Louisiana Child Support

What is Louisiana Law on Child Support?

Child support is handled through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). A division called Child Support Enforcement is responsible for all matters related to support establishment and enforcement. It is necessary to create an account through the department's LA CAFÉ portal in order to apply for support services. This portal is where you will be able to see updates regarding your case and access resources once your application is received. Download Forms.

How Does LA Calculate Child Support

Louisiana calculates support amounts by taking into account the monthly income of the non-custodial parent, the number of children involved and childcare costs. Any support and alimony payments that are already being made by a non-custodial parent are also taken into account.

How to claim and pay child support in LA?

Support payments are claimed via direct deposit in Louisiana. Most payments are made via an income assignment order in Louisiana. A parent may also pay via cash, credit card, cashier’s check, Expert Pay or MoneyGram.

Child Support Performance Stats for Louisiana

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) keeps track of the performance of the Child Support Enforcement program. Several benchmarks are used to determine the success and efficiency of the program

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) 90.59 90.37 90.21 91.31 94.13
Support Order Establishment (%) 77.69 77.85 80.16 84.93 86.79
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 5.21 5.47 5.44 5.51 5.56

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 380.06 388.55 394 406.87 397.89
Total Distributed to Families ($) 364.9 376.39 383.18 396.45 388.21
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 78.44 76.23 77.66 79.07 76.45

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can the support be paid off early?

It is possible. However, paying ahead of time doesn't mean that the total amount that is owed can't change with changing circumstances.

What Will Happen if You fall Behind the Support Payment in Louisiana?

DCFS will use all legal means possible to try to recover unpaid support. This can include garnished wages, withheld earnings, liens, passport denials, suspended licenses, and felony charges.

Can you get alimony and support at the same time in Louisiana?

Yes, you can get the support and alimony at the same time.

Can you stop the support payments?

It is unlawful to simply stop making support payments in Louisiana. Only certain conditions regarding changes in circumstances or custody can result in stopped payments.

Child Support and Taxes

Taxes in Louisiana are essentially untouched by child support payments. The non-custodial parent may be able to claim a child as a dependent if given permission by the custodial parent.

Can Louisiana child support payments be claimed on taxes?

No, they can't.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Louisiana?

The person receiving support payments does not have to claim the funds as income. The person making the support payments cannot deduct those payments on their tax forms.

Can child support be taken pre-tax?

No such program exists in Louisiana.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

Tax returns can be seized in collaboration with the IRS if support payments are not being made.

Establishing Paternity in Louisiana

A father of a child born outside of marriage is not responsible for child payments until paternity has been established under Louisiana's laws.

How do you establish paternity in Louisiana?

A father can sign an affidavit acknowledging that he is the father of the child at the time of birth. Attorneys from Child Support Enforcement can file a paternity suit requesting that the court determine paternity if a father denies paternity.

 What rights does a father have in Louisiana?

There are no rights or obligations until paternity is established.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

Louisiana court can order genetic testing if the mother refuses a paternity test.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

A family member can step in to have a DNA test performed.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

Genetic testing cannot be done legally without the consent of a primary legal guardian.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Louisiana?

An acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity (AOP) can be signed at the hospital within 72 hours of the child's birth, or at the local health department. Both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit in Louisiana. Within 60 days of the signing the affidavit, however, anyone who is entitled to file a paternity case can file a case and ask for genetic testing.

Support order establishment

Child Support Enforcement in Louisiana assists with every step of establishing an order. This can include locating a parent, establishing paternity and enforcing payments.

State Child Support orders

Support orders can be established once a non-custodial parent has been located and the monthly obligation that is owed can be properly determined.

Can the support be modified in Louisiana?

Yes, child support can be modified in Louisiana. 

A modification can be requested in Louisiana at any time.

How do I file for a modification of LA child support?

It is possible for the custodial or non-custodial parent to request a review if changes have occurred regarding a parent's circumstances or finances.

Can a child support order appealed?

Yes. A review must be requested if there is evidence that an error has occurred or if appropriate action was not taken on a case. The review will determine if all actions taken have been in compliance with all laws and regulations.

Do you need a lawyer to modify the support in Louisiana?

No. However, legal representation is always recommended.

Child support Enforcement in Louisiana

How long does the Loisiana child support enforcement take?

The enforcement entities in Louisiana receive information from the Federal Parent Locator Service. This resource provides information regarding people receiving Social Security and Veteran pensions. Louisiana is also a member of the Electronic Parent Locate Network (EPLN). Custodial parents can pay a $10 fee and provide the Social Security number of the non-custodial parent to have a search conducted. The state also works with the IRS to locate a delinquent parent's income or assets. A timetable for when enforcement will take place depends on whether a non-custodial parent needs to be located and the particulars of establishing paternity.

What to do when the support is not paid in Louisiana?

A caseworker should be notified.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support in Louisiana?

You may have earnings and paychecks taken and face having your federal and state tax refunds intercepted. Motor vehicle registration can be suspended and a passport can be denied. Occupational and professional licenses can also be suspended. You may even face contempt of court hearings.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

Felony charges can apply when support is overdue by two years or totals more than $10,000.

Can the support debt be forgiven?

Louisiana is one of the rare states with a 10-year statute of limitations for collecting unpaid support.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

This can only be done by appealing an order or requesting a hearing.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

When a custodial parent no longer has custody or if a minor child becomes emancipated.

Can the custodial parent close a support case?

A custodial parent can close a case once a judge has signed off on the decision.

When Can I Stop Paying the Child Support in Louisiana?

Once a child reaches the legal age when support ends or if some other qualifying circumstance occurs.

18 years old under normal circumstances. However, an obligation will persist if a child is attending secondary school on a full-time basis up until the age of 19.

Louisiana hearing rights

Parents in Louisiana have hearing rights when it comes to establishing paternity in order to create an order and any other aspects that may require a judge's approval.

LA Child Support Guidelines & Laws

Support in Louisiana is balanced between a child's need and the amount a parent is capable of paying.

Louisiana Child Support Coverage

What is child support meant to cover?

All basic necessities, medical coverage and childcare expenses.

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

Yes, Louisiana child support does cover medical care expenses.

What if Both Parents are working, will Child Support Cover child care services?

Childcare costs are strongly taken into consideration when establishing a support order in Louisiana.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Child Support?

Under certain circumstances.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Access to movies, television shows and the Internet. In addition, support can be used to cover visits to attractions.

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support?

Not under normal circumstances. However, Louisiana child support laws do not prevent parents from negotiating and contracting for additional child support obligations related to college expenses.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Things like camp, music lessons, art lessons and school-sponsored extracurricular activities are often covered.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

Most school-related costs are covered. However, a custodial parent may need to justify the costs for some educational expenses if a child requires tutors or special programs.

Louisiana Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Child Support Enforcement - Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services 627 N. Fourth St. | Baton Rouge, LA N/A 888-524-3578 http://www.dss.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=137