California Child Support

Child Support laws are complicated. What is even more complicated, is that they are all different based on your state and even your county. This page will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding child support in California. For all other questions, visit our general FAQ page.

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. 

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 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 [email protected], or mailed to: 

California State Disbursement Unit 

P.O. Box 980218 

West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218 

State Systems Do Not Manage Additional Expenses

Medical, Education, Child Care or Extracurricular Activities are not tracked or managed by the state systems

Did you know that state systems only manage base child support payments and do not provide a way for parents to manage expenses and make payments for additional child expenses such as medical, education, child care or any other child-related expenses? Even with base child support payments many systems do not provide notifications or have a way to get a complete report of the details associated with payments they have managed.

Even if you are paying or receiving child support payments, you need an additional solution to manage, track and pay all your child expenses. SupportPay was built to help parents manage these expenses while working with state payment systems.