back to Screen-Friendly page

Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Recent Changes in Child Support Services


By Lisa Saporito, Department of Child Support Services City and County of San Francisco


The Department of Child Support Services, under the umbrella of the California Health and Human Services Agency, administers child support services on behalf of the children throughout California. Up until October 2011, The Department’s services to the public were at no charge. However, with the passing of the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109, all states, including California, must now charge a $25 Annual Service Fee in all non-welfare cases if $500 or more was collected and distributed to the family during the federal fiscal year.

The mandate was effective as of January 1, 2008, however California started assessing the fee October 1, 2011. This fee will continue to be assessed every October 1 thereafter and will be deducted from the first payment collected after October 1 until the full $25 is recovered.

There may be an exemption to the service fee if the custodial party had received TANF, CalWorks or AFDC. The Annual Service Fee may be disputed by filing a Certification of Annual Service Fee Exemption form (DCSS-0679) with the California Department of Child Support Services before August 1 of each year. If you or your family law colleagues have, or know of, clients who could benefit from services provided by the California Department of Child Support, or to obtain more information on the Annual Service Fee, please visit or call 866-901-3212.

Our partners at BASFAhern Insurance Brokerage