Child Support

Emily from Solano County in the age 9-12 category for the Children, Youth and Elders Art ContestThe Child Support Commissioner and Family Law Facilitator Program provide an expedited way for people to navigate the child support system. The legislation (Assembly Bill 1058) that created the program is at Family Code sections 4250–4253 and 10000–10015. Child support commissioners are judicial officers who specialize in hearing cases filed by the local child support agency. Family law facilitators are attorneys who, at no charge, assist the public with the completion of court forms and provide education about the child support court process. By law, facilitators do not represent parents, and they can provide services to both parents in a child support dispute. To find your local family law facilitator’s office, click here.

Assembly Bill 1058 created the Child Support Commissioner and Family Law Facilitator Program in 1996 to address the problem of overburdened courts and the lack of accessible help for people with child support issues who did not have attorneys. The program is funded by a combination of federal title IV-D funds and state funds, with the federal government paying two-thirds and one-third provided by state non–trial court funds. “Title IV-D ” refers to title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. section 601 et seq.), which requires each state to establish and enforce support orders when public assistance has been spent on behalf of a child. Title IV-D also requires the states to establish and enforce support orders when requested to do so by a parent who is not receiving public assistance.

Background Memo

Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference:

Every fall, a training conference is held for child support commissioners, family law facilitators, court administrators, accounting staff, court clerks and paralegals. The conference is organized by the AB 1058 staff at the Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC).  This conference fulfills the training requirements in Rule 5.340 of the California Rules of Court for child support commissioners, in Rule 5.430 for family law facilitators, and in Rule 5.355 for court clerks who work in title IV-D child support assignments.

22nd Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
21st Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
20th Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
19th Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
18th Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
17th Annual AB 1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts
16th Annual AB1058 Child Support Training Conference Handouts

Child Support Commissioner Roundtable in Conjunction With the Family Law Institute:

Each spring the Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) organizes the Family Law Institute to train family law judges and commissioners. A child support commissioner roundtable is held in conjunction with the Family Law Institute to provide a forum for judicial officers to share best practices and discuss updates in child support policy.

A family law facilitator midyear training is often provided for subject matter training, policy updates, and roundtable discussions.

Training Resources:

Why Most Presentations Don't Work Webinar, 47:02 min., May 2018
This webinar focuses on developing and delivering effective presentations and challenge traditional notions about delivering content to adult learners, presenting research-tested concepts about what makes a presentation successful.

The Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) has conducted several studies on child support. Under Family Code section 4054, the Judicial Council is required to review the statewide uniform child support guideline every four years and make any recommendations to the Legislature for appropriate revisions. CFCC carries out that mandate. The 2001 and 2005 child support guideline reviews are available below. The 1993 and 1998 studies were conducted before the creation of CFCC but are also available.

1998: Chapters 1-10
1998: Appendices

CFCC also completed a study titled California’s Child Support Commissioner System: An Evaluation of the First Two Years of the Program. This study was sent to the Legislature in May 2000. It evaluated both the child support commissioner and family law facilitator aspects of the child support commissioner system and determined that both programs were meeting the objectives of the legislation.

Child Support Guideline Study Factsheet

There is a federal requirement that all states have a uniform child support guideline. To assist parents, attorneys, and the courts to determine the correct support amount under California’s guideline, various electronic calculators have been developed. As required by Rule 5.275 and Family Code section 3830, the Judicial Council certifies the programs that provide child support calculations consistent with the applicable statutes and rules of court. See Child Support FAQs for more information.

Recertification of Guideline Support Calculators

Currently, there are six guideline child support calculators certified for use in California court proceedings. Their certifications expire on March 31, 2020. To be recertified, the software developers must submit their calculator for recertification to ensure that any changes to tax rates and laws, the update to the low-income adjustment threshold, and any other relevant changes impacting guideline calculations are incorporated.

The table below lists the currently-approved calculators and their recertification status. Once a calculator is submitted, Judicial Council staff tests the calculator to ensure it correctly determines guideline support. This table will be updated as changes occur in the recertification status of the calculators.

 Guideline Support Calculator  Date Submitted to Judicial Council  Status  Recertified for 2020-21
Cal Support and CalSupport Pro 3/10/20 Recertified 3/30/20
DCSS Guideline Calculator 3/16/20 Recertified 3/24/20
DissoMaster desktop version 3/23/20 Recertified 3/30/30
DissoMaster iPad version 3/23/20 Recertified 4/3/20
Family Law Software 3/6/20 Recertified 3/30/20
FamilySoft SupportCalc 3/5/20 Recertified 3/30/20
Xspouse 3/6/20 Recertified 3/27/20

Last updated 4/3/20

Judicial Council staff takes reports from the public, attorneys, and the courts regarding any differences in the results produced by calculators based on the same set of facts. Differing results or other issues should be reported by e-mail to See instructions below for reporting different results.

Instructions in Reporting Different Calculations Results

When reporting different results, please provide copies of the differing calculations, the assumptions input in the calculators and your contact information. Calculator developers are also encouraged to submit differences, and they will be forwarded to a workgroup consisting of family law judges, commissioners and members of the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council. This workgroup will provide developers with a uniform and consistent approach. Judicial Council staff also convenes periodic summit meetings of calculator developers to discuss issues and to ensure consistency and integrity among the certified child support calculators. The child support “guideline” on which the calculators are based is not an optional guide, but is the name for the state law setting out a standardized formula for calculating child support.

“Child Support in California” on the Families Change--Parent Guide to Separation and Divorce website contains informative FAQs for parents on the basics of child support in California and provides links to many other useful child support-related resources and services for all parents.

The website of the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), contains a lot of helpful information on the child support program in California, such as the Child Support Handbook. For DCSS’s comparative data on managing performance, which contains statistics on all 58 counties’ performance on the federal performance measures, click here.

For more information on child support and family law matters, visit the California Courts Self-Help Center website.

Fact Sheet: Timekeeping for AB 1058 Child Support Commissioner and Family Law Facilitator Program

AB 1058 Timekeeping Webinar:   Video  |  PowerPoint

Weekly Time Tracking Log (FLF):  Excel  |  Fillable PDF

Rolling Time Study Training Webinar Q1 (2019): Video

AB 1058 Grant Internal Controls Checklist

Title IV-D (AB 1058) Child Support Commissioner and Family Law Facilitator Program Grant Manual
This manual provides accounting and reporting instructions for the judicial branch Title IV-D (AB 1058) Child Support Program including instructions on preparing invoices and other grant-related fiscal forms. This manual is for fiscal year 2018-19.

For Fiscal Year 2019-20:    CSC Reporting FormsFLF Reporting Forms

Reporting Forms FY19-20 FLF Reporting Forms FY19-20
Annual Leave Earned Annual Leave Earned
Budget Budget
CalPers CalPers
Contractor Activity Log Contractor Activity Log
Invoice Invoice
Operating Expense Recap Operating Expense Recap
Payroll Summary Payroll Summary
Summary Sheet Summary Sheet
Timesheet Timesheet
Workers Compensation Workers Compensation

For Fiscal Year 2020-21:  Reporting Forms

Annual Leave Earned
Contractor Activity Log
Operating Expense Recap
Payroll Summary
Summary Sheet
Workers Compensation