Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) from our customers. Before you contact our office, please refer to this list of FAQ’s as frequent phone calls and letters to our office that provide no new information can slow the child support process.

Opening A Case

Refer to the Opening a Case FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • Who is eligible for your services?
  • How do I apply for your services?
  • What is the cost of your services?
  • What sort of documentation or information will I need to open the case?
  • How long will it take to open a case?
  • Will you open a case for spousal support only?
  • My child(ren) and I are receiving CalWORKs benefits, but I did not apply for your services. Why was a case opened?
  • The noncustodial parent and I already have an agreement regarding child support. Why are you pursuing him/her?
  • If I discontinue from welfare, will you close your case?
  • How long before I start receiving child support payments?


Refer to the Locate FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • How do you locate the noncustodial parent?
  • What information are you looking for?


Refer to the Legal FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • I just received a Summons and Complaint; what does this mean?
  • I do not think I am the parent of the child(ren) listed on the Complaint. What do I do?
  • I disagree with the child support amount, or one of the terms set in the Proposed Judgment. What do I do?


Refer to the Enforcement FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • A child support order exists and an account is open, so where is my money?
  • How do I get the child support amount modified?
  • Your county has started collecting from my job by Wage Assignment, and now FTB has served an earnings withholding order at 50% - can I get this reduced?
  • I am paying for the same child(ren) in another county. I am already paying your office by Wage Assignment and the other county has served an FTB collection. I cannot afford both. What should I do?
  • I just received a "Demand for Payment" letter from the Franchise Tax Board asking me to pay off my entire balance within ten days; will they take my car and/or house, etc, if I cannot pay my balance off?
  • My bank account is frozen, how do I get it reinstated?
  • I just got a notice that my license will be revoked. How do I stop the process?
  • I just discontinued from CalWORKs, how do I get child support?
  • I know a payment was recently mailed out to me, but I haven't received it yet. What is the procedure for tracking the checks?
  • I am the custodial party. How do I close my case?


Refer to the Accounting FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • How is a payment distributed?
  • How long before you stop and reissue a check?
  • I have not received welfare for several years. You recently intercepted the absent parent's IRS tax refund. Why didn't I receive any of that money?
  • I disagree with the audit that was done on my case. What can I do?
  • How are interest charges determined? What can I do to avoid interest charges?
  • My credit report shows inaccurate information. How do I get this corrected?
  • Where does my payment go when my child already receives welfare benefits?
  • A child support case was recently opened, but the custodial party reports a different arrears balance than the noncustodial parent. Whose balance is used?

Ombudsperson/Complaint Resolution

Refer to the Ombudsperson/Complaint Resolution FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • What is an Ombudsperson?
  • Who can an Ombudsperson assist?
  • Can the Ombudsperson give legal advice?
  • Who should I call first, my case worker or the Ombudsperson?
  • I disagree with the court order. Can the Ombudsperson change it?
  • I want to speak to someone about the service I received when I contacted the Child Support office. What should I do?
  • Who can file a complaint?
  • What information is needed in order to file a complaint?
  • How long do I have to file a complaint?
  • How long will it take to have my complaint resolved?
  • What if I'm not satisfied with the response from the local child support agency?
  • How long do I have to request a State Hearing?
  • What information will be needed for a State Hearing?
  • Can the Ombudsperson represent me at the State Hearing?
  • I disagree with the amount of child support the court ordered. Can the State Hearing change the order?
  • What issues are subject to a State Hearing?
  • What issues cannot be heard at a State Hearing?

Out of State Cases

Refer to the Out of State Cases FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • Can you collect child support obligations when the noncustodial parent lives in another state?
  • Can you collect child support obligations when the noncustodial parent lives in another country?
  • Why does it take so long for my case to proceed?
  • What is Registration of Foreign Order and why is it necessary?
  • Why does my order have to be registered out of state?
  • Why can't Shasta County enforce my child support order?