California parents owed child support might be able to access funds if the other parent is collecting Social Security benefits. A big exception is if the person is collecting Supplemental Security Income, which is labeled a form of welfare and cannot be garnished. Other Social Security benefits, however, could be a potential source of child support.
The commissioner for the Office of Child Support Enforcement said that non-welfare benefits from Social Security are considered earned benefits because the recipient paid into the system to receive them. For qualifying benefits, a parent who is owed child support can contact his or her local Social Security office and begin the process.
The commissioner explained that a judge's income withholding order needs to be presented to the Social Security office. This may involve going to court and proving that the other parent owes child support. Once the paperwork is in order, child support will begin to be withheld from the person's benefits and directed to the children. If back child support is sought for children that are no longer minors, the parent might need to hire an attorney to communicate the need to the Social Security office.
A parent who needs to track down a non-custodial parent who is behind on child support might need to consult with an attorney for a number of reasons. An attorney could help obtain the documentation needed to present to a Social Security office or set up the garnishment of other sources of income. If the non-custodial parent is out of state, an attorney familiar with how outside state agencies operate might assist the parent in collecting child support.