Collection and Enforcement Mechanisms
Local child support agencies (LCSAs) and the State Department of Child Support Services (SDCSS) have a variety of tools and services to make the collection of child support efficient and effective. Those tools include the following:
Wage Withholding - Over 70 percent of child support nationally is collected through wage assignments. Employers are required through court orders to withhold child support from an obligated parent’s wages. Payments made through wage withholding are more likely to be received and collected on a consistent basis.
Credit Reporting - Failure to pay child support can negatively affect a parent’s credit rating.
Passport Denial - The renewal or issuance of a passport is subject to denial when a parent owes past due child support.
Property Liens - Proceeds from the sale of real or personal property are collected through liens filed against parents who owe past due child support.
License Suspension - Issuance and renewal of professional or drivers licenses may be denied for parents whose child support accounts are delinquent. Professional licenses include medical, realtor, attorney and contractor, as well as other state licenses.
Seizure of Assets - When a parent’s child support account reflects an arrears of $100 or more, and is more than 60 days past due, the local child support office must notify the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) of the delinquency. The FTB can take funds from bank accounts, tax returns, royalties, commissions, rental income or dividends from the obligated parent to satisfy a child support obligation.
Income Tax Intercepts – An obligated parent’s federal and state tax refunds are subject to intercept when a child support account is delinquent.
Benefits Intercepts – Workers’ compensation, disability and unemployment benefits are subject to intercept when a parent’s child support account is past due.
Compromise of Arrears Program
Do you owe child support arrears for a period of time when your child(ren) received public assistance? In certain child support cases, the Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP) allows for a parent to pay less than his or her total arrears. You may be eligible for the COAP program if you meet the following criteria: 1) At least $501 in arrears is owed for a period of time your child(ren) received public assistance in California, and 2) All the arrears owed on your case(s) cannot be paid off within three years, based on your current income and assets.
To apply, contact the San Francisco COAP coordinator at (415)356-2871.