Q: How will I receive my child support check? Will the other parent have to mail it to me?
In most cases, child support is going to be withdrawn from the other parent's paycheck. Once the amount is settled on in court, an Income Withholding Order will be sent to that parent's employer within 15 days and then their employer must start withholding the child support within 10 days. The employer sends that withheld amount to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU).
Once the SDU receives the money from the other parent's employer, it will process that payment and send it to you within two business days. If you would like to receive a check, the SDU can mail it to you. If you would prefer to receive the money a different way, you have two others options. You can request direct deposit, which would mean the SDU would automatically deposit the payment into your checking or savings account. You can also request an Electronic Payment Card; you will be given a card that can be used like a debit card and they will credit your monthly payments to that card.
If the other parent is not employed or if the court doesn’t impose an Income Withholding Order, there are other ways the payment can be submitted. Other options may include making a debit/credit card payment online or over the phone, setting up automatic withdrawals from a bank account, or paying by check and mailing it to the SDU. Not all of these choices may be an option, so it's important for you and the other parent to consult a legal professional before moving forward with an alternate method of payment.
If you would like to start receiving child support or need to make modifications to an existing California child support order, contact family law attorney Paul Nathan at 415-341-1144.