Article 1. General Provisions of California Family Law Code >> Division 9. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 1.
If a parent has the duty to provide for the support of the
parent's child and willfully fails to so provide, the other parent,
or the child by a guardian ad litem, may bring an action against the
parent to enforce the duty.
In any proceeding where there is at issue the support of a
minor child or a child for whom support is authorized under Section
3901 or 3910, the court may order either or both parents to pay an
amount necessary for the support of the child.
(a) The county may proceed on behalf of a child to enforce
the child's right of support against a parent.
(b) If the county furnishes support to a child, the county has the
same right as the child to secure reimbursement and obtain
continuing support. The right of the county to reimbursement is
subject to any limitation otherwise imposed by the law of this state.
(c) The court may order the parent to pay the county reasonable
attorney's fees and court costs in a proceeding brought by the county
pursuant to this section.
In any case in which the support of a child is at issue, the
court may, upon a showing of good cause, order a separate trial on
that issue. The separate trial shall be given preference over other
civil cases, except matters to which special precedence may be given
by law, for assigning a trial date. If the court has also ordered a
separate trial on the issue of custody pursuant to Section 3023, the
two issues shall be tried together.
In a proceeding where there is at issue the support of a
child, the court shall require the parties to reveal whether a party
is currently receiving, or intends to apply for, public assistance
under the Family Economic Security Act of 1982 (Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code) for the maintenance of the child.
At the request of either party, the court shall make
appropriate findings with respect to the circumstances on which the
order for support of a child is based.
In a proceeding for child support under this code, including,
but not limited to, Division 17 (commencing with Section 17000), the
court shall consider the health insurance coverage, if any, of the
parties to the proceeding.
(a) If a court orders a person to make specified payments for
support of a child during the child's minority, or until the child
is married or otherwise emancipated, or until the death of, or the
occurrence of a specified event as to, a child for whom support is
authorized under Section 3901 or 3910, the obligation of the person
ordered to pay support terminates on the happening of the
contingency. The court may, in the original order for support, order
the custodial parent or other person to whom payments are to be made
to notify the person ordered to make the payments, or the person's
attorney of record, of the happening of the contingency.
(b) If the custodial parent or other person having physical
custody of the child, to whom payments are to be made, fails to
notify the person ordered to make the payments, or the attorney of
record of the person ordered to make the payments, of the happening
of the contingency and continues to accept support payments, the
person shall refund all moneys received that accrued after the
happening of the contingency, except that the overpayments shall
first be applied to any support payments that are then in default.
(a) Every money judgment or order for support of a child
shall be suspended, by operation of law, for any period exceeding 90
consecutive days in which the person ordered to pay support is
incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized, unless either of the
following conditions exist:
(1) The person owing support has the means to pay support while
incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.
(2) The person owing support was incarcerated or involuntarily
institutionalized for an offense constituting domestic violence, as
defined in Section 6211, against the supported party or supported
child, or for an offense that could be enjoined by a protective order
pursuant to Section 6320, or as a result of his or her failure to
comply with a court order to pay child support.
(b) The child support obligation shall resume on the first day of
the first full month after the release of the person owing support in
the amount previously ordered, and that amount is presumed to be
appropriate under federal and state law. This section does not
preclude a person owing support from seeking a modification of the
child support order pursuant to Section 3651, based on a change in
circumstances or other appropriate reason.
(c) (1) A local child support agency enforcing a child support
order under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651
et seq.) may, upon written notice of the proposed adjustment to the
support obligor and obligee along with a blank form provided for the
support obligor or obligee to object to the administrative adjustment
to the local child support agency, administratively adjust account
balances for a money judgment or order for support of a child
suspended pursuant to subdivision (a) if all of the following occurs:
(A) The agency verifies that arrears and interest were accrued in
violation of this section.
(B) The agency verifies that neither of the conditions set forth
in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) exist.
(C) Neither the support obligor nor obligee objects, within 30
days of receipt of the notice of proposed adjustment, whether in
writing or by telephone, to the administrative adjustment by the
local child support agency.
(2) If either the support obligor or obligee objects to the
administrative adjustment set forth in this subdivision, the agency
shall not adjust the order, but shall file a motion with the court to
seek to adjust the arrears and shall serve copies of the motion on
the parties, who may file an objection to the agency's motion with
the court. The obligor's arrears shall not be adjusted unless the
court approves the adjustment.
(3) The agency may perform this adjustment without regard to
whether it was enforcing the child support order at the time the
parent owing support qualified for relief under this section.
(d) This section does not prohibit the local child support agency
or a party from petitioning a court for a determination of child
support or arrears amounts.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall
(1) "Incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized" includes,
but is not limited to, involuntary confinement to the state prison, a
county jail, a juvenile facility operated by the Division of
Juvenile Facilities in the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation, or a mental health facility.
(2) "Suspend" means that the payment due on the current child
support order, an arrears payment on a preexisting arrears balance,
or interest on arrears created during a qualifying period of
incarceration pursuant to this section is, by operation of law, set
to zero dollars ($0) for the period in which the person owing support
is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.
(f) This section applies to every money judgment or child support
order issued or modified on or after the enactment of this section.
(g) The Department of Child Support Services shall, by January 1,
2016, and in consultation with the Judicial Council, develop forms to
implement this section.
(h) On or before January 1, 2019, the Department of Child Support
Services and the Judicial Council shall conduct an evaluation of the
effectiveness of the administrative adjustment process authorized by
this section and shall report the results of the review, as well as
any recommended changes, to the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the
Senate Judiciary Committee. The evaluation shall include a review of
the ease of the process to both the obligor and obligee, as well as
an analysis of the number of cases administratively adjusted, the
number of cases adjusted in court, and the number of cases not
(i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends
The community property, the quasi-community property, and the
separate property may be subjected to the support of the children in
the proportions the court determines are just.
An original order for child support may be made retroactive
to the date of filing the petition, complaint, or other initial
pleading. If the parent ordered to pay support was not served with
the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading within 90 days
after filing and the court finds that the parent was not
intentionally evading service, the child support order shall be
effective no earlier than the date of service.
In a proceeding in which the court orders a payment for the
support of a child, the court shall, at the time of providing written
notice of the order, provide the parties with a document describing
the procedures by which the order may be modified.
Payment of child support ordered by the court shall be made
by the person owing the support payment before payment of any debts
owed to creditors.
Upon a showing of good cause, the court may order a parent
required to make a payment of child support to give reasonable
security for the payment.
If obligations for support of a child are discharged in
bankruptcy, the court may make all proper orders for the support of
the child that the court determines are just.
(a) Any order for child support issued or modified pursuant
to this chapter shall include a provision requiring the obligor and
child support obligee to notify the other parent or, if the order
requires payment through an agency designated under Title IV-D of the
Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), the agency named
in the order, of the name and address of his or her current employer.
(b) The requirements set forth in this subdivision apply only in
cases in which the local child support agency is not providing child
support services pursuant to Section 17400. To the extent required by
federal law, and subject to applicable confidentiality provisions of
state or federal law, any judgment for paternity and any order for
child support entered or modified pursuant to any provision of law
shall include a provision requiring the child support obligor and
obligee to file with the court all of the following information:
(1) Residential and mailing address.
(2) Social security number.
(3) Telephone number.
(4) Driver's license number.
(5) Name, address, and telephone number of the employer.
(6) Any other information prescribed by the Judicial Council.
The judgment or order shall specify that each parent is
responsible for providing his or her own information, that the
information must be filed with the court within 10 days of the court
order, and that new or different information must be filed with the
court within 10 days after any event causing a change in the
previously provided information.
(c) The requirements set forth in this subdivision shall only
apply in cases in which the local child support agency is not
providing child support services pursuant to Section 17400. Once the
child support registry, as described in Section 16576 of the Welfare
and Institutions Code is operational, any judgment for paternity and
any order for child support entered or modified pursuant to any
provision of law shall include a provision requiring the child
support obligor and obligee to file and keep updated the information
specified in subdivision (b) with the child support registry.
(d) The Judicial Council shall develop forms to implement this
section. The forms shall be developed so as not to delay the
implementation of the Statewide Child Support Registry described in
Section 16576 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and shall be
available no later than 30 days prior to the implementation of the
Statewide Child Support Registry.