Child Support Enforcement Bill 2802 Passes in California

Child Support Enforcement Bill 2802 Passes in California
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La Jolla, CA – On May 30, a bill that would help pay off outstanding child support claims through insurance interception, was finally passed. Assembly Bill 2802 was penned by California State Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

How does Insurance Interception work for child support enforcement?

Essentially, the bill requires all state insurance companies to register for the Insurance Payment Intercept Program, wherein they will be required to intercept insurance payouts to child support debtors so that these funds could be directed to the custodial parents.

Basically, a database would match people that child support agencies acknowledge as delinquent in their payments — to any insurance claims that are due to them. This would be submitted by insurance companies. That money would be intercepted and paid towards child support.

The dire state of child support

Over a hundred billion dollars of unpaid child support is owed throughout the United States, $18 billion of which are owed in the state of California alone. Unpaid child support and the difficulty of pursuing the debtors has been a problem for decades. Support payments have lifted many custodial families and the kids within them out of dire poverty.

Thus, a bill like this is a victory for California. According to a 2013 American Enterprise Institute report, for the poorest among the custodial parents, child support represented just under half of their monthly income. Systematic failure to receive this child support is economically devastating to the children involved.

Most standard measures to collect are ineffective

Traditional enforcement methods are ineffective and slow. Suspending driver’s licenses does not automatically stop non paying child support debtors from driving and certainly does not always guarantee that payments will start or resume. Fines are just as ineffective in delivering the money to the kids that need it for their well-being. Jail time for chronically avoiding child support is given as a last resort, as it takes a great deal of time and manpower to locate and arrest the persons fleeing their child support obligations.

Insurance interception child support enforcement is not new– there were efforts even sixteen years ago to implement an insurance interception strategy, but some states, like California, left it up to the insurance agencies to decide whether to opt in. The states that made it universally mandatory for insurance companies to participate were the ones that managed to divert manyfold more dollars to children. Now, California joins Oregon, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and New Jersey as a state that absolutely requires insurer compliance, paving a way for more efficient child support collection.

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