The Child Support Process in California
Open a Child Support Case
Either parent, or the caretaker/guardian of a child, may open a child support case by completing an application. The FSD or local child support agency will also open a case for any individual receiving CalWORKS and/or MediCal who has been referred by the county Welfare Department. The more information the custodial party gives about the case, the better service the FSD or local child support agency can provide.
Locate the Parent
To get an order for support, establish paternity or enforce a child support order, the FSD or local child support agency must know where the noncustodial parent lives or works. The FSD or local child support agency will make every effort to locate the noncustodial parent.
If paternity (fatherhood) has not been established, the FSD or local child support agency will take the necessary steps to establish paternity. (Paternity must be established before child support and medical support can be ordered by the court.)
Establish a Support Order
If a court order for child support does not already exist, and the noncustodial parent is located, an order will be sought by the FSD or local child support agency and established by the court based on both parents` ability to pay support and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The FSD or local child support agency will also request that the court require the noncustodial parent to provide health insurance for the child. The court will order the noncustodial parent to provide health insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost.
Enforcement of Support Orders
The FSD or local child support agency will take steps to enforce court orders for child support and medical support. Enforcement action will be taken by the FSD or local child support agency if the noncustodial parent does not pay or pays less than the amount ordered, or if the noncustodial parent does not provide health insurance for the child as ordered by the court. The FSD or local child support agency will determine the type of enforcement action to be taken, consistent with state and federal regulations.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Child Support Articles
- How is Child Support Calculated in California?
- What Are The Child Support Guidelines in California?
- Collecting Child Support Across State Lines
- The Child Support Enforcement Program
- How The Local Child Support Office Can Help You
- The Fsd Or Local Child Support Agency Provides The Following Services:
- The Fsd Or Local Child Support Agency Does Not:
- Opening A Child Support Case
- What Happens When A Custodial Parent Assigns His/Her Right To Support?
- Discontinuing Child Support Services
- How is Child Support Is Distributed In Calworks Cases?
- Receiving Credit For In-Kind Child Support Payments
- The Non-Custodial Parent And The Child Support Process
- What To do When An Action For Child Support Is Served Upon You
- What Is A Child Support Judgment?
- Wage Assignments And Deductions For Health Insurance From Child Support Obligations
- Modification Of Child Support Orders
- Failure To Pay Child Support
- I Am Sure The Other Parent Is Willing To Pay Support. Can We Make An Agreement Between Ourselves And Present It To The Court?
- What The Fsd Or Local Child Support Agency Needs To Establish Paternity When The Alleged Father Does Not Cooperate
- The Other Parent Is In Jail. Can I Get Support?
- How Child Support Is Enforced
- Keeping Track Of Payments
- I Have A California Support Order. The Non-Custodial Parent Now Lives In Another State. I Know He/She Has Land And Other Assets. Can I Get Help?