Employers play an active role in the child support enforcement program by withholding income to pay ordered child support, enrolling children in medical plans, and deducting premiums. Every employer can benefit from the information on this web site which includes:
In addition, please visit the California Department of Child Support Services online Employer Resource Center. If, after viewing this section, you have questions about health insurance assignments or wage withholding orders, please call our toll-free number for further information or you may submit your comments or questions to our office by simply completing our Online Employer Inquiry Form.
Notice of Assignment: 866-901-3212
The Family Support Act of 1988 requires that child support payments be withheld from a noncustodial parent’s paycheck from the time that the child support is ordered. The noncustodial parent's earnings will be withheld unless he/she can 1) show good cause why it should not be done or 2) has an alternate arrangement with our offices and the custodial parent. (Good cause and alternative arrangements concerning earning assignments are specified in California Family Code Section 5260).
The employer of the noncustodial parent/obligor is served with a court order or notice to withhold a specified amount of current support and back child support, with instructions to send the wages to our office for distribution. The assignment becomes effective as soon as possible, but not later than 10 days from the date you receive it. Once a wage assignment is served, the employer must honor it as long as the noncustodial parent remains employed with the employer. Earnings and income must be withheld from each payment and your check sent within 10 days.
If you willfully fail to withhold and forward support, you may be personally liable for the amount of support not withheld, and you may be held in contempt of court. You may, however, deduct up to $1.50 from the obligor’s earnings for each payment that you make.
California law forbids you from discharging an employee/obligor from employment, refusing to employ, or taking disciplinary action against any employee because of a child support withholding.
California Family Code Section 5260 requires that the employer cooperate with and provide relevant employment information to our offices for the purpose of enforcing, modifying, or establishing the support obligation. If the employee/independent contractor whose name appears on the assignment terminates his/her employment or business relationship, you must notify our office immediately so that proper action can be taken to relieve your obligation to deduct the payments. Please provide our office with the following information:
- Employee’s/Obligor’s Name
- Employee’s Case Identifier
- Last Known Home Address
- New Employer’s Address
- Date Of Separation
Amount to Withhold
Earnings for purposes of a wage assignment include: 1) wages, salary, bonuses, vacation pay, retirement pay, and commissions paid by an employer; 2) payments for services of independent contractors; 3) dividends, interest, rents, royalties, and residuals; 4) patent rights, and mineral or other natural resource rights; 5) any payments due as a result of written or oral contracts for services or sales, regardless of title; 6) payments due for workers' compensation temporary benefits, or payments from a disability or health insurance policy or program; and 7) any other payments or credits due regardless of source. You may be required to report and withhold from lump sum payments such as bonuses, commissions, or severance pay.
The wage assignment order has priority over any other withholding order against the employee/obligor. Federal tax levies in effect before receipt of this order have priority. If there are Federal tax levies in effect, please contact our office.
You may not withhold more than the lesser of: 1) the amounts allowed by the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)); or 2) the amounts allowed by the State of the employee/obligor's principal place of employment. The Federal limit applies to the aggregate disposable weekly earnings (ADWE). ADWE is the net income left after making mandatory deductions such as: State, Federal, local taxes; Social Security taxes; and Medicare taxes; along with disability insurance and payments to public employees' retirement systems. After the employee's disposable earnings are known, withhold the amount required by the wage assignment, but never withhold more than 50 percent of disposable earnings unless the court order specifies a higher percentage. Federal law prohibits withholding more than 65 percent of disposable earnings of an employee in any case.
Pay Date/Date of Withholding
You must report the pay date/date of withholding when sending a payment. This is the date on which the amount was withheld from the employee’s wages. If the employee/independent contractor is paid biweekly, you must withhold payment from the first two pay dates of each month; or, if paid weekly, the first four pay dates of each month.
Combined Payment for Multiple Assignments
If you have more than one assignment order from our office, you may combine withheld amounts from more than one employee’s income in a single payment. You must, however, separately identify the portion of the single payment that is attributable to each employee/obligor. Please include each employee’s Full Name, Member ID#, Social Security Number, and the Pay Date.
Combined Payment for an Employee with Multiple Withholdings
If an employee has more than one assignment order to our office, you may combine the withheld amounts pertaining to each order and write one single check -- no need to provide breakdown of each order. If you are unable to honor all wage assignments due to Federal or State withholding limits, you must follow the state law of the employee’s principal place of employment. You must honor all assignment orders to the greatest extent possible.
A health insurance coverage assignment is an administrative order that requires the noncustodial parent’s employer (or other person providing health insurance to the noncustodial parent) to enroll the child(ren) in the parent’s health insurance plan. The order also authorizes the employer to deduct the cost of the health care premiums from the noncustodial parent's earnings.
Copy Noncustodial Parent
The employer must deliver a copy of the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN), along with a written statement of the noncustodial parent’s rights and relevant procedures under the law to move to quash the order to the noncustodial parent within 10 days of receipt.
Determine Commencement: Date of Coverage
Employers must determine the earliest possible coverage commencement date by considering the following guidelines.
- If the employer has not received a notice of motion seeking to quash the order, then the employer must take steps to commence coverage no later than 30 days after receipt of the NMSN.
- If the employer has received a motion to quash, then the employer must hold the NMSN until receipt of the order resolving the motion to quash.
The employer must do the following:
- Notify our office of the commencement date of the coverage;
- Provide evidence of coverage and any information necessary for the child to obtain benefits through the coverage to both parents or the person having custody of the child and our office; and
- Upon request by the parents or person having custody, provide all forms and other documentation necessary for the purpose of submitting claims to the insurance carrier.
Disclosure of protected health information by a health plan is permitted under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) in response to a request for information by a IV-D agency pursuant to a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN). Please see OCSE PIQ-2004-03 for more information.
If the noncustodial parent has not enrolled in an available health plan, there is a choice of coverage and the court has not ordered coverage by a specific plan, the employer shall enroll the child in a plan that will provide reasonable benefits or coverage where the child resides. If that coverage is not available, the employer will return the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to our office within 20 days.
If the noncustodial parent has selected a health insurance plan prior to the issuance of a court order, the noncustodial parent’s selection will not be superseded unless the child will not be provided benefits or coverage where the child resides or the court order specifically directs other health coverage.
When Coverage is Not Available
When coverage is not available, the employer will return the NMSN to our office within 20 days of receipt.
Lapse of Coverage
The employer must notify our office if:
- There is lapse in coverage; and if so,
- The reason for the lapse, and
- If the lapse is temporary, provide date coverage is expected to resume.
The Department of Child Support Services now accepts Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) payments for your convenience. Sending child support payments electronically saves time and money because it:
- Eliminates the costs to employers of printing and handling paper checks and supporting documents;
- Eliminates the cost to employers of postage and postal delays due to lost or misdirected mail;
- Reduces data entry errors by state staff; and
- Speeds child support payments to children and families.
To learn more about EFT payments, please visit the State Disbursement Unit website at www.casdu.com
The Employer Verification form is necessary to assist us in determining employment status of a non-custodial parent by your company. As described in Family Code Section 17512, the employer or labor organization shall cooperate with and provide relevant employment, income and health insurance information to the Riverside County Department of Child Support Services for the purpose of establishing, modifying, or enforcing the support obligation. The employer or labor organization shall incur no liability for providing this information to the Riverside County Department of Child Support Services.
Click here to access the form online, print it, fill it out, and mail it to our office.
Click here to fill out the form online, print it and mail it to our office. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or newer to view and fill out this form.
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The California Child Support Automated Payment System will provide employers a safe and convenient way to submit child support withholding payments on behalf of their employees. Payments can be made using electronic funds transfer (EFT) submitted to a single physical location.
The State Disbursement Unit offers multiple methods to remit payments electronically, which are fast, simple and secure. For EFT/EDI payment processing, please contact the SDU at 1-866-901-3212.
When a party is receiving child support services offered through a county child support agency, the case is a IV-D case. A Non-IV-D case in comparison is when the parties are not obtaining services through a county child support agency and the custodial party or a representative acting on his or her behalf serves the employer with an income withholding order.
When processing a Non-IV-D Income Withholding Order, the employer should keep the original withholding form and send a copy to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU) by eFax to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to (916) 576-8881 or mail to the following address:
- California State Disbursement Unit
- P.O.Box 980218
- West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218
The SDU will provide a case number by return mail that the employer must include on all payments for the case.
Some employees may have more than one child support obligation and it is possible for an employee to have both a IV-D and Non-IV-D obligation, as well as withholding orders from other states. Employers whose employees have multiple withholding orders are advised to call (866) 901-3212 for assistance in calculating the amount to withhold.
Information on how the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) will benefit employers is available on the California Department of Child Support Services. To access this information, go to www.casdu.com. In addition, a new Employer Handbook is also available which provides detailed information on issues specific to employers.
All support payments made through income withholding for IV-D and Non-IV-D cases, should provide the case number and be mailed to the following address:
- State Disbursement Unit
- P.O. Box 989067
- West Sacramento, CA 95789