Does CalWORKs Affect Child Support?

Are you receiving CalWORKs? Or, is your ex receiving CalWORKs? Whether you’re applying for it, already receiving it, or your ex is receiving it, you may want to know, “If someone receives CalWORKs, does it affect how much child support they receive?” In this article, we explain what CalWORKs is and how it impacts a child support case.

For starters, let’s discuss what CalWORKs is. “CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have a child(ren) in the home. The program serves all 58 counties in the state and is operated locally by county welfare departments,” according to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

If a family has little to no income coming in and it needs money for food, housing, utilities, clothing, or healthcare, they may be able to qualify for short-term assistance. If a family qualifies, it may receive money every month to help them pay for food, housing, and other necessary living expenses through CalWORKs.

Does CalWORKs Impact Child Support?

What if a parent is divorced and they’re receiving CalWORKs or KinGAP, which are otherwise known as welfare or cash assistance from the government, do those benefits impact their ability to receive child support in any way? Yes, they do.

Under the law, a parent can receive EITHER cash assistance OR they can receive court-ordered child support, but he or she cannot receive both at the same time. So, if a custodial parent is receiving cash assistance, they will receive only $50 of the court-ordered child support, and the rest of it will go directly to the state to repay whatever cash assistance the parent was given.

So, if you’re the noncustodial parent and your ex receives cash assistance, it won’t change how much you pay. All but $50 of your child support each month will go directly to the state to repay if for what they have given to your ex. On the other hand, if you’re receiving government cash assistance, you can expect to receive $50 a month for child support.

Next: Can I Include Child Support Arrears in Bankruptcy?

We hope this article answers your questions. If you need assistance with a divorce, child support, or child custody case, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP for a free consultation.