Employers and the Department of Child Support Services

Employers play a vital role in ensuring the financial and medical security of children by cooperating with the Yolo County Department of Child Support Services. Annually, our department collects millions of dollars on behalf of children and families in Yolo County. A majority of these funds come from employers who have been issued income withholding orders. Thank you for your continued efforts!

When your company complies with child support laws, you are helping your business and the community in many ways:

  • You help kids & families!
  • You reduce fraud and error
  • You save taxpayers' money
  • You contribute to a stable workforce

Employers have four principal responsibilities:

  • Report all newly hired employees to the state Directory of New Hires
  • When you receive an Income Withholding Order for Child Support you must follow the terms:
    • Deduct the specified amount from each paycheck
    • Remit those payments within 7 days
  • Comply with the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) and sign the children up for health insurance if it is available
  • Notify the Local Child Support Agency when any employee separates from employment whether the employee is terminated, resigns, retires or is laid off. Information about an employee must be provided such as his/her earnings, current address, and health insurance coverage.

Update your contact information

Use the Employer Information Form to provide us contact information for your company

Income Withholding Orders

The Family Support Act of 1988 requires that child support payments be withheld from a noncustodial parents paycheck from the time that the child support is ordered.

The employer of the noncustodial parent/obligor is served with a court order or notice to withhold a specified amount of current support and back child support, with instructions to send the wages to the State Distribution Unit (SDU) for distribution. The assignment becomes effective as soon as possible, but not later than 10 days from the date you receive it. Once a wage assignment is served, the employer must honor it as long as the noncustodial parent remains employed with the employer; and must be honored if an employee returns to work after having previously left employment. Earnings and income must be withheld from each payment and your check sent within 7 days. 

E-Income Withholding Orders

Tired of paper income withholding orders? Sign up to receive income withholding orders electronically. It’s efficient, and FREE!

Go to www.childsup.ca.gov:

  • At the top, click on Employer
  • Select Electronic Income Withholding Orders (e-IOW)

Learn more with the Electronic Income Withholding Orders (e-IOW) FAQ.

National Medical Support Notices (NMSN)

A National Medical Support Notice is an administrative order that requires the noncustodial parent’s employer (or other person providing health insurance to the noncustodial parent) to enroll the child(ren) in the parent’s health insurance plan. The order also authorizes the employer to deduct the cost of the health care premiums from the noncustodial parent's earnings. 


Selecting Coverage
If the noncustodial parent has not enrolled in an available health plan, there is a choice of coverage and the court has not ordered coverage by a specific plan, the employer shall enroll the child in a plan that will provide reasonable benefits or coverage where the child resides. If that coverage is not available, the employer will return the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to our office within 20 days.

If the noncustodial parent has selected a health insurance plan prior to the issuance of a court order, the noncustodial parent’s selection will not be superseded unless the child will not be provided benefits or coverage where the child resides or the court order specifically directs other health coverage.

When Coverage is Not Available
When coverage is not available, the employer will return the NMSN to our office within 20 days of receipt.

Lapse of Coverage
The employer must notify our office if:

  • There is lapse in coverage; and if so,
  • The reason for the lapse, and
  • If the lapse is temporary, provide date coverage is expected to resume. 


Employer Forum 2012 Training for HR and Payroll professionals with instruction on the procedures for processing income withholding orders and the National Medical Support Notice. Materials and video now available online at the link. 

Employer frequently asked questions

Please see the California Department of Child Support Services website for additional employer related questions and answers.