This debt, called “arrears,” is owed to the government if your dependent children received public assistance (welfare) or were in foster care while you were not paying court-ordered child support. Those
programs are paid for by the state using taxpayer dollars, and federal and state law require that you reimburse the state for supporting your children during that time. If you qualify, you will be able to offer
a compromise repayment to the state. In other words, you may offer to reduce the debt by paying an amount that is less than the full amount you owe. Any reduction in your arrears and interest owed will be based on your income and assets.
Each person’s child support case, or cases, is different. Arrears may be paid off all at once in a lump sum, or over time in a payment plan, depending upon the details of your case. Any debt reduction agreement must take into consideration the needs of the children named in the child support order and the parent’s ability to pay.
Qualifying for the Debt Reduction Program:
• To qualify, you must be able to pay both your current child support obligation AND an ongoing
debt payment. If you don’t owe current support, only the ability to make the debt payment is
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• Your current income, assets, and cost of living are all taken into account, as is the total size and
makeup of your family.
• EVERY case is different, and these are very general items for review. Other details of your case
may also affect your eligibility.
What the Debt Reduction Program Won’t Do:
• It will not forgive the entire debt.
• It does not change your monthly child support obligations.
• It will not reduce unpaid child support that is owed directly to the person receiving support – you
can only reduce the amount you owe the taxpayers.
• If your children never received public assistance or were never in foster care, you are not eligible.
• It will not reduce spousal support arrears.
• Don’t stop paying your child support because you are applying for the Debt Reduction
Program. This is grounds for a denial of your application.
• Provide complete information and documents with your application. Your application cannot be
considered until you have done this.
• Be honest. If you do not tell the truth on your application, or if you hide income or assets, your
application will be denied.
• Make your payments as agreed. If you do not make the debt reduction payments after an
agreement has been reached, your agreement will be canceled, and you will owe the unpaid
amount to the state again
• Even if you are approved, keep paying your regular child support. If you miss any current child
support payments your agreement will be canceled. You will owe the full amount of your pre-
agreement arrears and will not receive a refund for any payments made.
How to Apply:
Your local child support agency is there to help with this program and will guide you throughout the
application process. Call our office at 866-901-3212 for assistance with the Debt Reduction Program.
Eastern Sierra Child Support Services serves families by establishing parentage, obtaining child support
and medical support orders, and enforcing child and spousal support obligations. Serving Inyo and Mono
County child support participants. For more information, call 866-901-3212 or view the Department of
Child Support Services website at www.childsupport.ca.gov.