Compromise Of Arrears Program (COAP)
What is a compromise of arrears?
It is a debt reduction program for eligible participants with past due child support (also called arrears) owed to the state.
Child support may be owed to the state government because the minor children received cash aid or were placed in foster care.
If you qualify for COAP, you may pay a reduced amount to satisfy your balance, rather than full amount due. Any reduction in your arrears will be based on your current income and assets.
What COAP doesn’t do:
- Forgive the entire debt
- Change monthly child support obligations
- Reduce arrears owed to the Custodial Party
- Reduce spousal support arrears
- Don’t stop paying on current child support because you are applying for COAP.
- You must provide complete information and documents with your application.
- Be honest on your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP)?
COAP is a debt reduction program provided by the state of California for eligible parents to pay less than the total child support debt.
To be eligible for the program, the child support debt must be owed to the state for periods when the dependent(s) received cash aid.
For more information on COAP, click here.
- What if I have my child(ren) back? Can I still apply for COAP?
Yes. COA – Family Reunification Program is available for parents whose child(ren) received cash aid with a guardian or relative caregiver, but have now been returned to the custody of the parent.
- How much of my arrears balance will I be able to compromise and who do I pay?
Parents applying for a compromise may receive a substantial reduction and this amount must be paid to the state.
- Am I able to compromise arrears that are owed directly to the custodial parent/party?
No. Only state debt is available for a compromise; any balances owed to the custodial party must be paid in full prior to applying for the COAP.
- If I am able to compromise my state arrears, will I still owe child support because my dependent(s) are under 18?
Yes. If the child(ren) are minors, and current child support is owed, the parent must pay the terms of current support before and after an agreed compromise.
- Will I be required to pay anything in exchange to compromise my arrears?
No. There are no penalties or fees attached to the COAP agreement. If approved, the parent must be prepared to pay off the reduced balance of the case.