If you have a current support order that is too low or too high or owe a balance so high it seems like you'll never pay it off, there are often options!
The best place to start is to call child support and speak with someone!
Review and Adjustment (RAA)
A review of ongoing child support, also called a modification, may be requested with any significant change of circumstances or if the order is three years old. If you're not sure if RAA is right for you, we encourage you to check out the public version of the guideline calculator at https://www.cse.ca.gov/ChildSupport/cse/guidelineCalculator. You may request the child support agency handle the review and adjustment for you, or you can file the request on your own. The child support agency can
Obtain both parties income information.
Generate a guideline calculation.
Negotiate between the parties the best support for the family and prepare a legal agreement, or
Prepare the court paperwork and secure a court date for a modification hearing.
If you owe a back support balance in California, interest accrues at 10% per year on the unpaid principle. The only way to stop interest charges is to pay off principle balance. To see how different monthly payments toward the amount owed will affect the total paid over time and the length of time to pay off the balance, see the online arrears calculator .
Case Example: Outstanding Principle: $5000
Outstanding Interest: $1250
Total Balance: $6250
Monthly Payments = $500
Months to Liquidate = 13
Total Applied to Interest = $1475
Total Payments = $6475 OR
Payoff in 12 Months
Monthly Payment = $542.54
Total Applied to Interest = $1462.23
Total Payments = $6462.23
Compromise of Arrears (COAP)
If you owe back support to the state of more than $500 and cannot pay off your account within the next 3 years, you may qualify to have a portion of the owed balance forgiven with regular or lump-sum payment. Contact your LCSA to find out if you qualify to have an application sent to you.