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Who Is Child Support Paid To?

Who child support is paid to depends on whether the recipient of child support is receiving public assistance or not. If a parent is not receiving public assistance, then the matter is controlled by California Family Code section 4201 which stated that: “In any proceeding where a court makes or has made an order requiring the payment of child support to the person having custody of a child for whom support may be ordered, the court may do either or both of the following:

  • Direct that the payments shall be made to the county officer designated by the court for that purpose. Once the State Disbursement Unit is implemented pursuant to Section 17309, all payments shall be directed to the State Disbursement Unit instead of the county officer designated by the court.
  • Direct the local child support agency to appear on behalf of the minor children in any proceeding to enforce the order.”

If a wage assignment has been submitted, the child support payment will be automatically deducted from their wages. If there is no wage assignment, child support should be paid directly to the other parent. Child support should only be paid by check. If a parent pays with cash, the Court could interpret that cash payment as a gift rather than an actual support payment. In addition, paying by check will also create a paper trail in event that there is ever a dispute as to how much was paid.

If a parent is receiving public assistance, then the matter is controlled by California Family Code section 4200 which states that “In any proceeding where a court makes or has made an order requiring the payment of child support to a parent receiving welfare moneys for the maintenance of children for whom support may be ordered, the court shall do both of the following:

  • Direct that the payments of support shall be made to the county officer designated by the court for that purpose. Once the State Disbursement Unit is implemented pursuant to Section 17309, all payments shall be directed to the State Disbursement Unit instead of the county officer designated by the court.
  • Direct the local child support agency to appear on behalf of the welfare recipient in any proceeding to enforce the order.”

If the parent is receiving aid, then the local child support services office will prepare and serve a wage assignment on your employer. If you are either self employed or unemployed, payments shall be made directly to the State Disbursement Unit. Payments can be made either by check or by credit card online.

No payments should be made to the other parent as you will NOT receive credit for that payment as that parent (by receiving public assistance) has assigned their rights to collect child support to the state. The recipient of public assistance may receive any overage once the funds to the state have been repaid.

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