Payment Options Explained

Under state and federal law, employers are required to remit all California child support income withholding payments to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU). This includes any child support payments the employer may be currently sending to individuals.

For assistance in redirecting payments from individuals to the SDU, employers are advised to call 1-866-901-3212.

Electronic Payments

Employers are encouraged to send payments electronically. These transactions are faster, more accurate and less expensive to process than paper checks.

Some California businesses are required to submit payments electronically to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the California Employment Development Department (EDD). If your company falls in this category, California law requires that your child support income withholding payments also be submitted electronically. As stated above, employers must remit California child support income withholding payments to the SDU. The SDU offers three electronic payment options:

  • EFT - ACH Credit (Electronic Funds Transfer by Automated Clearing House):
    This service allows employers to instruct their financial institution to automatically transmit child support payments, along with child support income withholding data, using the ACH network.  For details on utilizing this payment method, consult the California State Disbursement Unit EFT Employer Information Guide.  To enroll in EFT or for assistance, call us at 1-866-901-3212 and press 1.
  • EFT - ACH Debit or by Credit Card:
    This service allows employers to make payments by electronic debit from a checking or savings account, or with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. To enroll in EFT go to and click on the Employer tab and select Make a Payment, or
  • By Phone
    Once enrolled in EFT, employers have the option to make payments by phone at 1-866-901-3212, press 1.

Bulk-File Upload

The SDU also offers Bulk-File Upload capabilities to remit payments for employers with multiple employees/independent contractors with income withholdings. The bulk upload option is free and no software application is needed.

To utilize this payment option, a user will create a text file with employee- related payment details such as employee’s name, Participant ID, payment amount and date.  Save the text file to your desktop to use again updating only related information with each submission.  For assistance, call 1-866-901-3212 or e-mail at

Remitting by Check

Employers can send checks to this address only:

California State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 989067
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067

If an employer has more than one employee with a child support obligation, the payments may be combined into a single check. When paying by check, regardless of the number of employees, it is essential to include the following information for each employee:

  • Employee name/Independent contractor name
  • Child Support Enforcement (CSE) case number
  • Employee’s  Social Security Number
  • Date money was withheld (pay date)
  • The amount withheld for each employee
  • Include a company contact name and phone number

Failure to Withhold

Employers who fail to withhold the amounts as specified on the IWO may be found liable for the full amount of the support owed, plus a fine.  Under certain circumstances, a willful failure to withhold is punishable by contempt of court. In addition, the court may order payment by electronic funds transfer from the employer’s bank account if the employer has willfully failed to withhold the required support.

In addition, an employer who fires, disciplines, or refuses to hire an employee based upon an income withholding may be assessed additional civil penalties.