When someone is receiving financial assistance in California or other states, the particular government agency may at times issue checks for very low amounts, such as for less than $1. Generally, the most efficient way to receive or child support funds is through direct deposit or through a government-issued debit card as these are less expensive for the government to process. However, the final decision as to how they want to receive the payments is usually left up to the individual.
In cases where a recipient decides to receive checks, an outsider might view the issuance of checks for such low amounts of money as a waste of the government’s efforts. However, one of the main goals of these departments is often to make sure that the recipients receive their funds as quickly as possible. When it comes to child support payments, the money rightfully belongs to them, so the government pays it quickly.
These checks generally have an expiration date of 180 days after the date of issue. If there is a delay in cashing the check, the recipient can contact their local child support office and request that they reissue it. The California Child Support Program pays out over $2 billion annually in child support and makes more than 14 million individual transactions.
Issues relating to children, including child support payments and visitation, are sometimes one of the most important aspects that parties attempt to resolve during a divorce. The government generally uses a specific formula to calculate child support payments in lieu of an agreement. A family lawyer might be able to help a client negotiate an acceptable payment amount.
Source: Imperial Valley Press, “Why are checks for less than $1 issued?“, December 12, 2013