Child Support and Spousal Support Arrears in California

In California, child support arrears refer to past due payments of court-ordered child support. When a parent fails to make these payments on time, they accumulate arrears, which can have legal consequences. Here are some key points related to child support arrears in California:

1. **Enforcement:** The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) has various enforcement tools to collect past due child support, including wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses, and placing liens on property.

2. **Interest:** Unpaid child support in California typically accrues interest at a rate of 10% per year. This means that arrears can grow significantly over time if left unpaid.

3. **Modification:** If a parent is struggling to pay child support due to a change in circumstances, such as a job loss or medical emergency, they can request a modification of the child support order. It’s important to seek a modification rather than simply falling behind on payments.

4. **Legal Consequences:** Failure to pay child support in California can result in various legal consequences, such as contempt of court charges, fines, and even imprisonment in extreme cases.

5. **Payment Plans:** In some cases, the DCSS may work with the parent who owes child support to establish a payment plan to gradually pay off the arrears. If you are dealing with child support arrears in California, it is advisable to contact the California Department of Child Support Services or consult with a family law attorney for guidance on how to address the situation and avoid further legal complications.