Dealing with Child Support Arrears and CSSD

Dealing with Child Support Arrears and CSSD

Child Support Services Department (CSSD) is often sought by the custodial parent to obtain and or enforce child support orders against the non-custodial parent. If the non-custodial parent has not been paying the child support order or has not sought modification of the child support order, then the child support accumulates as arrears and compounds with interest. Often the amount becomes sizable by the time the custodial parent involves CSSD in the enforcement of the child support. Consequences to this may involve suspension of driver's license and or suspension of US passport. Having child support arrears would also show up in the credit report and could result in tax refunds being intercepted by CSSD.

Rather than running away from the problem, it is important for the non-custodial parent to deal with the situation head-on. If you believe the child support arrear amount is incorrect, you can file a request for order (RFO) seeking a determination of arrears and an audit of the arrears. If you made payments towards child support which was not credited in the arrears, you can seek that you be given credit for these payments by presenting proof of payment. If your child was actually not with the custodial parent but instead was living with you during certain periods in which you were charged child support, you can seek that you be given credit for the months which your child has been living with you pursuant to the case Jackson v. Jackson 51 Cal. App. 3d 363. The rationale behind this is you are actually the one supporting the child during the time the child lives with you. If the custodial parent did not receive welfare benefits on behalf of the child, you may negotiate a compromise of the arrears with the custodial parent. You may also seek payment terms on the outstanding arrears.

In addition to the above, you may also want to seek a modification of the existing child support order if your income has gone down significantly since the time the current order was entered by the court. Child support arrears, if not dealt with, will continue to be an obligation even after your child has attained the age of majority. Child support arrears are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail or visit our website at

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