1. California’s Department of Child Support Services charges minimal fees to collect past due child support for members of the general public
2. A government entity, the Department can discover and intercept Federal and State personal income tax refunds to collect child support arrears.
California’s Child Support Services Program works with parents – custodial and noncustodial – and guardians to ensure children and families receive court-ordered financial and medical support. Child support services are available to the general public through a network of 51 county and regional child support agencies (LCSAs).
3. California’s Department of Child Support Services take necessary steps to have child support withheld by employers.
4. Interest on past due child support accrues at 10% annually. Interest accrues on the principal amount of child support that is unpaid. (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 685.010(a))
5. Penalties of 6% to 72% may be imposed on delinquent child or family support payments in arrears for more than 30 days since January 1, 1992. (California Family Code Section 4722)
6. Penalties may only be imposed on delinquent child or family support payments in arrears for more than 30 days since January 1, 1992 in “egregious instances of noncompliance with child support orders”.
7. Only parents may seek to collect penalties in egregious instances when delinquent child or family support payments are in arrears for more than 30 days since January 1, 1992; California Department of Child Support Services cannot.
8. California Department of Child Support Services can attempt to collect past due child support that is owed to an out of state present under the terms of an out of state court order.
9. Out of state and other country’s child support court orders can be registered, modified and/or enforced in a California county where at least one parent lives.
10. You may seek to enforce child support orders in California at anytime until paid in full; California family law defeats another issuing state’s statute of limitations for collecting child support except in certain cases (i.e. the support order was declared unenforceable in the issuing state).
11. A noncustodial parent who fails to pay child support despite having the ability to do so may be held in contempt of court
12. According to a 2006 report prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California lags the nation in “the collection of child support and its performance on federal outcome measures.”
If you want to collect past due child support in California, please contact California Department of Child Support Services or an attorney who specializes in collecting child support in your county and/or wherever the parent lives.