FAMILY CODE SECTION 17200-17212
17200. The Department of Child Support Services is hereby created
within the California Health and Human Services Agency. The
department shall administer all services and perform all functions
necessary to establish, collect, and distribute child support.
17202. The department is hereby designated the single
organizational unit whose duty it shall be to administer the Title
IV-D state plan for securing child and spousal support, medical
support, and determining paternity. State plan functions shall be
performed by other agencies as required by law, by delegation of the
department, or by cooperative agreements.
17204. The department consists of the director and such division or
other administrative units as the director may find necessary.
17206. The department shall ensure that there is an adequate
organizational structure and sufficient staff to perform functions
delegated to any governmental unit relating to Part D (commencing
with Section 651) of Subchapter 4 of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the
United States Code, including a sufficient number of attorneys to
ensure that all requirements of due process are satisfied in the
establishment and enforcement of child support orders.
17208. (a) The department shall reduce the cost of, and increase
the speed and efficiency of, child support enforcement operations. It
is the intent of the Legislature to operate the child support
enforcement program through local child support agencies without a
net increase in state General Fund or county general fund costs,
considering all increases to the General Fund as a result of
increased collections and welfare recoupment.
(b) The department shall maximize the use of federal funds
available for the costs of administering a child support services
department, and to the maximum extent feasible, obtain funds from
federal financial incentives for the efficient collection of child
support, to defray the remaining costs of administration of the
department consistent with effective and efficient support
(c) Effective October 1, 2010, the Department of Child Support
Services shall impose an administrative service fee in the amount of
twenty-five dollars ($25) on a never-assisted custodial party
receiving services from the California child support program for
order establishment, enforcement, and collection services provided.
The annual amount of child support payments collected on behalf of
the custodial party must be five hundred dollars ($500) or more
before an administrative service fee is imposed pursuant to this
subdivision. The fee shall be deducted from the custodial party’s
collection payment at the time the collection payments for that year
have reached levels specified by the department.
17210. The department shall ensure that the local child support
agency offices and services are reasonably accessible throughout the
counties, and shall establish systems for informing the public,
including custodial and noncustodial parents of dependent children,
of its services and operations.
17211. The department shall administer the Child Support Assurance
Demonstration Project established by Article 5 (commencing with
Section 18241) of Chapter 3.3 of Part 6 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code, and the county demonstration projects to provide
employment and training services to nonsupporting noncustodial
parents authorized by Section 18205.5 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code. However, the department may contract with the State Department
of Social Services to continue development and implementation of
these demonstration projects until they have been fully implemented.
After the demonstration projects have been fully implemented, the
department shall consult with the State Department of Social Services
on the administration of the projects. The contracts for evaluation
of the demonstration projects shall continue to be maintained by the
State Department of Social Services. The department shall be
responsible for the final evaluation of the projects.
17212. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect
individual rights of privacy, and to facilitate and enhance the
effectiveness of the child and spousal support enforcement program,
by ensuring the confidentiality of support enforcement and child
abduction records, and to thereby encourage the full and frank
disclosure of information relevant to all of the following:
(1) The establishment or maintenance of parent and child
relationships and support obligations.
(2) The enforcement of the child support liability of absent
(3) The enforcement of spousal support liability of the spouse or
former spouse to the extent required by the state plan under Section
17604 and Part 6 (commencing with Section 5700.101) of Division 9.
(4) The location of absent parents.
(5) The location of parents and children abducted, concealed, or
detained by them.
(b) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (c), all files,
applications, papers, documents, and records established or
maintained by any public entity pursuant to the administration and
implementation of the child and spousal support enforcement program
established pursuant to Part D (commencing with Section 651) of
Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code and
this division, shall be confidential, and shall not be open to
examination or released for disclosure for any purpose not directly
connected with the administration of the child and spousal support
enforcement program. No public entity shall disclose any file,
application, paper, document, or record, or the information contained
therein, except as expressly authorized by this section.
(2) In no case shall information be released or the whereabouts of
one party or the child disclosed to another party, or to the
attorney of any other party, if a protective order has been issued by
a court or administrative agency with respect to the party, a good
cause claim under Section 11477.04 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code has been approved or is pending, or the public agency
responsible for establishing paternity or enforcing support has
reason to believe that the release of the information may result in
physical or emotional harm to the party or the child. When a local
child support agency is prohibited from releasing information
pursuant to this subdivision, the information shall be omitted from
any pleading or document to be submitted to the court and this
subdivision shall be cited in the pleading or other document as the
authority for the omission. The information shall be released only
upon an order of the court pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a proof of service
filed by the local child support agency shall not disclose the
address where service of process was accomplished. Instead, the local
child support agency shall keep the address in its own records. The
proof of service shall specify that the address is on record at the
local child support agency and that the address may be released only
upon an order from the court pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision
(c). The local child support agency shall, upon request by a party
served, release to that person the address where service was
(c) Disclosure of the information described in subdivision (b) is
authorized as follows:
(1) All files, applications, papers, documents, and records as
described in subdivision (b) shall be available and may be used by a
public entity for all administrative, civil, or criminal
investigations, actions, proceedings, or prosecutions conducted in
connection with the administration of the child and spousal support
enforcement program approved under Part D (commencing with Section
651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States
Code and to the county welfare department responsible for
administering a program operated under a state plan pursuant to Part
A, Subpart 1 or 2 of Part B, or Part E of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7
of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(2) A document requested by a person who wrote, prepared, or
furnished the document may be examined by or disclosed to that person
or his or her designee.
(3) The payment history of an obligor pursuant to a support order
may be examined by or released to the court, the obligor, or the
person on whose behalf enforcement actions are being taken or that
(4) Income and expense information of either parent may be
released to the other parent for the purpose of establishing or
modifying a support order.
(5) Public records subject to disclosure under the California
Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of
Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) may be released.
(6) After a noticed motion and a finding by the court, in a case
in which establishment or enforcement actions are being taken, that
release or disclosure to the obligor or obligee is required by due
process of law, the court may order a public entity that possesses an
application, paper, document, or record as described in subdivision
(b) to make that item available to the obligor or obligee for
examination or copying, or to disclose to the obligor or obligee the
contents of that item. Article 9 (commencing with Section 1040) of
Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code shall not be applicable
to proceedings under this part. At any hearing of a motion filed
pursuant to this section, the court shall inquire of the local child
support agency and the parties appearing at the hearing if there is
reason to believe that release of the requested information may
result in physical or emotional harm to a party. If the court
determines that harm may occur, the court shall issue any protective
orders or injunctive orders restricting the use and disclosure of the
information as are necessary to protect the individuals.
(7) To the extent not prohibited by federal law or regulation,
information indicating the existence or imminent threat of a crime
against a child, or location of a concealed, detained, or abducted
child or the location of the concealing, detaining, or abducting
person, may be disclosed to any district attorney, any appropriate
law enforcement agency, or to any state or county child protective
agency, or may be used in any judicial proceedings to prosecute that
crime or to protect the child.
(8) The social security number, most recent address, and the place
of employment of the absent parent may be released to an authorized
person as defined in Section 653(c) of Title 42 of the United States
Code, only if the authorized person has filed a request for the
information, and only if the information has been provided to the
California Parent Locator Service by the federal Parent Locator
Service pursuant to Section 653 of Title 42 of the United States
(9) A parent’s or relative’s name, social security number, most
recent address, telephone number, place of employment, or other
contact information may be released to a county child welfare agency
or county probation department pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section
(d) (1) “Administration and implementation of the child and
spousal support enforcement program,” as used in this division, means
the carrying out of the state and local plans for establishing,
modifying, and enforcing child support obligations, enforcing spousal
support orders, and determining paternity pursuant to Part D
(commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title
42 of the United States Code and this article.
(2) For purposes of this division, “obligor” means any person
owing a duty of support.
(3) As used in this division, “putative parent” shall refer to any
person reasonably believed to be the parent of a child for whom the
local child support agency is attempting to establish paternity or
establish, modify, or enforce support pursuant to Section 17400.
(e) Any person who willfully, knowingly, and intentionally
violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to compel the
disclosure of information relating to a deserting parent who is a
recipient of aid under a public assistance program for which federal
aid is paid to this state, if that information is required to be kept
confidential by the federal law or regulations relating to the