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California bill to collect unpaid child support moves forward

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2018 | Divorce |

If a California couple decides to divorce and they had children, it is common for one parent to have custody while the other parent pays child support. A common problem, however, is if the supporting parent does not pay what he or she is supposed to. The state often struggles to collect on these delinquent payments. Strategies to compel parents to pay frequently fall short. A new bill that just passed the first house seeks to change the way past due child support is collected.

With the proposal, insurance payments will be intercepted to pay past due claims for child support. The goal is for the law — the Insurance Payment Intercept Program — to get insurers to take part in linking a person who has fallen behind on child support payments to any claim made to the insurance company. If successfully passed, the custodial parents will get a large chunk of what they are owed.

Since child support is so imperative to a family making ends meet, the failure to make the payments when they are due and in full can be problematic. In the state, $18 billion is owed in unpaid child support. There was a voluntary program that was implemented in 2002 where insurance companies had the right to take part in the matching template to find those who were not paying their child support. There was limited participation and for 2016-2017, just short of $4 million was recovered.

Should the new law pass, it will drastically change how child support is collected should the obligor not make the payments. Currently, however, there are many parents who are not paying what they owe and custodial parents who are waiting and hoping to get the past due amounts. This can be an issue for both parties. When there is a dispute over child support, it could be possible to have the order changed to suit the parties’ current financial situation.


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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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