Reduce Your Arrears - COAP

What Is COAP?
AB 1752 legislation provided authority for the DCSS to establish the Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP).  In certain child support cases, this law allows for a parent to pay less than his or her total child support debt owed to the government because their child received public assistance during a time that the parent did not pay the court ordered child support.  This is called a compromise of arrears.

  • Any compromise must take into consideration the needs of the children subject to the child support order and the parent's ability to pay.
  • If the parent owes current child support, he/she must be in compliance with the current support order for a set period of time before any arrears may be compromised.
  • Any compromise must be in the best interest of the state and must equal or exceed what the state can reasonably expect to collect toward the government arrears based on the parent's ability to pay.
  • The program must operate uniformly statewide.

Program Eligibility
There are a lot of things that have to be checked before a less than full payment can be accepted.  If you, or someone you want to help are interested in the Compromise of Arrears Program, please review the list of eligibility requirements below.

  • Arrears owed to the government.
  • No previous application to participate in COAP within 1 year prior to the date of application.
  • No rescission of a previous COAP agreement within 2 years.
  • No conviction or contempt finding for failure to pay child support within 6 months prior to the date of application.
  • No intentional failure to pay child support in anticipation of a compromise.
  • If the child support case is a two-state interstate case, the custodial party must reside in California.
  • The parent does not have the ability to pay off all arrears owed, including interest, within 3 years from the date of application.
  • The ability to pay current support, arrears owed to the family (not owed to the government), and the amount agreed in the compromise within a 3 year period.
  • No concealment of any income, assets, or any reasonably anticipated income or assets, and no intentional withholding or falsifying of financial information.

Obtaining An Application
Contact your local child support agency responsible for managing your case and request a COAP application be mailed to you.  They can help you determine if you qualify for the program.  Once you receive an application, you must complete it and provide any additional information required in order to be considered for the program.  Once you have turned in everything to your local child support agency, a representative will contact you to advise you on the status of your eligibility.  To contact your local child support agency, call (866) 901-3212.

For more information on COAP, click the link to the California DCSS website.