Chapter 5. Civil Penalty For Child Support Delinquency of California Family Law Code >> Division 9. >> Part 5. >> Chapter 5.
"Support" for the purposes of this chapter means support as
defined in Section 150.
(a) This chapter applies only to installments of child
support that are due on or after January 1, 1992.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the penalties
provided under this chapter shall be applied in egregious instances
of noncompliance with child support orders.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that for the purposes of
this chapter, payments made through wage assignments are considered
timely regardless of the date of receipt by the local child support
agency or obligee.
(a) Any person with a court order for child support, the
payments on which are more than 30 days in arrears, may file and then
serve a notice of delinquency, as described in this chapter.
(b) Except as provided in Section 4726, and subject to Section
4727, any amount of child support specified in a notice of
delinquency that remains unpaid for more than 30 days after the
notice of delinquency has been filed and served shall incur a penalty
of 6 percent of the delinquent payment for each month that it
remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 72 percent of the unpaid balance
(a) The notice of delinquency shall be signed under penalty
of perjury by the support obligee.
(b) The notice of delinquency shall state all of the following:
(1) The amount that the child support obligor is in arrears.
(2) The installments of support due, the amounts, if any, that
have been paid, and the balance due.
(3) That any unpaid installment of child support will incur a
penalty of 6 percent of the unpaid support per month until paid, to a
maximum of 72 percent of the original amount of the unpaid support,
unless the support arrearage is paid within 30 days of the date of
service of the notice of delinquency.
(c) In the absence of a protective order prohibiting the support
obligor from knowing the whereabouts of the child or children for
whom support is payable, or otherwise excusing the requirements of
this subdivision, the notice of delinquency shall also include a
current address and telephone number of all of the children for whom
support is due and, if different from that of the support obligee,
the address at which court papers may be served upon the support
The notice of delinquency may be served personally or by
certified mail or in any manner provided for service of summons.
If the child support owed, or any arrearages, interest, or
penalty, remains unpaid more than 30 days after serving the notice of
delinquency, the support obligee may file a motion to obtain a
judgment for the amount owed, which shall be enforceable in any
manner provided by law for the enforcement of judgments.
No penalties may be imposed pursuant to this chapter if, in
the discretion of the court, all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Within a timely fashion after service of the notice of
delinquency, the support obligor files and serves a motion to
determine arrearages and to show cause why the penalties provided in
this chapter should not be imposed.
(b) At the hearing on the motion filed by the support obligor, the
court finds that the support obligor has proved any of the
(1) The child support payments were not 30 days in arrears as of
the date of service of the notice of delinquency and are not in
arrears as of the date of the hearing.
(2) The support obligor suffered serious illness, disability, or
unemployment which substantially impaired the ability of the support
obligor to comply fully with the support order and the support
obligor has made every possible effort to comply with the support
(3) The support obligor is a public employee and for reasons
relating to fiscal difficulties of the employing entity the obligor
has not received a paycheck for 30 or more days.
(4) It would not be in the interests of justice to impose a
Any penalty due under this chapter shall not be greater than
6 percent per month of the original amount of support arrearages or
support installment, nor may the penalties on any arrearage amount or
support installment exceed 72 percent of the original amount due,
regardless of whether or not the installments have been listed on
more than one notice of delinquency.
Penalties due pursuant to this chapter may be enforced by the
issuance of a writ of execution in the same manner as a writ of
execution may be issued for unpaid installments of child support, as
described in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 5100), except that
payment of penalties under this chapter may not take priority over
payment of arrearages or current support.
The local child support agency or any other agency providing
support enforcement services pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal
Social Security Act may not enforce child support obligations
utilizing the penalties provided for by this chapter.
At any hearing to set or modify the amount payable for the
support of a child, the court shall not consider any penalties
imposed under this chapter in determining the amount of current
support to be paid.
A subsequent notice of delinquency may be served and filed at
any time. The subsequent notice shall indicate those child support
arrearages and ongoing installments that have been listed on a
The Judicial Council shall adopt forms or notices for the use
of the procedures provided by this chapter.
Penalties collected pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to
the custodian of the child who is the subject of the child support
judgment or order, whether or not the child is a recipient of public