Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 9. SUPPORT [3500 - 5700.905]

  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. CHILD SUPPORT [3900 - 4253]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 2. Court-Ordered Child Support [4000 - 4253]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [4000 - 4014]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

4000.
  

If a parent has the duty to provide for the support of the parent’s child and willfully fails to so provide, the other parent, or the child by a guardian ad litem, may bring an action against the parent to enforce the duty.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4001.
  

In any proceeding where there is at issue the support of a minor child or a child for whom support is authorized under Section 3901 or 3910, the court may order either or both parents to pay an amount necessary for the support of the child.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4002.
  

(a) The county may proceed on behalf of a child to enforce the child’s right of support against a parent.

(b) If the county furnishes support to a child, the county has the same right as the child to secure reimbursement and obtain continuing support. The right of the county to reimbursement is subject to any limitation otherwise imposed by the law of this state.

(c) The court may order the parent to pay the county reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs in a proceeding brought by the county pursuant to this section.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4003.
  

In any case in which the support of a child is at issue, the court may, upon a showing of good cause, order a separate trial on that issue. The separate trial shall be given preference over other civil cases, except matters to which special precedence may be given by law, for assigning a trial date. If the court has also ordered a separate trial on the issue of custody pursuant to Section 3023, the two issues shall be tried together.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 133. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4004.
  

In a proceeding where there is at issue the support of a child, the court shall require the parties to reveal whether a party is currently receiving, or intends to apply for, public assistance under the Family Economic Security Act of 1982 (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) for the maintenance of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 134. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4005.
  

At the request of either party, the court shall make appropriate findings with respect to the circumstances on which the order for support of a child is based.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1269, Sec. 47. Effective January 1, 1995.)

4006.
  

In a proceeding for child support under this code, including, but not limited to, Division 17 (commencing with Section 17000), the court shall consider the health insurance coverage, if any, of the parties to the proceeding.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 808, Sec. 33. Effective September 28, 2000.)

4007.
  

(a) If a court orders a person to make specified payments for support of a child during the child’s minority, or until the child is married or otherwise emancipated, or until the death of, or the occurrence of a specified event as to, a child for whom support is authorized under Section 3901 or 3910, the obligation of the person ordered to pay support terminates on the happening of the contingency. The court may, in the original order for support, order the custodial parent or other person to whom payments are to be made to notify the person ordered to make the payments, or the person’s attorney of record, of the happening of the contingency.

(b) If the custodial parent or other person having physical custody of the child, to whom payments are to be made, fails to notify the person ordered to make the payments, or the attorney of record of the person ordered to make the payments, of the happening of the contingency and continues to accept support payments, the person shall refund all moneys received that accrued after the happening of the contingency, except that the overpayments shall first be applied to any support payments that are then in default.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4007.5.
  

(a) Every money judgment or order for support of a child shall be suspended, by operation of law, for any period exceeding 90 consecutive days in which the person ordered to pay support is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized, unless either of the following conditions exist:

(1) The person owing support has the means to pay support while incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.

(2) The person owing support was incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized for an offense constituting domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, against the supported party or supported child, or for an offense that could be enjoined by a protective order pursuant to Section 6320, or as a result of the person’s failure to comply with a court order to pay child support.

(b) The child support obligation shall resume on the first day of the first full month after the release of the person owing support in the amount previously ordered, and that amount is presumed to be appropriate under federal and state law.  This section does not preclude a person owing support from seeking a modification of the child support order pursuant to Section 3651, based on a change in circumstances or any other appropriate reason.

(c) (1) A local child support agency enforcing a child support order under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) may, upon written notice of the proposed adjustment to the support obligor and obligee along with a blank form provided for the support obligor or obligee to object to the administrative adjustment to the local child support agency, administratively adjust account balances for a money judgment or order for support of a child suspended pursuant to subdivision (a) if all of the following occurs:

(A) The agency verifies that arrears and interest were accrued in violation of this section.

(B) The agency verifies that neither of the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) exist.

(C) Neither the support obligor nor obligee objects, within 30 days of receipt of the notice of proposed adjustment, whether in writing or by telephone, to the administrative adjustment by the local child support agency.

(2) If either the support obligor or obligee objects to the administrative adjustment set forth in this subdivision, the agency shall not adjust the order, but shall file a motion with the court to seek to adjust the arrears and shall serve copies of the motion on the parties, who may file an objection to the agency’s motion with the court.  The obligor’s arrears shall not be adjusted unless the court approves the adjustment.

(3) The agency may perform this adjustment without regard to whether it was enforcing the child support order at the time the parent owing support qualified for relief under this section.

(d) This section does not prohibit the local child support agency or a party from petitioning a court for a determination of child support or arrears amounts.

(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized” includes, but is not limited to, involuntary confinement to the state prison, a county jail, a juvenile facility operated by the Division of Juvenile Facilities in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or a mental health facility.

(2) “Suspend” means that the payment due on the current child support order, an arrears payment on a preexisting arrears balance, or interest on arrears created during a qualifying period of incarceration pursuant to this section is, by operation of law, set to zero dollars ($0) for the period in which the person owing support is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.

(f) This section applies to every money judgment or child support order issued or modified on or after the enactment of this section.

(g) The Department of Child Support Services shall, by January 1, 2022, and in consultation with the Judicial Council, develop forms to implement this section.

(h) On or before January 1, 2022, the Department of Child Support Services and the Judicial Council shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the administrative adjustment process authorized by this section and shall report the results of the review, as well as any recommended changes, to the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The evaluation shall include a review of the ease of the process to both the obligor and obligee, as well as an analysis of the number of cases administratively adjusted, the number of cases adjusted in court, and the number of cases not adjusted.

(i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 217, Sec. 2. (AB 2325) Effective January 1, 2021. Repealed as of January 1, 2023, by its own provisions.)

4008.
  

The community property, the quasi-community property, and the separate property may be subjected to the support of the children in the proportions the court determines are just.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4009.
  

An original order for child support may be made retroactive to the date of filing the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading. If the parent ordered to pay support was not served with the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading within 90 days after filing and the court finds that the parent was not intentionally evading service, the child support order shall be effective no earlier than the date of service.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 305, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

4010.
  

In a proceeding in which the court orders a payment for the support of a child, the court shall, at the time of providing written notice of the order, provide the parties with a document describing the procedures by which the order may be modified.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 136. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4011.
  

Payment of child support ordered by the court shall be made by the person owing the support payment before payment of any debts owed to creditors.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4012.
  

Upon a showing of good cause, the court may order a parent required to make a payment of child support to give reasonable security for the payment.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4013.
  

If obligations for support of a child are discharged in bankruptcy, the court may make all proper orders for the support of the child that the court determines are just.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

4014.
  

(a) An order for child support issued or modified pursuant to this chapter shall include a provision requiring the obligor and child support obligee to notify the other parent or, if the order requires payment through an agency designated under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.), the agency named in the order, of the name and address of the person’s current employer.

(b) The requirements set forth in this subdivision apply only in cases when the local child support agency is not providing child support services pursuant to Section 17400. To the extent required by federal law, and subject to applicable confidentiality provisions of state or federal law, a judgment for paternity and an order for child support entered or modified pursuant to any law shall include a provision requiring the child support obligor and obligee to file with the court all of the following information:

(1) Residential and mailing address.

(2) Social security number, individual taxpayer identification number, or other uniform identification number.

(3) Telephone number.

(4) Driver’s license number or identification card number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(5) Name, address, and telephone number of the employer.

(6) Any other information prescribed by the Judicial Council.

The judgment or order shall specify that each parent is responsible for providing the parent’s own information, that the information must be filed with the court within 10 days of the court order, and that new or different information must be filed with the court within 10 days after any event causing a change in the previously provided information.

(c) The requirements set forth in this subdivision shall only apply in cases in which the local child support agency is not providing child support services pursuant to Section 17400. Once the child support registry, as described in Section 17391 is operational, a judgment for parentage and an order for child support entered or modified pursuant to any law shall include a provision requiring the child support obligor and obligee to file and keep updated the information specified in subdivision (b) with the child support registry.

(d) The Judicial Council shall develop forms to implement this section. The forms shall be developed so as not to delay the implementation of the Statewide Child Support Registry described in Section 17391 and shall be available no later than 30 days prior to the implementation of the Statewide Child Support Registry.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 43. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)


ARTICLE 2. Statewide Uniform Guideline [4050 - 4076]
  ( Article 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. )

4050.
  

In adopting the statewide uniform guideline provided in this article, it is the intention of the Legislature to ensure that this state remains in compliance with federal regulations for child support guidelines.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4052.
  

The court shall adhere to the statewide uniform guideline and may depart from the guideline only in the special circumstances set forth in this article.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4052.5.
  

(a) The statewide uniform guideline, as required by federal regulations, shall apply in any case in which a child has more than two parents. The court shall apply the guideline by dividing child support obligations among the parents based on income and amount of time spent with the child by each parent, pursuant to Section 4053.

(b) Consistent with federal regulations, after calculating the amount of support owed by each parent under the guideline, the presumption that the guideline amount of support is correct may be rebutted if the court finds that the application of the guideline in that case would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstances, pursuant to Section 4057. If the court makes that finding, the court shall divide child support obligations among the parents in a manner that is just and appropriate based on income and amount of time spent with the child by each parent, applying the principles set forth in Section 4053 and this article.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require reprogramming of the California Child Support Enforcement System, a change to the statewide uniform guideline for determining child support set forth in Section 4055, or a revision by the Department of Child Support Services of its regulations, policies, procedures, forms, or training materials.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 474, Sec. 9. (AB 2882) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4053.
  

In implementing the statewide uniform guideline, the courts shall adhere to the following principles:

(a) A parent’s first and principal obligation is to support the parent’s minor children according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life.

(b) Both parents are mutually responsible for the support of their children.

(c) The guideline takes into account each parent’s actual income and level of responsibility for the children.

(d) Each parent should pay for the support of the children according to the parent’s ability.

(e) The guideline seeks to place the interests of children as the state’s top priority.

(f) Children should share in the standard of living of both parents. Child support may therefore appropriately improve the standard of living of the custodial household to improve the lives of the children.

(g) Child support orders in cases in which both parents have high levels of responsibility for the children should reflect the increased costs of raising the children in two homes and should minimize significant disparities in the children’s living standards in the two homes.

(h) The financial needs of the children should be met through private financial resources as much as possible.

(i) It is presumed that a parent having primary physical responsibility for the children contributes a significant portion of available resources for the support of the children.

(j) The guideline seeks to encourage fair and efficient settlements of conflicts between parents and seeks to minimize the need for litigation.

(k) The guideline is intended to be presumptively correct in all cases, and only under special circumstances should child support orders fall below the child support mandated by the guideline formula.

(l) Child support orders shall ensure that children actually receive fair, timely, and sufficient support reflecting the state’s high standard of living and high costs of raising children compared to other states.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 44. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

4054.
  

(a) The Judicial Council shall periodically review the statewide uniform guideline to recommend to the Legislature appropriate revisions.

(b) The review shall include economic data on the cost of raising children and analysis of case data, gathered through sampling or other methods, on the actual application of the guideline after the guideline’s operative date. The review shall also include an analysis of guidelines and studies from other states, and other research and studies available to or undertaken by the Judicial Council.

(c) Any recommendations for revisions to the guideline shall be made to ensure that the guideline results in appropriate child support orders, to limit deviations from the guideline, or otherwise to help ensure that the guideline is in compliance with federal law.

(d) The Judicial Council may also review and report on other matters, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The treatment of the income of a subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner.

(2) The treatment of children from prior or subsequent relationships.

(3) The application of the guideline in a case where a payer parent has extraordinarily low or extraordinarily high income, or where each parent has primary physical custody of one or more of the children of the marriage.

(4) The benefits and limitations of a uniform statewide spousal support guideline and the interrelationship of that guideline with the state child support guideline.

(5) Whether the use of gross or net income in the guideline is preferable.

(6) Whether the guideline affects child custody litigation or the efficiency of the judicial process.

(7) Whether the various assumptions used in computer software used by some courts to calculate child support comport with state law and should be made available to parties and counsel.

(e) The initial review by the Judicial Council shall be submitted to the Legislature and to the Department of Child Support Services on or before December 31, 1993, and subsequent reviews shall occur at least every four years thereafter unless federal law requires a different interval.

(f) In developing its recommendations, the Judicial Council shall consult with a broad cross-section of groups involved in child support issues, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Custodial and noncustodial parents.

(2) Representatives of established women’s rights and fathers’ rights groups.

(3) Representatives of established organizations that advocate for the economic well-being of children.

(4) Members of the judiciary, district attorney’s offices, the Attorney General’s office, and the Department of Child Support Services.

(5) Certified family law specialists.

(6) Academicians specializing in family law.

(7) Persons representing low-income parents.

(8) Persons representing recipients of assistance under the CalWORKs program seeking child support services.

(g) In developing its recommendations, the Judicial Council shall seek public comment and shall be guided by the legislative intent that children share in the standard of living of both of their parents.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 927, Sec. 2.5. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4055.
  

(a) The statewide uniform guideline for determining child support orders is as follows: CS = K[HN - (H%)(TN)].

(b) (1) The components of the formula are as follows:

(A) CS = child support amount.

(B) K = amount of both parents’ income to be allocated for child support as set forth in paragraph (3).

(C) HN = high earner’s net monthly disposable income.

(D) H% = approximate percentage of time that the high earner has or will have primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent. In cases in which parents have different time-sharing arrangements for different children, H% equals the average of the approximate percentages of time the high earner parent spends with each child.

(E) TN = total net monthly disposable income of both parties.

(2) To compute net disposable income, see Section 4059.

(3) K (amount of both parents’ income allocated for child support) equals one plus H% (if H% is less than or equal to 50 percent) or two minus H% (if H% is greater than 50 percent) times the following fraction:

Total Net Disposable
Income Per Month

K

$0–800

0.20 + TN/16,000

$801–6,666

0.25

$6,667–10,000

0.10 + 1,000/TN

Over $10,000

0.12 + 800/TN

For example, if H% equals 20 percent and the total monthly net disposable income of the parents is $1,000, K = (1 + 0.20) × 0.25, or 0.30. If H% equals 80 percent and the total monthly net disposable income of the parents is $1,000, K = (2 - 0.80) × 0.25, or 0.30.

(4) For more than one child, multiply CS by:

 2 children

1.6

 3 children

2

 4 children

2.3

 5 children

2.5

 6 children

2.625

 7 children

2.75

 8 children

2.813

 9 children

2.844

10 children

2.86

(5) If the amount calculated under the formula results in a positive number, the higher earner shall pay that amount to the lower earner. If the amount calculated under the formula results in a negative number, the lower earner shall pay the absolute value of that amount to the higher earner.

(6) In any default proceeding where proof is by affidavit pursuant to Section 2336, or in any proceeding for child support in which a party fails to appear after being duly noticed, H% shall be set at zero in the formula if the noncustodial parent is the higher earner or at 100 if the custodial parent is the higher earner, where there is no evidence presented demonstrating the percentage of time that the noncustodial parent has primary physical responsibility for the children. H% shall not be set as described in paragraph (3) if the moving party in a default proceeding is the noncustodial parent or if the party who fails to appear after being duly noticed is the custodial parent. A statement by the party who is not in default as to the percentage of time that the noncustodial parent has primary physical responsibility for the children shall be deemed sufficient evidence.

(7) In all cases in which the net disposable income per month of the obligor is less than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases, there is a rebuttable presumption that the obligor is entitled to a low-income adjustment. The Judicial Council shall annually determine the amount of the net disposable income adjustment based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Statistics and Research. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence showing that the application of the low-income adjustment would be unjust and inappropriate in the particular case. In determining whether the presumption is rebutted, the court shall consider the principles provided in Section 4053, and the impact of the contemplated adjustment on the respective net incomes of the obligor and the obligee. The low-income adjustment shall reduce the child support amount otherwise determined under this section by an amount that is no greater than the amount calculated by multiplying the child support amount otherwise determined under this section by a fraction, the numerator of which is 1,500, adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases, minus the obligor’s net disposable income per month, and the denominator of which is 1,500, adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases.

(8) Unless the court orders otherwise, the order for child support shall allocate the support amount so that the amount of support for the youngest child is the amount of support for one child, and the amount for the next youngest child is the difference between that amount and the amount for two children, with similar allocations for additional children. However, this paragraph does not apply to cases in which there are different time-sharing arrangements for different children or where the court determines that the allocation would be inappropriate in the particular case.

(c) If a court uses a computer to calculate the child support order, the computer program shall not automatically default affirmatively or negatively on whether a low-income adjustment is to be applied. If the low-income adjustment is applied, the computer program shall not provide the amount of the low-income adjustment. Instead, the computer program shall ask the user whether or not to apply the low-income adjustment, and if answered affirmatively, the computer program shall provide the range of the adjustment permitted by paragraph (7) of subdivision (b).

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 730, Sec. 1) by Stats. 2020, Ch. 36, Sec. 28. (AB 3364) Effective January 1, 2021.)

4056.
  

(a) To comply with federal law, the court shall state, in writing or on the record, the following information whenever the court is ordering an amount for support that differs from the statewide uniform guideline formula amount under this article:

(1) The amount of support that would have been ordered under the guideline formula.

(2) The reasons the amount of support ordered differs from the guideline formula amount.

(3) The reasons the amount of support ordered is consistent with the best interests of the children.

(b) At the request of any party, the court shall state in writing or on the record the following information used in determining the guideline amount under this article:

(1) The net monthly disposable income of each parent.

(2) The actual federal income tax filing status of each parent (for example, single, married, married filing separately, or head of household and number of exemptions).

(3) Deductions from gross income for each parent.

(4) The approximate percentage of time pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 4055 that each parent has primary physical responsibility for the children compared to the other parent.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138) by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1156, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4057.
  

(a) The amount of child support established by the formula provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4055 is presumed to be the correct amount of child support to be ordered.

(b) The presumption of subdivision (a) is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof and may be rebutted by admissible evidence showing that application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate in the particular case, consistent with the principles set forth in Section 4053, because one or more of the following factors is found to be applicable by a preponderance of the evidence, and the court states in writing or on the record the information required in subdivision (a) of Section 4056:

(1) The parties have stipulated to a different amount of child support under subdivision (a) of Section 4065.

(2) The sale of the family residence is deferred pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 3800) of Part 1 and the rental value of the family residence where the children reside exceeds the mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. The amount of any adjustment pursuant to this paragraph shall not be greater than the excess amount.

(3) The parent being ordered to pay child support has an extraordinarily high income and the amount determined under the formula would exceed the needs of the children.

(4) A party is not contributing to the needs of the children at a level commensurate with that party’s custodial time.

(5) Application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate due to special circumstances in the particular case. These special circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Cases in which the parents have different time-sharing arrangements for different children.

(B) Cases in which both parents have substantially equal time-sharing of the children and one parent has a much lower or higher percentage of income used for housing than the other parent.

(C) Cases in which the children have special medical or other needs that could require child support that would be greater than the formula amount.

(D) Cases in which a child is found to have more than two parents.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 564, Sec. 4. (SB 274) Effective January 1, 2014.)

4057.5.
  

(a) (1) The income of the obligor parent’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner shall not be considered when determining or modifying child support, except in an extraordinary case where excluding that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child subject to the child support award, in which case the court shall also consider whether including that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child supported by the obligor or by the obligor’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner.

(2) The income of the obligee parent’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner shall not be considered when determining or modifying child support, except in an extraordinary case where excluding that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child subject to the child support award, in which case the court shall also consider whether including that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child supported by the obligee or by the obligee’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner.

(b) For purposes of this section, an extraordinary case may include a parent who voluntarily or intentionally quits work or reduces income, or who intentionally remains unemployed or underemployed and relies on a subsequent spouse’s income.

(c) If any portion of the income of either parent’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner is allowed to be considered pursuant to this section, discovery for the purposes of determining income shall be based on W2 and 1099 income tax forms, except where the court determines that application would be unjust or inappropriate.

(d) If any portion of the income of either parent’s subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner is allowed to be considered pursuant to this section, the court shall allow a hardship deduction based on the minimum living expenses for one or more stepchildren of the party subject to the order.

(e) The enactment of this section constitutes cause to bring an action for modification of a child support order entered prior to the operative date of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1269, Sec. 47.5. Effective January 1, 1995.)

4058.
  

(a) The annual gross income of each parent means income from whatever source derived, except as specified in subdivision (c) and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Income such as commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support actually received from a person not a party to the proceeding to establish a child support order under this article.

(2) Income from the proprietorship of a business, such as gross receipts from the business reduced by expenditures required for the operation of the business.

(3) In the discretion of the court, employee benefits or self-employment benefits, taking into consideration the benefit to the employee, any corresponding reduction in living expenses, and other relevant facts.

(b) The court may, in its discretion, consider the earning capacity of a parent in lieu of the parent’s income, consistent with the best interests of the children, taking into consideration the overall welfare and developmental needs of the children, and the time that parent spends with the children.

(c) Annual gross income does not include any income derived from child support payments actually received, and income derived from any public assistance program, eligibility for which is based on a determination of need. Child support received by a party for children from another relationship shall not be included as part of that party’s gross or net income.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 178, Sec. 1. (AB 2780) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4059.
  

The annual net disposable income of each parent shall be computed by deducting from the parent’s annual gross income the actual amounts attributable to the following items or other items permitted under this article:

(a) The state and federal income tax liability resulting from the parties’ taxable income. Federal and state income tax deductions shall bear an accurate relationship to the tax status of the parties (that is, single, married, married filing separately, or head of household) and number of dependents. State and federal income taxes shall be those actually payable (not necessarily current withholding) after considering appropriate filing status, all available exclusions, deductions, and credits. Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, the tax effects of spousal support shall not be considered in determining the net disposable income of the parties for determining child support, but shall be considered in determining spousal support consistent with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 4330) of Part 3.

(b) Deductions attributed to the employee’s contribution or the self-employed worker’s contribution pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), or an amount not to exceed that allowed under FICA for persons not subject to FICA, provided that the deducted amount is used to secure retirement or disability benefits for the parent.

(c) Deductions for mandatory union dues and retirement benefits, provided that they are required as a condition of employment.

(d) Deductions for health insurance or health plan premiums for the parent and for any children the parent has an obligation to support and deductions for state disability insurance premiums.

(e) Any child or spousal support actually being paid by the parent pursuant to a court order, to or for the benefit of a person who is not a subject of the order to be established by the court. In the absence of a court order, child support actually being paid, not to exceed the amount established by the guideline, for natural or adopted children of the parent not residing in that parent’s home, who are not the subject of the order to be established by the court, and of whom the parent has a duty of support. Unless the parent proves payment of the support, a deduction shall not be allowed under this subdivision.

(f) Job-related expenses, if allowed by the court after consideration of whether the expenses are necessary, the benefit to the employee, and any other relevant facts.

(g) A deduction for hardship, as defined by Sections 4070 to 4073, inclusive, and applicable published appellate court decisions. The amount of the hardship shall not be deducted from the amount of child support, but shall be deducted from the income of the party to whom it applies. In applying any hardship under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4071, the court shall seek to provide equity between competing child support orders. The Judicial Council shall develop a formula for calculating the maximum hardship deduction and shall submit it to the Legislature for its consideration on or before July 1, 1995.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 45. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

4060.
  

The monthly net disposable income shall be computed by dividing the annual net disposable income by 12. If the monthly net disposable income figure does not accurately reflect the actual or prospective earnings of the parties at the time the determination of support is made, the court may adjust the amount appropriately.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4061.
  

The amounts in Section 4062 shall be considered additional support for the children and shall be computed in accordance with the following:

(a) If there needs to be an apportionment of expenses pursuant to Section 4062, the expenses shall be divided one-half to each parent, unless either parent requests a different apportionment pursuant to subdivision (b) and presents documentation which demonstrates that a different apportionment would be more appropriate.

(b) If requested by either parent, and the court determines it is appropriate to apportion expenses under Section 4062 other than one-half to each parent, the apportionment shall be as follows:

(1) The basic child support obligation shall first be computed using the formula set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 4055, as adjusted for any appropriate rebuttal factors in subdivision (b) of Section 4057.

(2) Any additional child support required for expenses pursuant to Section 4062 shall thereafter be ordered to be paid by the parents in proportion to their net disposable incomes as adjusted pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d).

(c) In cases where spousal support is or has been ordered to be paid by one parent to the other, for purposes of allocating additional expenses pursuant to Section 4062, the gross income of the parent paying spousal support shall be decreased by the amount of the spousal support paid and the gross income of the parent receiving the spousal support shall be increased by the amount of the spousal support received for as long as the spousal support order is in effect and is paid.

(d) For purposes of computing the adjusted net disposable income of the parent paying child support for allocating any additional expenses pursuant to Section 4062, the net disposable income of the parent paying child support shall be reduced by the amount of any basic child support ordered to be paid under subdivision (a) of Section 4055. However, the net disposable income of the parent receiving child support shall not be increased by any amount of child support received.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 103, Sec. 2. (SB 580) Effective January 1, 2011.)

4062.
  

(a) The court shall order the following as additional child support:

(1) Child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills.

(2) The reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children as provided in Section 4063.

(b) The court may order the following as additional child support:

(1) Costs related to the educational or other special needs of the children.

(2) Travel expenses for visitation.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 466, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)

4063.
  

(a) When making an order pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4062, the court shall:

(1) Advise each parent, in writing or on the record, of the parent’s rights and liabilities, including financial responsibilities.

(2) Include in its order the time period for a parent to reimburse the other parent for the reimbursing parent’s share of the reasonable additional child support costs subject to the requirements of this section.

(b) Unless there has been an assignment of rights pursuant to Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, when either parent accrues or pays costs pursuant to an order under this section, that parent shall provide the other parent with an itemized statement of the costs within a reasonable time, but not more than 30 days after accruing the costs. These costs shall then be paid as follows:

(1) If a parent has already paid all of these costs, that parent shall provide proof of payment and a request for reimbursement of that parent’s court-ordered share to the other parent.

(2) If a parent has paid the parent’s court-ordered share of the costs only, that parent shall provide proof of payment to the other parent, request the other parent to pay the remainder of the costs directly to the provider, and provide the reimbursing parent with any necessary information about how to make the payment to the provider.

(3) The other parent shall make the reimbursement or pay the remaining costs within the time period specified by the court, or, if no period is specified, within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 days from notification of the amount due, or according to any payment schedule set by the health care provider for either parent unless the parties agree in writing to another payment schedule or the court finds good cause for setting another payment schedule.

(4) If the reimbursing parent disputes a request for payment, that parent shall pay the requested amount and thereafter may seek judicial relief under this section and Section 290. If the reimbursing parent fails to pay the other parent as required by this subdivision, the other parent may seek judicial relief under this section and Section 290.

(c) Either parent may file a noticed motion to enforce an order issued pursuant to this section. In addition to the court’s powers under Section 290, the court may award filing costs and reasonable attorney’s fees if it finds that either party acted without reasonable cause regarding the party’s obligations pursuant to this section.

(d) There is a rebuttable presumption that the costs actually paid for the uninsured health care needs of the children are reasonable, except as provided in subdivision (e).

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g):

(1) The health care insurance coverage, including, but not limited to, coverage for emergency treatment, provided by a parent pursuant to a court order, shall be the coverage to be utilized at all times, consistent with the requirements of that coverage, unless the other parent can show that the health care insurance coverage is inadequate to meet the child’s needs.

(2) If either parent obtains health care insurance coverage in addition to that provided pursuant to the court order, that parent shall bear sole financial responsibility for the costs of that additional coverage and the costs of any care or treatment obtained pursuant thereto in excess of the costs that would have been incurred under the health care insurance coverage provided for in the court order.

(f) Except as provided in subdivision (g):

(1) If the health care insurance coverage provided by a parent pursuant to a court order designates a preferred health care provider, that preferred provider shall be used at all times, consistent with the terms and requirements of that coverage.

(2) If either parent uses a health care provider other than the preferred provider inconsistent with the terms and requirements of the court-ordered health care insurance coverage, the parent obtaining that care shall bear the sole responsibility for any nonreimbursable health care costs in excess of the costs that would have been incurred under the court-ordered health care insurance coverage had the preferred provider been used.

(g) When ruling on a motion made pursuant to this section, in order to ensure that the health care needs of the child under this section are met, the court shall consider all relevant facts, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The geographic access and reasonable availability of necessary health care for the child that complies with the terms of the health care insurance coverage paid for by either parent pursuant to a court order. Health insurance shall be rebuttably presumed to be accessible if services to be provided are within 50 miles of the residence of the child subject to the support order. If the court determines that health insurance is not accessible, the court shall state the reason on the record.

(2) The necessity of emergency medical treatment that may have precluded the use of the health care insurance, or the preferred health care provider required under the insurance, provided by either parent pursuant to a court order.

(3) The special medical needs of the child.

(4) The reasonable inability of a parent to pay the full amount of reimbursement within a 30-day period and the resulting necessity for a court-ordered payment schedule.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 46. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

4064.
  

The court may adjust the child support order as appropriate to accommodate seasonal or fluctuating income of either parent.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4065.
  

(a) Unless prohibited by applicable federal law, the parties may stipulate to a child support amount subject to approval of the court. However, the court shall not approve a stipulated agreement for child support below the guideline formula amount unless the parties declare all of the following:

(1) They are fully informed of their rights concerning child support.

(2) The order is being agreed to without coercion or duress.

(3) The agreement is in the best interests of the children involved.

(4) The needs of the children will be adequately met by the stipulated amount.

(5) The right to support has not been assigned to the county pursuant to Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and no public assistance application is pending.

(b) The parties may, by stipulation, require the child support obligor to designate an account for the purpose of paying the child support obligation by electronic funds transfer pursuant to Section 4508.

(c) A stipulated agreement of child support is not valid unless the local child support agency has joined in the stipulation by signing it in any case in which the local child support agency is providing services pursuant to Section 17400. The local child support agency shall not stipulate to a child support order below the guideline amount if the children are receiving assistance under the CalWORKs program, if an application for public assistance is pending, or if the parent receiving support has not consented to the order.

(d) If the parties to a stipulated agreement stipulate to a child support order below the amount established by the statewide uniform guideline, no change of circumstances need be demonstrated to obtain a modification of the child support order to the applicable guideline level or above.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 808, Sec. 35. Effective September 28, 2000.)

4066.
  

Orders and stipulations otherwise in compliance with the statewide uniform guideline may designate as “family support” an unallocated total sum for support of the spouse and any children without specifically labeling all or any portion as “child support” as long as the amount is adjusted to reflect the effect of additional deductibility. The amount of the order shall be adjusted to maximize the tax benefits for both parents.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4067.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that the statewide uniform guideline shall be reviewed by the Legislature at least every four years and shall be revised by the Legislature as appropriate to ensure that its application results in the determination of appropriate child support amounts. The review shall include consideration of changes required by applicable federal laws and regulations or recommended from time to time by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 4054.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4068.
  

(a) The Judicial Council may develop the following:

(1) Model worksheets to assist parties in determining the approximate amount of child support due under the formula provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4055 and the approximate percentage of time each parent has primary physical responsibility for the children.

(2) A form to assist the courts in making the findings and orders required by this article.

(b) The Judicial Council, in consultation with representatives of the State Department of Social Services, the California Family Support Council, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California, a legal services organization providing representation on child support matters, a custodial parent group, and a noncustodial parent group, shall develop a simplified income and expense form for determining child support under the formula provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4055, by June 1, 1995. The Judicial Council, also in consultation with these groups, shall develop factors to use to determine when the simplified income and expense form may be used and when the standard income and expense form must be used.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 953, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)

4069.
  

The establishment of the statewide uniform guideline constitutes a change of circumstances.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138) by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1156, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4070.
  

If a parent is experiencing extreme financial hardship due to justifiable expenses resulting from the circumstances enumerated in Section 4071, on the request of a party, the court may allow the income deductions under Section 4059 that may be necessary to accommodate those circumstances.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4071.
  

(a) Circumstances evidencing hardship include the following:

(1) Extraordinary health expenses for which the parent is financially responsible, and uninsured catastrophic losses.

(2) The minimum basic living expenses of either parent’s natural or adopted children for whom the parent has the obligation to support from other marriages or relationships who reside with the parent. The court, on its own motion or on the request of a party, may allow these income deductions as necessary to accommodate these expenses after making the deductions allowable under paragraph (1).

(b) The maximum hardship deduction under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) for each child who resides with the parent may be equal to, but shall not exceed, the support allocated each child subject to the order. For purposes of calculating this deduction, the amount of support per child established by the statewide uniform guideline shall be the total amount ordered divided by the number of children and not the amount established under paragraph (8) of subdivision (b) of Section 4055.

(c) The Judicial Council may develop tables in accordance with this section to reflect the maximum hardship deduction, taking into consideration the parent’s net disposable income before the hardship deduction, the number of children for whom the deduction is being given, and the number of children for whom the support award is being made.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138) by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1156, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4072.
  

(a) If a deduction for hardship expenses is allowed, the court shall do both of the following:

(1) State the reasons supporting the deduction in writing or on the record.

(2) Document the amount of the deduction and the underlying facts and circumstances.

(b) Whenever possible, the court shall specify the duration of the deduction.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4073.
  

The court shall be guided by the goals set forth in this article when considering whether or not to allow a financial hardship deduction, and, if allowed, when determining the amount of the deduction.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4074.
  

This article applies to an award for the support of children, including those awards designated as “family support,” that contain provisions for the support of children as well as for the support of the spouse.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4075.
  

This article shall not be construed to affect the treatment of spousal support and separate maintenance payments pursuant to Section 71 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. Sec. 71).

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 138. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4076.
  

(a) When the court is requested to modify a child support order issued prior to July 1, 1992, for the purpose of conforming to the statewide child support guideline, and it is not using its discretionary authority to depart from the guideline pursuant to paragraph (3), (4), or (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 4057, and the amount of child support to be ordered is the amount provided under the guideline formula in subdivision (a) of Section 4055, the court may, in its discretion, order a two-step phase-in of the formula amount of support to provide the obligor with time for transition to the full formula amount if all of the following are true:

(1) The period of the phase-in is carefully limited to the time necessary for the obligor to rearrange the obligor’s financial obligations in order to meet the full formula amount of support.

(2) The obligor is immediately being ordered to pay not less than 30 percent of the amount of the child support increase, in addition to the amount of child support required under the prior order.

(3) The obligor has not unreasonably increased their financial obligations following notice of the motion for modification of support, has no arrearages owing, and has a history of good faith compliance with prior support orders.

(b) When the court grants a request for a phase-in pursuant to this section, the court shall state the following in writing:

(1) The specific reasons why (A) the immediate imposition of the full formula amount of support would place an extraordinary hardship on the obligor, and (B) this extraordinary hardship on the obligor would outweigh the hardship caused the supported children by the temporary phase-in of the full formula amount of support.

(2) The full guideline amount of support, the date and amount of each phase-in, and the date that the obligor must commence paying the full formula amount of support, which shall not be later than one year after the filing of the motion for modification of support.

(c) When the court orders a phase-in pursuant to this section, and the court thereafter determines that the obligor has violated the phase-in schedule or has intentionally lowered the income available for the payment of child support during the phase-in period, the court may order the immediate payment of the full formula amount of child support and the difference in the amount of support that would have been due without the phase-in and the amount of support due with the phase-in, in addition to any other penalties provided for by law.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 47. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)


ARTICLE 3. Payment to Court Designated County Officer; Enforcement by District Attorney [4200 - 4205]
  ( Heading of Article 3 renumbered from Article 4 by Stats. 1993, Ch. 219, Sec. 139.5. )

4200.
  

In any proceeding where a court makes or has made an order requiring the payment of child support to a parent receiving welfare moneys for the maintenance of children for whom support may be ordered, the court shall do both of the following:

(a) Direct that the payments of support shall be made to the county officer designated by the court for that purpose. Once the State Disbursement Unit is implemented pursuant to Section 17309, all payments shall be directed to the State Disbursement Unit instead of the county officer designated by the court.

(b) Direct the local child support agency to appear on behalf of the welfare recipient in any proceeding to enforce the order.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 387, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4201.
  

In any proceeding where a court makes or has made an order requiring the payment of child support to the person having custody of a child for whom support may be ordered, the court may do either or both of the following:

(a) Direct that the payments shall be made to the county officer designated by the court for that purpose. Once the State Disbursement Unit is implemented pursuant to Section 17309, all payments shall be directed to the State Disbursement Unit instead of the county officer designated by the court.

(b) Direct the local child support agency to appear on behalf of the minor children in any proceeding to enforce the order.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 387, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4202.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a proceeding where the custodial parent resides in one county and the parent ordered to pay support resides in another county, the court may direct payment to be made to the county officer designated by the court for those purposes in the county of residence of the custodial parent, and may direct the local child support agency of either county to enforce the order.

(b)  If the court directs the local child support agency of the county of residence of the noncustodial parent to enforce the order, the expenses of the local child support agency with respect to the enforcement is a charge upon the county of residence of the noncustodial parent.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 339, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

4203.
  

(a) Except as provided in Section 4202, expenses of the county officer designated by the court, and expenses of the local child support agency incurred in the enforcement of an order of the type described in Section 4200 or 4201, are a charge upon the county where the proceedings are pending.

(b) Fees for service of process in the enforcement of an order of the type described in Section 4200 or 4201 are a charge upon the county where the process is served.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 808, Sec. 39. Effective September 28, 2000.)

4204.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any proceeding where the court has made an order requiring the payment of child support to a person having custody of a child and the child support is subsequently assigned to the county pursuant to Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or the person having custody has requested the local child support agency to provide child support enforcement services pursuant to Section 17400, the local child support agency may issue a notice directing that the payments shall be made to the local child support agency, another county office, or the State Disbursement Unit pursuant to Section 17309. The notice shall be served on both the support obligor and obligee in compliance with Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The local child support agency shall file the notice in the action in which the support order was issued.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 387, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4205.
  

Any notice from the local child support agency requesting a meeting with the support obligor for any purpose authorized under this part shall contain a statement advising the support obligor of the obligor’s right to have an attorney present at the meeting.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 48. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)


ARTICLE 4. Child Support Commissioners [4250 - 4253]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 957, Sec. 6. )

4250.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(1) Child and spousal support are serious legal obligations.

(2) The current system for obtaining, modifying, and enforcing child and spousal support orders is inadequate to meet the future needs of California’s children due to burgeoning caseloads within local child support agencies and the growing number of parents who are representing themselves in family law actions.

(3) The success of California’s child support enforcement program depends upon its ability to establish and enforce child support orders quickly and efficiently.

(4) There is a compelling state interest in creating an expedited process in the courts that is cost-effective and accessible to families, for establishing and enforcing child support orders in cases being enforced by the local child support agency.

(5) There is a compelling state interest in having a simple, speedy, conflict-reducing system, that is both cost-effective and accessible to families, for resolving all issues concerning children, including support, health insurance, custody, and visitation in family law cases that do not involve enforcement by the local child support agency.

(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to: (1) provide for commissioners to hear child support cases being enforced by the local child support agency; (2) adopt uniform and simplified procedures for all child support cases; and (3) create an Office of the Family Law Facilitator in the courts to provide education, information, and assistance to parents with child support issues.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 808, Sec. 42. Effective September 28, 2000.)

4251.
  

(a) Commencing July 1, 1997, each superior court shall provide sufficient commissioners to hear Title IV-D child support cases filed by the local child support agency. The number of child support commissioners required in each county shall be determined by the Judicial Council as prescribed by paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 4252. All actions or proceedings filed by the local child support agency in a support action or proceeding in which enforcement services are being provided pursuant to Section 17400, for an order to establish, modify, or enforce child or spousal support, including actions to establish parentage, shall be referred for hearing to a child support commissioner unless a child support commissioner is not available due to exceptional circumstances, as prescribed by the Judicial Council pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 4252. All actions or proceedings filed by a party other than the local child support agency to modify or enforce a support order established by the local child support agency or for which enforcement services are being provided pursuant to Section 17400 shall be referred for hearing to a child support commissioner unless a child support commissioner is not available due to exceptional circumstances, as prescribed by the Judicial Council pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 4252.

(b) The commissioner shall act as a temporary judge unless an objection is made by the local child support agency or any other party. The Judicial Council shall develop a notice that shall be included on all forms and pleadings used to initiate a child support action or proceeding that advises the parties of their right to review by a superior court judge and how to exercise that right. The parties shall also be advised by the court prior to the commencement of the hearing that the matter is being heard by a commissioner who shall act as a temporary judge unless any party objects to the commissioner acting as a temporary judge. While acting as a temporary judge, the commissioner shall receive no compensation other than compensation as a commissioner.

(c) If a party objects to the commissioner acting as a temporary judge, the commissioner may hear the matter and make findings of fact and a recommended order. Within 10 court days, a judge shall ratify the recommended order unless either party objects to the recommended order, or where a recommended order is in error. In both cases, the judge shall issue a temporary order and schedule a hearing de novo within 10 court days. A party may waive the right to the review hearing at any time.

(d) The commissioner, where appropriate, shall do any of the following:

(1) Review and determine ex parte applications for orders and writs.

(2) Take testimony.

(3) Establish a record, evaluate evidence, and make recommendations or decisions.

(4) Enter judgments or orders based upon voluntary acknowledgments of support liability and parentage and stipulated agreements respecting the amount of child support to be paid.

(5) Enter default orders and judgments pursuant to Section 4253.

(6) In actions in which parentage is at issue, order the mother, child, and alleged father to submit to genetic tests.

(e) The commissioner shall, upon application of a party, join issues concerning custody, visitation, and protective orders in the action filed by the local child support agency, subject to Section 17404. After joinder, the commissioner shall:

(1) Refer the parents for mediation of disputed custody or visitation issues pursuant to Section 3170.

(2) Accept stipulated agreements concerning custody, visitation, and protective orders and enter orders pursuant to the agreements.

(3) Refer contested issues of custody, visitation, and protective orders to a judge or to another commissioner for hearing. A child support commissioner may hear contested custody, visitation, and restraining order issues only if the court has adopted procedures to segregate the costs of hearing Title IV-D child support issues from the costs of hearing other issues pursuant to applicable federal requirements.

(f) The local child support agency shall be served notice by the moving party of any proceeding under this section in which support is at issue. An order for support that is entered without the local child support agency having received proper notice shall be voidable upon the motion of the local child support agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 49. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

4252.
  

(a) The superior court shall appoint one or more subordinate judicial officers as child support commissioners to perform the duties specified in Section 4251. The child support commissioners’ first priority always shall be to hear Title IV-D child support cases. The child support commissioners shall specialize in hearing child support cases, and their primary responsibility shall be to hear Title IV-D child support cases. Notwithstanding Section 71622 of the Government Code, the number of child support commissioner positions allotted to each court shall be determined by the Judicial Council in accordance with caseload standards developed pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), subject to appropriations in the annual Budget Act.

(b) The Judicial Council shall do all of the following:

(1) Establish minimum qualifications for child support commissioners.

(2) Establish minimum educational and training requirements for child support commissioners and other court personnel that are assigned to Title IV-D child support cases. Training programs shall include both federal and state laws concerning child support and related issues.

(3) Establish caseload, case processing, and staffing standards for child support commissioners on or before April 1, 1997, which shall set forth the maximum number of cases that each child support commissioner can process. These standards shall be reviewed and, if appropriate, revised by the Judicial Council every two years.

(4) Adopt uniform rules of court and forms for use in Title IV-D child support cases.

(5) Offer technical assistance to courts regarding issues relating to implementation and operation of the child support commissioner system, including assistance related to funding, staffing, and the sharing of resources between courts.

(6) Establish procedures for the distribution of funding to the courts for child support commissioners, family law facilitators pursuant to Division 14 (commencing with Section 10000), and related allowable costs.

(7) Adopt rules that define the exceptional circumstances in which judges may hear Title IV-D child support matters as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4251.

(8) Undertake other actions as appropriate to ensure the successful implementation and operation of child support commissioners in the counties.

(c) As used in this article, “Title IV-D” means Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.).

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 105. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4253.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when hearing child support matters, a commissioner or referee may enter default orders if the defendant does not respond to notice or other process within the time prescribed to respond to that notice.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 957, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1997.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM