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the additional documentation required.
The other state must submit a Transmittal #3 to the California Central Registry to include all relevant information; including the obligor's name, the name and address of the financial institution, and the requesting state's address where the payment will be sent.
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
The other state must submit a Transmittal #3, Confidential Information Form and include the California Court Case Number to obtain a copy of a court order. The request is sent to the county where the case is open. If the case is closed, the other state will be directed to obtain a copy from the court in which the order was established.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
The other state must submit a Transmittal #3 and Confidential Information Form to the county where the case is assigned.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
There is no cost for a payment record. There is no cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order. However, if California does not have an open case, there may be a fee that must be paid to the applicable court to obtain a copy of a court order. The cost varies by court.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
California has a two-part suspension/revocation process. A driver's license can be revoked if the non-custodial parent fails, after license suspension, to pay on the arrears payback agreement. California does not specifically have a low income or hardship exemption.
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
If the license suspension release payment is late or is not paid in full, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can revoke a California driver license. See, J32.
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
No. A warning notice is sent when an obligor owes more than $5 of overdue support. When the parent required to pay child support is 30 days or more overdue, their name is submitted by the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for suspension of their license. DMV sends a letter giving the non-custodial parent 150 days to work with DCSS to pay their past due support. If payment isn't made, the driver license suspension will take place. (Family Code 17520).
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
N/A
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
The contacted LCSA must review all of the NCPs cases to determine whether a license release is appropriate by considering any pending legal actions as well as any other pertinent information. License release generally requires an arrears payback agreement as the main condition.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
If a driver's license has been suspended due to non-payment of child support, the obligor is instructed by the licensing agency to call the local child support agency to discuss a possible license release. The release involves an arrears payback agreement.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
Yes
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
Upon the request of the local child support agency or by order of the court upon a showing of good cause, the driver license agency shall extend a 150-day temporary license for a period not to exceed 150 extra days (Family Code 17520(E)(2)(D)).
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
If an obligor has received a release of their license after making an agreement with the child support agency but fails to make the agreed payments, the child support agency will inform the licensing agency. The licensing agency will immediately notify the NCP that her/his license will be automatically revoked in 30 days. The NCP can only keep his/her license by entering into a new agreement for payment of the arrears with the child support agency.
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes.
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
No.
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
The minimum arrears balance is $25.
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
No.
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
The minimum arrears balance is $25.
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
Yes
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
The minimum arrears balance is $25 for federal insurance match. A total arrears balance of more than $500 for Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) match.
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
Yes
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
Yes

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
Every 3 years in TANF cases.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
Judicial. The local child support agency will seek to adjust the order via a Notice of Motion, order to show cause, or stipulation.
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
A change in circumstances is expected to last more than 3 months, and will alter the amount of support by at least 20% or $50, whichever is less; or the parties stipulated to an order below the amount established by guidelines and are now requesting an adjustment. No change in circumstances needs to be demonstrated to modify the order to the applicable guideline level or above. The counties can proceed when the request for an adjustment is based on the need to include health care. The counties may, but are not required to, review any case if the case has been reviewed for adjustment within the last 6 months. (Family Code section 4065(d))
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
No
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Yes
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
K4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
Change in custody; change in employment status; change in parenting time; change in travel expenses for visitation; financial hardship on the obligee/obligor; obligee/obligor begins or ceases receiving unemployment benefits, state disability, or workers compensation benefits; additional child support orders; change in the obligee/obligor's health insurance premium; release of the obligee/obligor from incarceration or psychiatric facility; determination that the order does not include a provision for medical support; obligor becomes disabled; order based on presumed income and actual income becomes known; obligee/obligor is a reservist in the military and is called to active duty; to accommodate seasonal or fluctuating income of either parent.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
N/A
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
California files a motion to modify the court ordered support obligation within 30 days of verifying that the non-custodial parent (NCP) is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)/Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (Family Code section 17400.5). As a result of the NCP receiving SSA benefits the SSA Derivative payments received by the custodial party (CP) for the NCP's dependent children, or the dollar amount for which the dependent children are eligible, shall be credited toward the amount ordered for that month unless the payments made were taken into consideration by the court in determining the amount of support. If a lump-sum payment is received by the CP, credit is given for the month in which the lump-sum was received. The lump sum is first credited to current support and then to arrears. If the CP refuses to apply for the benefits or cooperate with the appropriate federal agency, the NCP shall be credited toward the amount ordered by the court in the amount that the child would have received. The credit shall continue until the child would no longer be eligible for the benefits or the order is no longer in effect, whichever occurs first. (Family Code section 4504(b) and (c))
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
Yes
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
If the non-custodial parent is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized for any period exceeding 90 consecutive days, and does not have the means to pay support, the child support obligation shall be suspended for that period of incarceration or while involuntarily institutionalized. Should the non-custodial parent be incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized for domestic violence, failure to comply with a court order to pay child support, or any offense that could be enjoined by a protective order, the request for a suspension may be denied.
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
Family Code section 4007.5.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.
To intercept unemployment or disability insurance benefits from CA that are being paid to an NCP in another state which has no case with California, submit your request on a Transmittal #1, include the Child Support Confidential Information Form, copy of the order and the amount of arrears to the Central Registry.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
If the child was born in CA after 1/1/97, you may request a copy of the paternity acknowledgement by contacting the Paternity Opportunity Program at (866) 249-0773, or writing to: DCSS, POP, P.O. Box 419070, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9070. Email: askpop@dcss.ca.gov. Copies of birth certificates may be ordered from: Office of Vital Records, MS 5103, P.O. Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899-7410, or www.cdph.ca.gov. The phone number is (916) 445-2684, and the fee is $25 each. It should be noted that, effective 11/1/13, the California Department of Public Health-Vital Records (CDPH-VR) discontinued embossing certified copies of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage records. Certified copies will continue to carry security features.
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
For enforcement: A Transmittal #1, Letter of Transmittal Requesting Registration, one certified copy of the order, and a certified month-by-month accounting of arrears if applicable. For modification: In addition to the above, a Uniform Support Petition and a General Testimony. The Child Support Confidential Information Form must be attached to the Transmittal #1 for IV-D cases. The Personal Information Form for UIFSA 311 must be attached to the Uniform Support Petition when requesting modification.
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
Yes.(California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 116100(a)(3)(A))
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
Yes, at the same rate as current support. (California Code of Regulations section 116100 (a)(3)(A))
K10. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration? **
The child emancipates before the normal duration. The child is no longer under the care of the custodial party and there is no decision redirecting payments to someone else. The child marries. The child dies. The child is adopted by someone other than the non-custodial parent. The child has been removed from the family and is a civil ward of the state. The child support order states that child support ceases prior to the normal duration. The child enters into military service prior to the normal duration. Child support may cease prior to emancipation if the noncustodial parent is incarcerated for life with no chance of parole, institutionalized in a psychiatric facility, permanently disabled, or in receipt of Social Security Income and/or State Supplementary Payment with no other assets or income. Further, if there is a finding of good cause, the case will close immediately. If a non-aided custodial party does not cooperate with the child support agency for a period of 60 days or longer, the case will be reviewed for closure. Lastly, the non-aided custodial party has the option to close the case as long as no arrears are owed to California. Further information can be found under California Code of Regulations Section 118203: Requirements for Case Closure.

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
No
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
N/A
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
No
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
No
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
N/A
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
Employers are encouraged to report any bonus or other lump sum payments prior to payout by contacting the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) at (916) 464-6640 or via email at lumpsumresponseteam@dcss.ca.gov. Employers may also report pending lump sum payments through the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) website, www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/employers/bonus-lump-sum-payments.
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
There is no specific timeframe required for the local child support agency (LCSA) to respond to the employer. However, once an employer notifies the LCSA of a pending lump-sum payment, the LCSA may issue a "One-Time Order/Notice - Lump Sum Payment" using Income Withholding for Support (OMB 0970-0154) to attach the lump sum. In addition, the state Department of Child Support Services conducts outreach to specific large employers and collects pending lump sum payment information.
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
Yes
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
Yes
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
A levy of execution upon the earnings of an employee shall be made by service of an earnings withholding order upon the employer. (Code of Civil Procedure section 706.021; 706.030)
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
A Workers' Compensation Lien may be filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board for workers' compensation permanent disability lump sum payments. (8 California Code of Regulations sections 10205.10 and 10770) Notice of Lien may be filed with California Superior Court for civil lump sum payments. (Code of Civil Procedure section 491.410)
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
Yes.
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
A court ordered income withholding order (IWO), including a lump sum IWO, under Code of Civil Procedure section 706.052(c) and Family Code section 5246(d)(2) can include the maximum amount allowed under 15 United States Code section 1673. Otherwise, California limits withholding by a local child support agency (LCSA) to a greater degree than the CCPA limitation. 22 California Code of Regulations section 116100(a)(3) states that the maximum amount that may be withheld from salary or wages toward the liquidation of any support arrearage cannot exceed 50% of obligor's net disposable earnings.
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?
No. If the lump sum did not involve "earnings," then the lump sum would be subject to a 100% levy attachment depending on arrears amount owed. For example, a lump sum involving a civil judgment award not involving earnings would be subject to the maximum 100% attachment.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
California employers are not involved with non-earnings; however, if ordered by the court the employer would be required to withhold the non-earning lump sum to a maximum 100% attachment depending on arrears amount owed.
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
CCPA limits apply to all withholding order payments except insurance-type withholding payments for arrears. California does not allow employers to combine period/recurring withholdings and lump sum withholdings into one payment. Employers must make separate income withholding order payments. A standard withholding order is used for periodic/recurring payments. A lump sum withholding order must be used for each lump sum payment.
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Conduent
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
Conduent utilizes two debit card programs to distribute child support payments: 1. EPPIC for domestic disbursements 2. Way2Go for international disbursements
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
No
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
N/A
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
1. Domestic Distributions via EPPIC - Four (4) free ATM cash withdrawals (at Wells Fargo) and $1.75 for each thereafter or at other than Wells Fargo ATMs - $0.60 for each ATM balance inquiry - $5.00 for each replacement card issued, after the allotted one (1) free replacement card each calendar year - $5.00 bank teller cash withdrawal, after the allotted two (2) fee-free each month - $20.00 for a request to expedite delivery of a new card - $0.50 for each Customer Service Call to the IVR or live operator after the allotted three (3) fee-free calls each month - $1.75 for each International ATM cash withdrawal; and currency conversion fee of 3% of the US dollar amount to the transaction - added to both ATM and point-of-sale transactions 2. International Distributions via Way2Go - Four (4) free ATM cash withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs in the US and $1.75 for each additional ATM withdrawal (in network) - $2.25 for each ATM withdrawal not conducted at a US MoneyPass ATM (out of network) - $2.25 International withdrawal fee - 3% of US dollar amount for each international transaction - $0.75 for each ATM balance inquiry - $5.00 for each replacement card issued, after the allotted one (1) free replacement card each calendar year - $0.50 for each Customer Service Call to the IVR or live operator after the allotted three (3) fee-free calls each month - $5.00 bank teller cash withdrawal, after the allotted two (2) fee-free each month
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
All payments are made to a centralized State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Payments may be made by cash, money order, MoneyGram, PayNearMe, PayPal, TouchPay Kiosk, credit card, electronic funds transfer, check or warrant.
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty countries when your state is the responding state in a case? **
Payments may be made by check. California (CA) will transfer payments to the requesting foreign countries Central Authorities or designated responsible agency or creditor by Check or Warrant. If the creditor has a bank account in the United States, California will provide direct deposit/EFT payments in the United States bank account for the specific creditor. Payments can also be made via International EFT (IAT) to both Central Authorities and Custodial Parties.
L17. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing? **
All payments are processed through a designated authority. To avoid postage cost, electronic payment processing via IAT is encouraged in countries service by SDU partnered banks. To get the best transaction rate, payments to all Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) countries are made through a separate account in London set up by the SDU.
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
Yes
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
California is actively working with both Central Authorities and custodial parties who have international bank accounts to both disburse and collect payments (collections only available for central authorities) electronically. For Disbursement: California has created a separate EFT enrollment form for both Central Authorities as well as CPs which captures additional CP and banking information needed for IAT. For Collections: California has created an IAT guide for Central Authorities on how to disburse payments to California.
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
California does not require an IBAN number to disburse payments.

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
No
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
N/A
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
No specific requirements.
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
No
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
N/A
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
No provision exists; however, insurance match allowed for California's Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) for permanent disability benefits through the California Department of Industrial Relations (California Family Code section 17510 and California Labor Code section 138.5). Also, insurance match allowed for pending personal injury settlements and workers' compensation benefits nationwide through California Insurance Intercept Program (CIIP) that utilizes Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) insurance match information and OCSE insurance match information.
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
N/A
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
No; however, see M2.6 and M3.1.
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
California Insurance Intercept Program (CIIP) Demand Request; Personal Injury (CIIP) Income Withholding Order (IWO), Income Withholding Order (IWO) for Workers' Compensation Temporary Disability Benefits and One-time Lump Sum Income Withholding Order (Lump Sum IWO); Insurance Company Response form; Workers' Compensation Lien for Permanent Disability Lump Sum payments; Judicial Council Notice of Lien (Form 185).
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
The insurance company is required to serve a copy of the IWO to the non-custodial parent within 10 days of receipt.
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
California Family Code section 5234(a) & (b)
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
If the obligor requests a judicial determination of the arrearages within 20 days from the date the notice was mailed to the obligor, the local child support agency shall not issue the levy for a disputed amount of support until the judicial determination is complete (Family Code section 17522(d)).
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
No
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
There are two distinct actions for Workers' Compensation. 1) The Income Withholding Order must be used to attach Temporary Disability Benefits per Code of Civil Procedure sections 704.160(b) and (c) and Family Code sections 5206(d) and 5246. 2) A workers' compensation administrative lien must be used to attach a Permanent Disability Lump Sum payment per Labor Code section 4903 and 8 California Code of Regulations sections 10205.10 and 10770. See G17.
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?
1) Send the Income Withholding Order to the insurance company that is paying Temporary Disability Benefits (i.e., recurring monthly benefits). 2) Liens to attach Permanent Disability Lump Sum payments must be filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) and meet the requirements of Labor Code section 4903 as well as 8 California Code of Regulations section 10205.10 et. seq. and section 10770. The WCAB is an administrative body (i.e., non-judicial). The lien forms must be filed with the WCAB. The WCAB forms are available on-line via the Department of Industrial relations web-site at www.dir.ca.gov. For additional information see http://www.dir.ca.gov. See G9.1 and G17.

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
Yes
N2. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
Yes
N3. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? MSC P GSC17)
Yes
N4. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that per its request the case is closed and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18)
Yes