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FAMILY CODE SECTION 5230-5247

5230. (a) When the court orders a party to pay an amount for
support or orders a modification of the amount of support to be paid,
the court shall include in its order an earnings assignment order
for support that orders the employer of the obligor to pay to the
obligee that portion of the obligor’s earnings due or to become due
in the future as will be sufficient to pay an amount to cover both of
the following:
(1) The amount ordered by the court for support.
(2) An amount which shall be ordered by the court to be paid
toward the liquidation of any arrearage.
(b) An earnings assignment order for support shall be issued, and
shall be effective and enforceable pursuant to Section 5231,
notwithstanding the absence of the name, address, or other
identifying information regarding the obligor’s employer.

5230.1. (a) An earnings assignment or income withholding order for
support issued by a court or administrative agency of another state
is binding upon an employer of the obligor to the same extent as an
earnings assignment order made by a court of this state.
(b) When an employer receives an earnings assignment order or an
income withholding order for support from a court or administrative
agency in another state, all of the provisions of this chapter shall
apply.

5230.5. Any obligee alleging arrearages in child support shall
specify the amount thereof under penalty of perjury.

5231. Unless stayed pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section
5260), an assignment order is effective and binding upon any existing
or future employer of the obligor upon whom a copy of the order is
served in compliance with Sections 5232 and 5233, notwithstanding the
absence of the name, address, or other identifying information
regarding the obligor’s employer, or the inclusion of incorrect
information regarding the support obligor’s employer.

5232. Service on an employer of an assignment order may be made by
first-class mail in the manner prescribed in Section 1013 of the Code
of Civil Procedure. The obligee shall serve the documents specified
in Section 5234.

5233. Unless the order states a later date, beginning as soon as
possible after service of the order on the employer but not later
than 10 days after service of the order on the employer, the employer
shall commence withholding pursuant to the assignment order from all
earnings payable to the employee.

5234. Within 10 days of service of an assignment order or an
order/notice to withhold income for child support on an employer, the
employer shall deliver both of the following to the obligor:
(a) A copy of the assignment order or the order/notice to withhold
income for child support.
(b) A written statement of the obligor’s rights under the law to
seek to quash, modify, or stay service of the earnings assignment
order, together with a blank form that the obligor can file with the
court to request a hearing to quash, modify, or stay service of the
earnings assignment order with instructions on how to file the form
and obtain a hearing date.

5235. (a) The employer shall continue to withhold and forward
support as required by the assignment order until served with notice
terminating the assignment order. If an employer withholds support as
required by the assignment order, the obligor shall not be held in
contempt or subject to criminal prosecution for nonpayment of the
support that was withheld by the employer but not received by the
obligee. If the employer withheld the support but failed to forward
the payments to the obligee, the employer shall be liable for the
payments, including interest, as provided in Section 5241.
(b) Within 10 days of service of a substitution of payee on the
employer, the employer shall forward all subsequent support to the
governmental entity or other payee that sent the substitution.
(c) The employer shall send the amounts withheld to the obligee
within the timeframe specified in federal law and shall report to the
obligee the date on which the amount was withheld from the obligor’s
wages.
(d) The employer may deduct from the earnings of the employee the
sum of one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) for each payment made
pursuant to the order.
(e) Once the State Disbursement Unit as required by Section 17309
is operational, the employer shall send all earnings withheld
pursuant to this chapter to the State Disbursement Unit instead of
the obligee.

5236. The state agency or the local agency, designated to enforce
support obligations as required by federal law, shall allow employers
to simplify the process of assignment order withholding by
forwarding, as ordered by the court, the amounts of support withheld
under more than one order in a consolidated check, accompanied by an
itemized accounting providing names, social security number or other
identifying number, and the amount attributable to each obligor.

5237. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), the
obligee shall notify the employer of the obligor, by first-class
mail, postage prepaid, of any change of address within a reasonable
period of time after the change.
(b) Where payments have been ordered to be made to a county
officer designated by the court, the obligee who is the parent,
guardian, or other person entitled to receive payment through the
designated county officer shall notify the designated county officer
by first-class mail, postage prepaid, of any address change within a
reasonable period of time after the change.
(c) If the obligee is receiving support payments from the State
Disbursement Unit as required by Section 17309, the obligee shall
notify the State Disbursement Unit instead of the employer of the
obligor as provided in subdivision (a).
(d) (1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), if the employer,
designated county officer, or the State Disbursement Unit is unable
to deliver payments under the assignment order for a period of six
months due to the failure of the obligee to notify the employer,
designated county officer, or State Disbursement Unit, of a change of
address, the employer, designated county officer, or State
Disbursement Unit shall not make any further payments under the
assignment order and shall return all undeliverable payments to the
obligor.
(2) If payments are being directed to the State Disbursement Unit
pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 5235, but the case is not
otherwise receiving services from the Title IV-D agency, and the
State Disbursement Unit is unable to deliver payments under the
assignment order for a period of 45 days due to the failure of the
obligee to notify the employer, designated county officer, or State
Disbursement Unit of a change of address, the Title IV-D agency shall
take the following actions:
(A) Immediately return the undeliverable payments to the obligor
if the obligee cannot be located.
(B) Notify the employer to suspend withholding pursuant to the
wage assignment until the employer or Title IV-D agency is notified
of the obligee’s whereabouts.

5238. (a) Where an assignment order or assignment orders include
both current support and payments towards the liquidation of
arrearages, priority shall be given first to the current child
support obligation, then the current spousal support obligation, and
thereafter to the liquidation of child and then spousal support
arrearages.
(b) Where there are multiple assignment orders for the same
employee, the employer shall prorate the withheld payments as
follows:
(1) If the obligor has more than one assignment for support, the
employer shall add together the amount of support due for each
assignment.
(2) If 50 percent of the obligor’s net disposable earnings will
not pay in full all of the assignments for support, the employer
shall prorate it first among all of the current support assignments
in the same proportion that each assignment bears to the total
current support owed.
(3) The employer shall apply any remainder to the assignments for
arrearage support in the same proportion that each assignment bears
to the total arrearage owed.

5239. Arrearages of support payments shall be computed on the basis
of the payments owed and unpaid on the date that the obligor has
been given notice of the assignment order as required by Section
5234.

5240. (a) Upon the filing and service of a motion and a notice of
motion by the obligor, the court shall terminate the service of an
assignment order if past due support has been paid in full, including
any interest due, and if any of the following conditions exist:
(1) With regard to orders for spousal support, the death or
remarriage of the spouse to whom support is owed.
(2) With regard to orders for child support, the death or
emancipation of the child for whom support is owed.
(3) The court determines that there is good cause, as defined in
Section 5260, to terminate the assignment order. This subdivision
does not apply if there has been more than one application for an
assignment order.
(4) The obligor meets the conditions of an alternative arrangement
specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 5260, and a
wage assignment has not been previously terminated and subsequently
initiated.
(5) There is no longer a current order for support.
(6) The termination of the stay of an assignment order under
Section 5261 was improper, but only if that termination was based
upon the obligor’s failure to make timely support payments as
described in subdivision (b) of Section 5261.
(7) The employer or agency designated to provide services under
Title IV-D of the Social Security Act or the State Disbursement Unit
is unable to deliver payment for a period of six months due to the
failure of the obligee to notify that employer or agency or the State
Disbursement Unit of a change in the obligee’s address.
(b) In lieu of filing and serving a motion and a notice of motion
pursuant to subdivision (a), an obligor may request ex parte relief,
except ex parte relief shall not be available in the circumstances
described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).

5241. (a) An employer who willfully fails to withhold and forward
support pursuant to a currently valid assignment order entered and
served upon the employer pursuant to this chapter is liable to the
obligee for the amount of support not withheld, forwarded, or
otherwise paid to the obligee, including any interest thereon.
(b) If an employer withholds support as required by the assignment
order, the obligor shall not be held in contempt or subject to
criminal prosecution for nonpayment of the support that was withheld
by the employer but not received by the obligee. In addition, the
employer is liable to the obligee for any interest incurred as a
result of the employer’s failure to timely forward the withheld
support pursuant to an assignment earnings order.
(c) In addition to any other penalty or liability provided by law,
willful failure by an employer to comply with an assignment order is
punishable as a contempt pursuant to Section 1218 of the Code of
Civil Procedure.
(d) If an employer withholds support, as required by the
assignment order, but fails to forward the support to the obligee,
the local child support agency shall take appropriate action to
collect the withheld sums from the employer. The child support
obligee or the local child support agency upon application may obtain
an order requiring payment of support by electronic transfer from
the employer’s bank account if the employer has willfully failed to
comply with the assignment order or if the employer has failed to
comply with the assignment order on three separate occasions within a
12-month period. Where a court finds that an employer has willfully
failed to comply with the assignment order or has otherwise failed to
comply with the assignment order on three separate occasions within
a 12-month period, the court may impose a civil penalty, in addition
to any other penalty required by law, of up to 50 percent of the
support amount that has not been received by the obligee.
(e) To facilitate employer awareness, the local child support
agency shall make reasonable efforts to notify any employer subject
to an assignment order pursuant to this chapter of the electronic
fund transfer provision and enhanced penalties provided by this act.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any penalty
payable pursuant to this subdivision shall be payable directly to the
obligee. The local child support agency shall not be required to
establish or collect this penalty on behalf of the obligee. The
penalty shall not be included when determining the income of the
obligee for the purpose of determining the eligibility of the obligee
for benefits payable pursuant to state supplemental income programs.
A court may issue the order requiring payment of support by
electronic transfer from the employer’s bank account and impose the
penalty described in this subdivision, after notice and hearing. This
provision shall not be construed to expand or limit the duties and
obligations of the Labor Commissioner, as set forth in Section 200
and following of the Labor Code.

5242. Service of the assignment order creates a lien on the
earnings of the employee and the property of the employer to the same
extent as the service of an earnings withholding order as provided
in Section 706.029 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

5243. An assignment order for support has priority as against any
attachment, execution, or other assignment as specified in Section
706.031 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

5244. A reference to the local child support agency in this chapter
applies only when the local child support agency is otherwise
ordered or required to act pursuant to law. Nothing in this chapter
shall be deemed to mandate additional enforcement or collection
duties upon the local child support agency beyond those otherwise
imposed by law.

5245. Nothing in this chapter limits the authority of the local
child support agency to use any other civil and criminal remedies to
enforce support obligations, regardless of whether or not the child
or the obligee who is the parent, guardian, or other person entitled
to receive payment is the recipient of welfare moneys.

5246. (a) This section applies only to Title IV-D cases where
support enforcement services are being provided by the local child
support agency pursuant to Section 17400.
(b) In lieu of an earnings assignment order signed by a judicial
officer, the local child support agency may serve on the employer a
notice of assignment in the manner specified in Section 5232. An
order/notice to withhold income for child support shall have the same
force and effect as an earnings assignment order signed by a
judicial officer. An order/notice to withhold income for child
support, when used under this section, shall be considered a notice
and shall not require the signature of a judicial officer.
(c) Pursuant to Section 666 of Title 42 of the United States Code,
the federally mandated order/notice to withhold income for child
support shall be used for the purposes described in this section.
(d) (1) An order/notice to withhold income may not reduce the
current amount withheld for court-ordered child support.
(2) If the underlying court order for support does not provide for
an arrearage payment, or if an additional arrearage accrues after
the date of the court order for support, the local child support
agency may send an order/notice to withhold income for child support
that shall be used for the purposes described in this section
directly to the employer which specifies the updated arrearage amount
and directs the employer to withhold an additional amount to be
applied towards liquidation of the arrearages not to exceed the
maximum amount permitted by Section 1673(b) of Title 15 of the United
States Code.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), if an obligor is disabled,
meets the SSI resource test, and is receiving Supplemental Security
Income/State Supplementary Payments (SSI/SSP) or, but for excess
income as described in Section 416.1100 et seq. of Part 416 of Title
20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, would be eligible to receive
SSI/SSP, pursuant to Section 12200 of the Welfare and Institutions
Code, and the obligor has supplied the local child support agency
with proof of his or her eligibility for and, if applicable, receipt
of, SSI/SSP or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, then
the order/notice to withhold income issued by the local child support
agency for the liquidation of the arrearage shall not exceed 5
percent of the obligor’s total monthly Social Security Disability
payments under Title II of the Social Security Act.
(e) If the obligor requests a hearing, a hearing date shall be
scheduled within 20 days of the filing of the request with the court.
The clerk of the court shall provide notice of the hearing to the
local child support agency and the obligor no later than 10 days
prior to the hearing.
(1) If at the hearing the obligor establishes that he or she is
not the obligor or good cause or an alternative arrangement as
provided in Section 5260, the court may order that service of the
order/notice to withhold income for child support be quashed. If the
court quashes service of the order/notice to withhold income for
child support, the local child support agency shall notify the
employer within 10 days.
(2) If the obligor contends at the hearing that the payment of
arrearages at the rate specified in the order/notice to withhold
income for child support is excessive or that the total arrearages
owing is incorrect, and if it is determined that payment of the
arrearages at the rate specified in this section creates an undue
hardship upon the obligor or that the withholding would exceed the
maximum amount permitted by Section 1673(b) of Title 15 of the United
States Code Annotated, the rate at which the arrearages must be paid
shall be reduced to a rate that is fair and reasonable considering
the circumstances of the parties and the best interest of the child.
If it is determined at a hearing that the total amount of arrearages
calculated is erroneous, the court shall modify the amount calculated
to the correct amount. If the court modifies the total amount of
arrearages owed or reduces the monthly payment due on the arrearages,
the local child support agency shall serve the employer with an
amended order/notice to withhold income for child support within 10
days.
(f) If an obligor’s current support obligation has terminated by
operation of law, the local child support agency may serve an
order/notice to withhold income for child support on the employer
which directs the employer to continue withholding from the obligor’s
earnings an amount to be applied towards liquidation of the
arrearages, not to exceed the maximum amount permitted by Section
1673(b) of Title 15 of the United States Code, until such time that
the employer is notified by the local child support agency that the
arrearages have been paid in full. The employer shall provide the
obligor with a copy of the order/notice to withhold income for child
support and a blank form that the obligor may file with the court to
request a hearing to modify or quash the assignment with instructions
on how to file the form and obtain a hearing date. The obligor shall
be entitled to the same rights to a hearing as specified in
subdivision (e).
(g) The local child support agency shall retain a copy of the
order/notice to withhold income for child support and shall file a
copy with the court whenever a hearing concerning the order/notice to
withhold income for child support is requested.
(h) The local child support agency may transmit an order/notice to
withhold income for child support and other forms required by this
section to the employer through electronic means.

5247. Neither the local child support agency nor an employer shall
be subject to any civil liability for any amount withheld and paid to
the obligee, the local child support agency, or the State
Disbursement Unit pursuant to an earnings assignment order or notice
of assignment.