Frequently Asked Questions

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Instructional Videos

Quick Tip Videos

We understand that there are many things about child support that are complicated and confusing. We are here to help you understand and navigate this process.

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by category:

Paperless Transition

1. What is the mailer I received?

A notice advising that California Child Support Services will no longer be issuing paper checks for payments.

2. Why is California Child Support Services stopping paper checks?

To ensure our customers have access to their funds quickly and securely.

3. Do I need to do anything?

Yes, you should visit our State Disbursement Unit page and enroll in Direct Deposit or the Electronic Payment Card program. If no action is taken, you will automatically be mailed an Electronic Payment Card.

 

4. How long do I have to enroll in Direct Deposit or Electronic Payment Card?

As soon as possible, but no later than 21 days from the date on the official notice that you received by mail.

5. What are the benefits for Direct Deposit and Electronic Payment Card?

Save money and time. These are the safest ways to receive payments.

  • Keep more of your money, no check cashing fees, no lost or stolen checks.
  • Easy access to your money through ATMs and point-of-sale retailers across the country.
  • More secure than carrying cash and no waiting for checks to arrive by mail.
  • Access to funds during emergencies or when you travel away from home.

Direct Deposit

  • Payments deposited directly into your checking or savings account.

Electronic Payment Card

  • Looks and works like a pre-paid debit card.
  • Use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
  • Access your account online or by phone 24/7.
  • No bank account needed.
  • No Social Security Number required.
  • No credit qualifications.
  • Withdraw cash at no cost at any Moneypass location.
  • Enter monthly sweepstakes drawing once you activate the card.
6. How do I enroll in Direct Deposit?

Visit our State Disbursement Unit page, create a profile or log in using your Participant ID and date of birth (DOB), then enroll in Direct Deposit.  

 

7. How do I enroll in Electronic Payment Card?

Visit the State Disbursement Unit page, create a profile or log in using your Participant ID and date of birth (DOB), then enroll in the Electronic Payment Card program

 

8. What is the GoProgram and Way2Go Card?

The GoProgram is the provider of the new Electronic Payment Card. The new Electronic Payment Card is also called the Way2Go Card.

 

9. I already signed up for Direct Deposit or Electronic Payment Card, why did I get another letter saying that I have to enroll within 21 days?

If you enrolled in Direct Deposit or Electronic Payment Card after September 16, 2020, you may disregard this notice.

10. If I already enrolled in Direct Deposit, why did I receive an Electronic Payment Card?

It may be based on a system delay. If you already enrolled in Direct Deposit, and received a confirmation of enrollment, you may shred the Electronic Payment Card

11. I just received my Electronic Payment Card in the mail, what do I need to do to activate it?

Instructions on how to activate the card online: English | English Accessible | Spanish | Spanish Accessible

Instructions on how to activate the card via mobile app: English | English Accessible | Spanish | Spanish Accessible

12. How do I request a replacement Electronic Payment Card?

Contact Way2Go at 844-318-0740 to issue a new/replacement card.

13. How long before I receive my replacement Electronic Payment Card?

The card will be issued to you via mail in 7-10 business days.

14. What if I got my Electronic Payment Card, but want to switch to Direct Deposit?

Visit the State Disbursement Unit page, log in using your Participant ID and DOB, then enroll in direct deposit.

15. What if I don’t want direct deposit or an Electronic Payment Card, can I still get a paper check?

There are specific criteria for receiving an exemption. Please submit your request to Electronicpaymentexemption@dcss.ca.gov and you will be provided with further instructions on how to apply for an exemption

16. How long will the exemption review take?

The Exemption Review should be completed within 7-10 business days from the date you submit the request and required documentation.

17. What happens if I don’t enroll in Direct Deposit?

If you choose not to enroll in Direct Deposit, you will automatically be mailed an Electronic Payment Card.

18. What if I want to cancel my Direct Deposit?

If you choose to cancel your Direct Deposit, you will be mailed an Electronic Payment Card and future payments will automatically be deposited to the card.

19. What if I want to cancel my Electronic Payment Card?

You will need to enroll in Direct Deposit before canceling your Electronic Payment Card.

20. Can I enroll in Direct Deposit or get an Electronic Payment Card or if I live outside of the United States?

Yes. If you live outside the United States, you can still enroll in Direct Deposit or get an Electronic Payment Card. See below for more information.

Direct Deposit

  • You may sign-up for Direct Deposit using a non-U.S. bank account. The program is currently available for residents in the following countries:

Alana Island, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadalupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Saint Bartholemy, the French portion of Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

To enroll in Direct Deposit as an international resident, complete this form and follow the enclosed instructions. Form is also available in Spanish, here.

 Electronic Payment Card

  • The international Electronic Payment Card is administered by an independent bank and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. To receive an international Electronic Payment Card, complete this form and follow the enclosed instructions. Form is also available in Spanish, here.
21. I am using my Participant ID in the User ID field on the GoProgram website, but it gives me an error message?

Your GoProgram User ID is NOT your Participant ID. During the registration process on the GoProgram website, you created a unique User ID. If you cannot remember your User ID, follow the prompts on the GoProgram website for Forgot User ID.

22. I registered my account on the GoProgram website, but still cannot use the card.

You must create a PIN to activate your card. If you did not create a PIN for your card during the registration process, please visit the GoProgram website or app to PIN your card.

23. I am getting a user error when I put in my Participant ID or Date of Birth (DOB) on the website, it says Account Could Not Be Found or Invalid Information. What do I do?

The most common mistake is the Participant ID has been entered incorrectly. Some of the common participant ID entry errors include:

  • Not enough digits: Your participant ID is a number made up of up to 15 digits.
  • Not enough Zeros: Be sure that you entered the correct number of zeros in your participant ID number
  • Leading Zeros: If your participant ID starts with zeros, be sure to enter the leading zeros as part of the participant ID.
  • Incorrect DOB: Make sure that you entered your DOB correctly, in the format requested by the website/app.

If you are still having problems, please contact the child support office that is handling your case. For a list of child support offices and contact information, click here. 

 

24. My account is locked due to incorrect PIN, what should I do?

Your PIN resets at midnight, please try to log back in the following day. If it still does not work, please call the number on the back of your card to reset your PIN.

You can also use the website or mobile app to reset your PIN.

25. How do I download the GoProgram mobile app?

The mobile app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded from the app store on your mobile device. The app is called Go Program Way2Go Card.

General Information 

1. What is child support?

Child support is the ongoing contribution of money to help pay for the living and medical expenses of a child or children until they are adults. The amount that must be paid is called the child support order.

Under federal and state law, BOTH parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children.

The goal is to have children share in the standard of living of both parents, so the court may order either or both parents to pay child support.

2. What can Child Support Services do to help me?

The child support office in your county or region can provide the following services:

  • Establishing paternity (fatherhood)
  • Locating parents
  • Requesting child support orders from the court
  • Requesting medical support orders from the court
  • Enforcing child and spousal support orders
  • Modifying child support orders
  • Collecting and sending child support

Learn more in our Quick Tip video below: 

 

3. What CAN'T Child Support Services do for me?

Child support offices do not:

  • Handle custody or visitation matters
  • Handle divorces
  • Obtain or enforce restraining orders
  • Establish spousal support orders

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

4. How is the amount of child support payments decided?

Child support amounts are based on a review of both parent’s monthly income and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

The Child Support Commissioner or Family Law Judge sets the amount of a child support order.

All income is taken into consideration and can be money, property or services, including:

  • Wages from a job
  • Tip Income
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Independent contractor income
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability and worker’s compensation payments
  • Department of Veteran Affairs disability payments
  • Interest Income
  • Dividend Income
  • Rental Income
  • Social Security or pensions
  • Any payments that become due such as lottery winnings and insurance payouts

Watch our Instructional video below to learn more:

5. Do parents have to provide health insurance for children?

Yes, health insurance must be included in any child support order for all cases. If health insurance is not immediately available, the court will order both parents to provide insurance when it does become available.

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more:

 

 

6. How long do I have to pay child support?

Under California law, you pay child support until the child turns 18, or 19 if the child is unmarried and still attending high school full time. Under special circumstances, the court may order child support to continue after the child is an adult.

If past-due support (called arrears) is still owed, the local child support agency may continue to enforce collection until the balance including interest is paid in full.

7. Is my child support case information open to the public?

Child support case information is confidential and not open to the public. However, all documents in court files or county recorder files are public records and can be viewed by the general public.

8. How do I open a child support case?

If you receive benefits through government cash assistance (welfare) programs, such as the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program (CalWORKS), a child support case will be opened for you.

If you are a single parent and need to open a child support case, or already have a child support order and need help with enforcement, you have three options:

  • Option 1: Apply online – If you apply online, you will be contacted by your local agency. 
  • Option 2: Download an application. If you download an application, you can mail it in to your local child support agency or drop it off at their office location. 
  • Option 3: Ask to have an application mailed to you. After you complete it you can mail it in or drop it off at your local office.

If you need help completing the application, your local agency or county Family Law Facilitator can help you.   

Watch our Instructional video below to learn more:

9. I’m afraid my ex will hurt me or the kids if I ask for your help. What should I do?

You are protected by law – California Child Support Services will never release your personal information to the other parent in your case without a court order.  However, some documents that contain your personal information may be filed with the court.  If you have domestic violence concerns, be sure to tell your caseworker.  Please email DCSSOCPA@dcss.ca.gov for a list of domestic violence shelters and resources in your area.

California Child Support Services is required by law to send child support case information to the federal government.  In an interstate case, that information will be released to child support agencies in other states.  However, if you are a victim of family violence a “non-disclosure order” can prevent the sharing of your personal information to the other parties involved.  To protect this information you must fill out the Family Violence Questionnaire and send it to the child support agency handling your case – but you must have been granted a restraining order or “good cause exception” from cooperation.

If you don’t have a restraining order or good cause exception and are still concerned for your safety and the safety of your children, you can get your own non-disclosure order through the courts.  Contact your attorney of the Family Law Facilitator in your county for help.

10. What does “private child support case” mean?

If you have a child support order that was set by a court but have not asked a local child support agency for help enforcing the order, that case is called “private.” Please note that private cases do not automatically go to Child Support Services once a court order is filed.

In private cases, the State still processes the payments made by withholding wages through the employer of the parent paying support.

If you have a private case and want help, either with enforcement or with keeping track of your payments to prove your compliance, you have the right to open a case with Child Support Services.

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more:

 

11. If I have a private case and need help, can I use Child Support Services?

Yes. It is a good idea to open a case, whether you are the parent paying or receiving child support. Your caseworker will keep records, direct you to other resources that might benefit you, and be able to assist you if your situation changes. Child support can be complicated, and your local agency is there to help you navigate the system.

If you do not receive public cash assistance, there is an annual fee to cover costs. 

12. If I have a private case and need to set up payments, what should I do?

When you enter into a court order with payments for child and/or spousal support – you must complete a “Child Support Case Registry” form and an “Income Withholding for Support” form. Your attorney or a Family Law Facilitator can help you with this.

The Income Withholding Form must be given to your employer, and a copy needs to be mailed to the California State Disbursement Unit at:
California State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
P.O. Box 980218
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more:

13. What if one of the parents moves out of state, or lives in another country?

Child support orders can be enforced anywhere in the United States, and in many foreign countries. Contact your local child support agency if you or the other parent moves after a child support order is filed, or if you need to file an interstate case.

Two laws, called the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, prevent a state from changing another state’s court order.

Watch our Quick Tip video below to learn more: 

14. If I live in another country, how can I contact California Child Support?

For international participants in a child support case, the contact number is 1-408-273-0073.

15. Why am I being charged an annual fee?

Under federal law, the California Department of Child Support Services is required to charge a yearly service fee for certain, non-assisted cases. If the fee applies to you, you will receive an annual service fee assessment notice in October for each case to which the fee applies.  This annual fee changes from $25 to $35 on cases that received payments equal to or more than $550 when assessed on 10/1/2020, and annually thereafter.

1. What do I do if I get a Summons and Complaint?

Contact your local child support agency. You have only 30 days to respond, and your local agency can help you fill out the “Answer” form and file it with your county’s Superior Court. A Family Law Facilitator can also help you with this.

Watch our Instructional video below to learn more:

2. What happens if I forget about or ignore the Summons and Complaint?

The child support case will proceed, and the court will set the order at the amount proposed in the Summons and Complaint. After the order is set, you will have to ask the court for permission to change it. If you want your facts and financial situation taken into consideration before the amount is set, you must respond.

3. If I file the “Answer” will I get to talk to the Judge or Child Support Commissioner?

Yes. If you respond to the Summons and Complaint with an Answer and disagree that you are legally responsible for the child or children named, or disagree with the amount of child support requested, you will be given a court date.

4. Is there a way to avoid going to court?

Yes. If both parents agree on a child support amount, you can sign a legal agreement called a “Stipulation.” This document establishes legal responsibility for the children and becomes the official child support order.

Watch our Quick Tip video below to learn more:

5. What is in a Stipulation?

Stipulations vary with circumstances, but basically say that the parent being asked to pay support agrees that he or she is the child’s parent, is willing to pay child support (and health insurance when available) and is willing to let the court file the order without appearing in court.

6. What is “Allocation”?

If you have multiple child support cases, there are limits to the amount of money that can be taken from your paycheck. In these cases, the money that can be taken is “allocated” among your cases based on a priority system. This allocated amount may not be the entire amount due, and in that case the balance due becomes “arrears” and interest will be charged until the total is paid off.

7. If either parent loses a job, or starts making more money, will the child support payment automatically change?

No. A child support order can only be changed by a new order or a stipulation approved by the court. Either parent has the right to ask for a review of the child support case if there is a change in circumstances of either person.

Changes that can result in a new support order include a substantial increase or decrease in either parent’s income, a change in custody, or a change in the amount of time the child or children spend with each parent.

Watch our Quick Tip video below to learn more:

8. What happens if the parent ordered to pay child support has the money but still won’t pay?

The State of California takes refusal to pay child support very seriously. Enforcement actions on those not paying support can include:

  • Suspension of driving license
  • Suspension of passport
  • Suspension of professional licenses
  • Intercepting tax refunds
  • Intercepting insurance payments

In extreme cases, the court may find the parent “in contempt of court” which can result in arrest and imprisonment, but this is used only when all other enforcement tools have failed.

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more: 

9. If I receive CalWORKS or KinGAP (government cash assistance/welfare), does this affect how much child support I can receive?

Yes. By law, you can EITHER receive the court ordered child support OR the cash assistance, but not both. As long as you are receiving cash assistance, you will receive $50.00 of the ordered child support payment and the remainder will go to the state to repay the cash assistance you were given.

10. Does California Child Support Services enforce spousal support orders?

Under Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 302.31(a)(2), states must enforce spousal support for a spouse or former spouse who is living with the children provided two conditions are met.  First, enforcement shall occur only if a support obligation has been established for that spouse and second, only if the child support obligation is being enforced under the state plan (as opposed to a “private” case). Under this rule, California Child Support Services can only collect spousal support while collecting current support for a minor child.  Once all the children have legally emancipated, California Child Support Services can no longer collect or enforce a spousal support order.  

This applies to current support only.  Spousal support has nothing to do with the collection of past due child support, or “arrears”.

Property Liens & Child Support 

1. The title company says there is a lien on my house due to unpaid child support. What is this?

Title companies play a critical role in the collection of child support. Child support agencies are required by state regulations to file liens and abstracts of judgment in all cases where there is an active child support order. Because the abstracts do not reference a specific property, they do not appear on the initial title search of the property address. They will appear during the final title search of the paying parent’s name and/or social security number. Whenever that parent buys, sells, or refinances a piece of real estate, the title company is required to contact California Child Support Services to determine whether obligations exist. The parent’s support order takes precedence and their children may benefit in some manner from the transaction.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

2. What happens when a title company discovers a lien?

The title company will request a “demand” from the creditor (Child Support Services will be the creditor that recorded the judgment lien or abstract lien). The child support agency will prepare a statement of how much is owed on the judgment. This is known as the “demand”. In the case of an on-going child support order if the debtor is behind in his or her payments the demand will be for the amount of the overdue support. 

If there is a delay in settling the demand it is important to understand that the amount owed may change, and an updated demand may be needed. Failing to make additional payments toward child support obligations will cause the amount owed to increase.

3. If a child support lien or abstract of judgment exists, who do I contact and what information is needed?

The title company should submit a “demand request” and a copy of the abstract or lien to the attention of the Demand Desk of the local child support agency. The written demand request must be submitted using company letterhead with telephone and fax numbers. The title company must include the following information: 

  • The client’s full name 
  • Social Security Number 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Driver’s License Number 
  • Property Address 
  • A copy of the Abstract of Support Judgment or Lien
  • A copy of the borrower’s Authorization to Release Information form  

The agency will perform research using the information you provide to verify the facts of any abstract or lien and then report back to the title company. Incomplete information may result in the request being delayed.

4. How can a title company avoid delay at the close of escrow when the client has a Child Support Judgment Lien?

Abstracts and support liens do not attach to a particular piece of property, so it is important to perform name searches on the parties involved in the transaction. If the Title Company waits until the end of a transaction to do this, they may experience a delay. The following best practices may help avoid delays at the close of escrow:

  • Start the research early
  • Tell the title company that you have a child support case, if you do there is a chance a demand will be needed
  • Check your credit report. California Child Support Services is required to report parents with arrears to the major credit reporting agencies.

We will need to verify the abstract or support lien and then determine how much support is owed before we can issue a “demand”. We understand the urgency and will work diligently to provide a response to your demand request.

5. What happens after a demand for payment is received by a title company?

When Selling or Refinancing Property
If you are selling or refinancing property and there is money coming to you, that money must be applied toward the child support demand until the arrears have been paid in full. Child Support Services will send a “matured installment” if current child support continues to be owed, or a “release of lien” if the arrears have been paid and current child support is no longer being charged. These documents will be recorded by the escrow company after payment on the demand is made.

When Buying Property
If you are buying a piece of property and owe past due support, one of the following could happen:

  • If you are currently paying support through a wage assignment and your pay history is good, the child support agency may subordinate its lien in favor of the first deed of trust on the new purchase.
  • If you have a poor pay history and are not currently on a wage assignment, then the agency will demand that the debt be paid in full.
6. Where should property lien payments be sent?

Please make all checks payable to the California Department of Child Support Services. For proper identification the title company should include your full name, child support case file number, and Social Security number on the face of the check.

Payment Address
State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 989067
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067

7. If I have a property lien recorded and I am current on my child support and only owe future support, what process is followed?

If you have a property lien but are current with your child support payments and have no past due obligations, a matured installment is sent to the escrow company in response to the demand request. This document indicates that all support obligations are paid up to date.

8. If I am just refinancing my property and not taking any money (equity) out, will Child Support Services subordinate their lien in favor of the new mortgage?

This is determined on a case by case basis. If you are paying regularly by wage assignment or show a steady pay history and the arrears are not excessive, we will consider subordination of the lien to the new first trust deed (mortgage). Otherwise, we will demand payment of the arrears before subordination or matured installment will be issued. 

If there are insufficient funds to pay the entire debt owed, a partial payment may be accepted and the remainder of the debt subordinated to the first trust deed (mortgage). California Child Support Services legal staff will make this decision after a thorough review of the parent’s payment record and consultation with the person ordered to receive the support.

9. Should the title company be concerned with prior quit claim deeds issued on the property?

Yes! California law provides that when a grantor quitclaims their interest to another party, they transfers their entire interest including all the defects and equities which could then have been asserted against them. 

This means that when the debtor quitclaimed the property interest the person who took title obtained took it subject to the recorded lien and Child Support Services can still assert a support lien on that property. This frequently happens in divorce cases, where the child support payer quitclaims the property in dissolution of marriage to the former spouse, who takes the property subject to the support liens. If the escrow involves a property where quitclaim deeds have been filed, a name search will need to be performed for the grantor of the quitclaim to avoid problems and future litigation.

10. Does a child support lien or abstract ever expire?

No, as long as the child support debt is owed the lien or abstract remains active. The California Civil Code exempts support judgments from renewal requirements and the support order or judgment is enforceable until paid in full. Title companies should not limit the number of years they research since there is a possibility that the client could have a child support obligation on adult children.

Making Child Support Payments 

1. What is the State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?

“SDU” stands for the California State Disbursement Unit, which collects and distributes child support payments.

The SDU is not Child Support Services, and they can’t answer any questions about your case. If you have questions about WHY any financial transaction occurred you need to talk to your caseworker.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

2. Why do payments have to go through the SDU?

Both state and federal law require all child support payments be sent to a single location within each state. Also, it is in your best interests to have third-party records of every payment in case of a disagreement with the other parent.

3. Do I have to register on the SDU website?

No, but you are encouraged to do so. There are many tools to help you pay on time and to track your payments for proof of cooperation.

As a registered participant you can:

  • Safely store credit and debit card information

Please note, you can still make payments on the SDU website without registering.

4. How do I register with the State Disbursement Unit?

You need your Social Security number, your 13 or 15-digit Participant ID number, and contact information. If you do not have a Participant ID, call 1-866-901-3212 to get one.

When you are ready with this information, register at www.casdu.com and follow the below steps:

  • Select the “Parent Paying Support” button.
  • Select “Register Now”
  • Enter the required information, including a valid email address.
    • A temporary password will be emailed to you.
  • Log in with your temporary password and follow the instructions to update your password to something of your own choosing.
    • You will only need to register once.
5. How do I make a payment on the State Disbursement Unit website?

See our Payments page for detailed instructions. 

6. My employer takes my child support payment out of my paycheck. Do I need to do anything?

No, your employer should have information on when, how and where to send your payments. After your child support order is decided by the court, a document is mailed to your employer with instructions on how much to deduct and where to send payments.

7. My payments do not involve withholding from my paychecks. What are my payment options?

Please see our Payments page for detailed instructions. 

8. What do I do if my payment gets returned by the bank?

Contact an SDU representative at 1-866-901-3212, and select Option 1.They will give you more information on how to replace the payment.

  • Business hours for the number above are 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Pacific time), Monday through Friday.
9. How can I get my payment information?

All participants in a child support case can view their case information, including payment history, on Customer Connect, the self-service child support platform. Your Social Security number or Participant ID number and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) are required to access the system. If you do not have a PIN you can get one online from Customer Connect or call 1-866-901-3212 and speak with a representative to ask for a PIN.

10. Who do I contact if I have questions about using the SDU website or their automated phone system?

Call 1-866-901-3212 and select Option 1 for any questions about the SDU website or their phone system.

11. Who do I contact if I have a question about using PayPal for child support payments?

Call Value Payment Systems at 1-888-877-0450:

  • Select Option 1 for English or Option 2 for Spanish
  • Then, select Option 2 for Child Support
12. Can I make a debit or credit card payment if the card-issuing bank is outside of the United States?

Yes. You may want to check to see what kind of fees you might get charged.

13. I’m making payments but my child lives with me now. Can the child support order be changed?

Yes. When there is a change in custody or visitation, you can either go to court to ask for a change in the child support order, or contact your local child support agency. 

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more:

14. Who can I talk to about my bank levy?

Call 1-866-901-3212 to speak to your caseworker at your local child support agency.   You can also email your caseworker through Customer Connect.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

15. Why is money being deducted from my unemployment check, or state disability payment?

If you have past-due child support over $150, the local child support agency can request that a percentage of your check be withheld to pay that debt.

16. My driver’s license has been suspended due to unpaid child support. How do I get it released?

You must contact the child support agency handling your case. They can assist you in getting a license hold released

17. My passport has a hold on it. Why? And how can I get it released?

Federal law requires that a parent who owes past-due child support over $2,500 shall not be issued a passport. In California, you must bring your past-due balance to zero ($0.00) by paying it all off or having the case closed before your passport will be released.  Contact the child support agency handling your case for questions about passport holds.

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more: 

18. If I go to jail, do I still have to pay child support?

If you go to jail, child support is still due, and interest will be charged on the amounts not paid. If you go to jail you should immediately contact your local child support agency to ask for a “modification,” or change, of the child support order. If you do not get a modification, when you get out all the unpaid child support from while you were in jail will still be due, plus interest.

Watch our Quick Tip video to learn more:

19. What is the Child Support Warning Notice?

This is a notice sent annually to all parents ordered to pay child support that have a balance of overdue child support (called “Arrears”). In the notice, you will find information about how much you owe and some of the options available for paying this debt. Your local child support agency can help you with questions about this notice.

20. What do I do if I have to stop a payment with my bank?

If you need to place a stop payment request, please contact the State Disbursement Unit prior to contacting your bank, and follow the instructions below:

  • Complete the Stop Payment Request Form
  • Submit the form using one of the two options:
    • Call the State Disbursement Unit at (866) 901-3212, Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
    • Submit the form electronically by selecting the “Submit” button on your completed form. 

Please Note: If clicking on the submit button does not create an email, or if you do not receive confirmation that your request was received, then your completed form has not been sent. You will need to either call the State Disbursement Unit at (866) 901-3212, or attach and email the form to CASDU.Stop.Request@Conduent.com.

Receiving Child Support Payments

1. Does my child support payment come as a check?

You have three options to receive child support, see our Payments page for more information and watch the below video to learn more: 

2. I got my payment, but it wasn’t the full amount. Why not?

The three most common reasons that you did not receive the full amount are:

  • There may have been a change in the income of the parent paying support.
  • You may have been charged the Annual Service Fee.
  • The parent paying support may now have more than one child support case and there was a change in distribution.

 

Watch our below Quick Tip video to learn more: 

 

3. I have not received my child support payment. How do I find out what is going on?

You can check your payment status online on Customer Connect. If that does not help, please call the automated service line at 1-866-901-3212 with any questions you have regarding your child support payments.

Watch our Quick Tip video below to learn more:

4. How do I sign up for Direct Deposit?

Visit our Payments page for detailed instructions. 

5. Can I sign up for Direct Deposit if I live outside of the United States?

You may now be able to sign up for Direct Deposit into a non-US bank account.  The program is currently available for residents of the following countries:

Alana Island, Austria, Belgium,Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadalupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Saint Bartholemy, the French portion of Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Once you are signed up for Direct Deposit, your child support payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account.  It may take a few days for the payments to appear – visit Customer Connect to see status updates.

Service in additional countries is in testing at this time – please check back periodically for updates.

6. What is an Electronic Payment Card (EPC)?

EPC stands for Electronic Payment card. It works like a pre-paid debit card – your child support payment is loaded onto the card, and you can spend it anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.

7. Why would I want my payments on an Electronic Payment Card?
  • It’s faster than waiting for a check – the payment shows up in your balance right away.
  • You can use it anywhere they take Mastercard, including online or at ATMs to get cash.
  • It’s safer than getting a check mailed.
  • If you don’t have a bank account it is cheaper since you don’t pay check cashing fees.
  • You can get account information and help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
8. Are there any fees for using an Electronic Payment Card?

There are no monthly fees for having an Electronic Payment Card but fees may apply to some services.  Be sure to read the information in the paperwork sent with your card. Download the below Electronic Payment Fee Disclosure document for more information:

English | Spanish

Please note, ATM owners may charge an additional “convenience fee” for certain ATM transactions – a sign should be posted at the ATM to inform you of any additional fees.

 

9. How do I sign up to get an Electronic Payment Card?

A. On the State Disbursement Unit website at www.casdu.com:

  • Select the “Person Receiving Support” button.
  • Then, you will need to register and create an account  (You will need your Participant ID number, Social Security number. and your Date of Birth on hand).
  • If you do not have a Social Security number you can sign up using your Name and Date of Birth.

B. By phone on our automated service line: 1-866-901-3212

  • Option 1 and then select Option 3 to enroll for an Electronic Payment Card
  • However, you will need to register on the website to use this feature or talk to a live agent who can help you with the registration process.
  • Once you are registered, you can then enroll for an Electronic Payment Card.

Or, you can download an application and mail it to the address on the form. You can find the Electronic Payment Card Enrollment form here.

10. Can I get an Electronic Payment Card if I live outside the U.S.?

Yes.  The card is administered by Comerica Bank and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. 

11. Do I have to get a different card for each child support case if I have more than one?

No. All California case payments will automatically be deposited into your Electronic Payment Card account.

12. Is there a daily maximum I can take from my Electronic Payment Card account?

No.  You have full access to your available balance at any time and there is a $500 daily cash withdrawal limit.  Also, withdrawals from ATMs may be subject to the ATM owner’s limitations.  Taking out large sums may need coordination with your local bank beforehand to make sure enough cash is available for your requested withdrawal.  If your bank cannot fulfill your request for a large withdrawal, please call 1-866-901-3212 option 1 for assistance.

13. Can I check the balance on my Electronic Payment Card?

You can check your balance for free:

  • At www.GoProgram.com
  • Or, call Way2Go Customer Service at 1-844-318-0740 any time, night or day. Your first three calls a month are free, after that you will be charged 50 cents per call until the next month.
  • At any MoneyPass ATM network location. Find a location close to you at www.moneypass.com/atm-locator.html
  • You may check your balance at an In Network ATM.  If you use an ATM that is not a Comerica Bank ATM, you may be charged additional fees by that bank.

Check your balance for a fee:

  • At any out of Network ATM and you may be charged additional fees by that bank.
14. Can I get an alert when my Electronic Payment Card balance is low?

You can sign up for low balance alerts by calling the Way2Go Customer Service Center at 1-844-318-0740 or signing in to your account at www.GoProgram.com. This allows notifications to be sent to you by email, phone, or text message. Standard text message fees will apply.

15. What if I have questions about my Electronic Payment Card?

You should contact the Way2Go Customer Service Center at 1-844-318-0740, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

16. Who should I call if my Electronic Payment Card is lost or stolen?

Call the Way2Go Customer Service Center at 1-844-318-0740.

17. Can I reach a live Electronic Payment Card customer service agent without an account?

Yes! Just follow the below steps:

  • Dial 1-844-318-0740
  • Press 1 for English
  • Press 3 to for enrollment information
  • Press 1 to talk to an agent
18. Where can I get a history of all of the payments made to me?

You can use Customer Connect or call the automated service line at 1-866-901-3212 to hear details of the payments in your case.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

19. My ex has remarried and has more kids. Will this affect the child support paid to our children?

Only the court can make a change in any child support order.  You should be aware that it is possible that your child support may be decreased if the other parent is also responsible for other children.

20. If the parent paying support goes to jail, will I still get payments?

Probably not. It is almost impossible to collect child support from parents in jail.

Watch the below Quick Tip video to learn more: 

New Electronic Payment Card

1. I received a letter stating you are changing Electronic Payment Card (EPC) cards/program. Why are you changing?

The new program offers better features for our customers, including:

  • an embedded microchip for added security
  • the ability to get up to five companion cards
  • no cost cash withdrawal at any bank that accepts MasterCard
  • the ability to transfer funds to personal accounts
  • temporary suspension for lost cards
  • a cashback/reward program for all card holders

View the Electronic Payment Card Enrollment Flyer for more information- English & Spanish

2. Do I destroy the old card as soon as I get a new one?

Not yet. The old card will remain active until September 9, 2020 so you can use any remaining balance. Any balance that remains after September 9 will be transferred to the new card on September 16, 2020.

3. I got a letter saying there is a change to the Electronic Payment Card but I didn’t get a new card, why not?

Cards were mailed to card holders that:

  • Received deposits in the past 36 months, or
  • Performed a transaction in the past 36 months and have an account balance of at least $100 on their card

If you didn’t receive a card you will receive paper checks after July 20, 2020. If you would like to sign up for the new card, you can do that on this website.

4. What do I do if I didn’t get my deposit on my card?

All EPPICard deposits will cease on July 20, 2020. After that date, all active card users will receive their deposits on their new Way2Go card. If you didn’t receive a new card, then your card could have been considered inactive and you should get a paper check on July 20, 2020, but your old card will still work until September 9.  For information on how to access funds on your old card, contact EPPIC customer service using the number on the back of the card.  If you have any questions, please call (866) 901-3212 to speak to the State Disbursement Unit.

5. I wanted to switch from check to a payment card, but I was told those requests aren’t processing right now.

As we transition from EPPICard to Way2Go we will temporarily stop processing all new EPC requests between June 22 to July 20, 2020. However, during this time you can sign up for Direct Deposit of your check. After this date you can request an EPC under the new Way2Go program.

6. I recently changed to Direct Deposit, why did I get a card?

If you changed to Direct Deposit after May 25, 2020, you will still receive a card, but that card can be destroyed. Your Direct Deposit was still processed. If you have any questions you can call (866) 901-3212 to speak to the State Disbursement Unit.

7. How do I create a PIN & activate my new Electronic Payment Card?

From the Way2Go Website & Mobile App

Step 1.) First, register your account at www.goprogram.com.

Step 2.) Then, go to Pin Management (under Services) to pin the card.

Please note, both steps will need to be completed for the card to be activated and ready for use. Also, the User ID is created upon registration. Some cardholders have incorrectly entered their Participant ID Number as their “User ID.” Please see the Steps Guide that provides information on the initial process and screenshots to assist with registering and creating a PIN for your new Electronic Payment Card.

From the Way2Go Generic Toll-Free Number

Step 1.) Enter your language selection and card number.

Step 2.) Then, enter Date of Birth, ZIP code, Participant ID, and CVC2 (the security number on the back of the card) to verify your identity.

Step 3.) Then, go to the PIN menu and select your PIN (it must be entered twice for confirmation).

If successful, you will hear a message saying “your card is now ready for use”. Also, please remember to press the correct * (star) response when prompted by the generic toll-free number.

 

8. How do I contact Electronic Payment Card Customer Service?

Call Way2Go Customer Service at 1-844-318-0740.

How to Access Your Customer Connect Account 

1. What is Customer Connect?

Customer Connect is California Child Support’s online self-service portal, where participants in a child support case can see information about their case, set up notifications, make and manage appointments with their caseworker and check payment information.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

2. How do I sign up for Customer Connect?

A. On the Customer Connect page of this website.

B. Or by phone through our automated service line at 1-866-901-3212.

  • You will need your Participant ID or Social Security number and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • If you don’t have a PIN, when asked if you are parent or guardian say “Yes”.
  • Enter your Social Security number or Participant ID number.
  • When asked for your PIN say “I don’t know it”
  • When asked if you want to reset your PIN, say “Yes”.
  • The system will send your new PIN to your email or mailing address.
  • For assistance, say “Agent” at any time during the call.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

Cases Managed by a Local Child Support Agency

1. Will the Local Child Support Agency automatically close my case when my child turns 18?

California child support orders are enforceable until a minor turns 18. However, if your child is still in high school, the order is enforceable until graduation from high school or when your child turns 19, whichever comes first.  In addition, the local child support agency will continue to enforce the court order until all arrears, or past-due support, are paid in full. For questions or additional information, please contact your local child support agency at (866) 901-3212 or visit childsupport.ca.gov/find-my-local-agency/.

Private (Non IV-D) Cases

1. How do I stop my wages from being garnished once my child emancipates?

You must obtain a Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) from the family court that has been signed and stamped by a judge.  If you are not represented by an attorney and you would like assistance with obtaining the termination order, you may contact your local Family Law Facilitator at www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-facilitators.htm

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

2. Why is child support still being garnished from my paycheck if my child is over 18 and no longer in high school?

An employer cannot stop wage withholding until a Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) is received. With a private  case, it is up to either case participant to obtain a Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) from the family court that has been signed and stamped by a judge and provide the Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) to the employer.  Prior to obtaining the Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) from the family court, the child must have reached the age of 18 and either has graduated from high school or has reached the age of 19, whichever comes first. Regardless, the courts may require proof to verify, such as the child’s birth certificate and/or diploma.

3. Can an Income Withholding Order (FL-195) be terminated over the telephone?

No, a Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) must be completed in person. Forms can be obtained from the family court and must be signed and stamped by a judge. Find your nearest Family Law Facilitator at www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-facilitators.htm.

4. How do I amend the existing Income Withholding Order (FL-195) if my financial circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford my current monthly obligation?

You must file a motion for modification of your current child support order with the Superior Court. Once a modified amount is ordered, you must obtain an Amended Income Withholding Order (FL-195) from the family court that has been signed and stamped by a judge and provide to your employer.  If you are not represented by an attorney and you would like assistance with amending your current order, you may contact your local child support agency at childsupport.ca.gov/find-my-local-agency/ or your county’s Family Law Facilitator at www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-facilitators.htm.

5. My oldest child has emancipated; however, I still owe child support for other children. How do I update my court order to reflect the change?

You must file a motion for modification of your current child support order with the Superior Court. Once a modified amount is ordered, you must obtain an Amended Income Withholding Order (FL-195), from the family court that has been signed and stamped by a judge and provide it to your employer.  If you are not represented by an attorney and you would like assistance with amending your current order, you may contact your local child support agency at childsupport.ca.gov/find-my-local-agency/ or your county Family Law Facilitator at https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-facilitators.htm.

6. How do I notify an employer of the Amended/Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195)?

Once the Amended/Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195) has been signed and stamped by the judge, the participant or their attorney may mail, fax, email or hand deliver a copy to the employer.  If the employer has any questions or requires verification of the order, they may contact the family court. Find your nearest family court at www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-facilitators.htm.

7. How do I notify the State Disbursement Unit of the Amended/Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195)?

There are three different ways to notify the State Disbursement Unit of your Terminated Income Withholding Order (FL-195).

Forms can be faxed to (888) 587-5471, emailed to casdu-electronichelpdesk@dcss.ca.gov, or mailed to:

California State Disbursement Unit

P.O. Box 980218

West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218

Customer Relations 

1. I am not getting my questions answered when I try to ask about my case. What can I do?

Visit our Customer Relations page for a full discussion of all of your options.

Watch our Quick Tip to learn more:

 

Click on button to get online case information.
Click on button to calculate child support.
Click on button to make a payment.
Click on button to apply for services.
Click on button to access frequently asked questions.