We should not be balancing our budget on the backs of California’s low-income families. As our State responds to COVID 19 and the unfolding economic crisis, families need every dollar to recover. Our Call for Reform urges California’s budget leaders to reform this unjust system, and send child support payments where they belong: to children.

Our reform is guided by these principles.

  • When a parent makes a child support payment, their entire payment should go to their children—not to pay back the government for public benefits expenses. 
  • There should be no price tag on our safety net for low-income families. The California safety net is there to support all Californians in their time of need.
  • Reforms should strengthen the child support program to use its resources to truly support children, families, and parents rather than serve as a collections agency to recoup payments from low-income parents to fund government programs. 
  • Reforms to California child support laws and practices should alleviate the inequitable burden placed on low-income families and families of color. 
  • California has an opportunity and a responsibility to put children and families first and take full advantage of opportunities now available under federal law.
  • Other states have taken action, including allowing 100% of child support payments to directly reach children or increasing the pass-through amount; and reducing or eliminating interest on debt.