Notify an employee about their child support withholding order

For employers: What to do when you’re ordered to take child support payments from an employee’s paycheck.

What to do

You’re not allowed to let a withholding order affect how you treat a current or prospective employee. You may get fines if you refuse to hire, discipline, or fire an employee because they have a holding order.

1. Follow the instructions on the order

Read the Income Withholding Order carefully.

If the order was sent by an attorney or another private party (and not a child support office), you must send a copy to the state. You can mail it, email it, or fax it. 

California State Disbursement Unit

P.O. Box 980218
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218


Attention: Outreach

2. Tell the employee within 10 days

You have 10 days to tell your employee about the order.

Give them a copy of the order.

If they object to the amount, they can request a hearing by filling out a Request for Hearing Regarding Earnings Assignment.

3. Compare the amount requested with the employee’s salary

You can’t send more than 50% of the employee’s disposable income to the state for child support payments. 

Disposable income are the wages that are left after taxes and mandatory fees, including taxes, Social Security, Medicare, insurance, retirement, and union dues.

This means if your employee only works part time, you might not be able to send the amount specified in the order. Contact us if you need help understanding what to do.

4. Start withholding pay within 10 days

You must withhold the amount specified in the order by the first pay period 10 days after getting the notice.

5. Send withheld pay to the state

Send withheld pay to the California State Disbursement Unit no later than 7 working days after the pay date.

Find out how to set up and make payments.

Health insurance notice

Health insurance notice

If your employee is eligible for health insurance, you will also be sent a National Medical Support Notice.

This step is to make sure children can get health care coverage when it’s available. It will state your options and instructions.

Understanding health insurance requirements

Get help

Child Support Services

Main Office
617 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-3503

Mon to Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

View location on google maps


You must answer automated questions before you talk to someone.

State resources and forms

Last updated February 9, 2024