When a noncustodial parent in California does not make the child support payments that they were ordered to make, their monthly Social Security income may be garnished. Supplemental Security Income, which is considered a type of welfare, cannot be garnished for back child support. However, disability benefits, survivor benefits, retirement benefits and other earned Social Security benefits may be subject to garnishment.
Child support orders can be modified after they have been signed by a judge if there has been a change in the circumstances of one or both parents. Examples of changes that would warrant a modification include an increase or decrease in income, if the supporting parent has become disabled or incarcerated, the party requiring support has remarried or had a child in another relationship, the needs of the child have changed, or the children have started college. A change may also occur if circumstances arise so that one parent can no longer be the custodial parent and custody is also changed.
When courts establish levels of child support, the intent is to do what is right for the best interests of the child and what is appropriate to what each parent is able to contribute.