Collection Tools

Enforcing a Child Support Order

Enforcing a Child Support Order can be implemented in various ways, depending on an individuals specific circumstances.

Please consider:

Current support is collected until the child reaches the age of majority in California which is eighteen; however, if the child is a full-time high school student, support extends to the date of graduation or nineteenth birthday, whichever occurs first.

Collection Tools:

The following Collection Tools, are actions that can be taken to obtain payment of a child family, medical, or spousal support obligation contained in a child support order.

All child support orders are paid through an IWO, also known as a wage assignment. The IWO is required by law. If the parent paying child support has a job, the IWO is sent to his/her employer. The employer must deduct the amount in the IWO under 5% of gross income to add the child(ren) and send it directly to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). If the paying parent is self-employed or works for cash, they make payments directly to the SDU, and other collection tools are used.

The person paying support may request a reasonable cost review to determine if the employer-sponsored health insurance policy is available at a reasonable cost.

All payments, including arrears (past due support) owed, is reported to TRANS UNION, EXPERIAN, EQUIFAX (CBI), and INNOVIS every month.

Delinquent child support cases are reported to all state licensing boards. The paying parent’s application for a new or renewed state-issued driver, business and/or professional licenses (for example cosmetologist, contractor, doctor, teacher, attorney) will be denied if payment arrangements have not been made with our department.

All delinquent arrears are reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). These agencies intercept federal and state income tax refunds and send the intercepted refunds to the State Disbursement Unit.

All delinquent arrears are submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly. The EDD can withhold up to 25% of UIB or DIB for child support.

When a paying parent has a Workers’ Compensation claim, up to 25% of ongoing temporary disability benefits can be withheld by the Income Withholding Order to pay current support and arrears. A lien may also be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) for any arrears that accumulated from the date the paying parent was injured.

If the department received information about personal injury settlements from the child support lien network, the department could request 100 percent of the new amount of the settlement.

A Notice of Support Judgment (lien) will be placed in any county in which property may be owned. Once the lien is filed, any property cannot be sold or refinanced unless the arrears are paid in full, or other arrangements are made with the department.

Arrears of more than $2,500 are reported to the U.S. State Department. They will not issue or renew a passport until the arrears are paid in full.

A request can be submitted to take money from a bank account, Individual Retirement Accounts, and other financial securities. Bank levies sent to the financial institution requesting the full amount of the arrears owed. Process fees do not come to the department, and money is not eligible for a refund.

Lottery winnings from the State of California t are automatically intercepted to pay arrears owed.

The court can order an unemployed parent who is not paying their child support to search for work.

A contempt action may be filed in court if it is determined that the parent paying child support knows about the order and has the ability and means to pay, but refuses to do so.

The department can file a Writ of Execution with the court, which directs a person or entity holding personal property, bank accounts or other assets owned in whole or in part by the paying parent to turn over those assets to pay arrears owed.

We can work with other States and countries to establish, collect and modify child support orders. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) provides rules for the collection of child support orders when the parents live in different states or another country.

If you have questions about collections, please contact a child support professional by email from within Customer Connect or by phone at (866) 901-3212.