Child Support in Louisiana: FAQs and Resources

A man smiles as he holds a baby who is also smiling.

You might already be familiar with the term “child support,” but what does it actually entail? In a nutshell, child support is payments made from one parent to another to provide financial support for one or more children that they share. It's an important concept that many divorced, separated, or never-married parents are already familiar with, including those in Louisiana. 

As with other legal concepts, understanding your obligations as a parent receiving or paying child support is critical. Here, you'll find some basic resources and answers to common questions about child support payments in Louisiana.


Louisiana Child Support FAQs

Get answers to several frequently asked questions about how child support works in Louisiana.  

How does child support work in Louisiana?

Louisiana bases child support payment amounts off of an income shares model. Using this model, the state will consider certain factors to determine your payments, like you and your co-parent’s combined adjusted monthly gross income and how many children you share.

How much does child support cost in Louisiana?

Again, the amount of child support you pay or receive in Louisiana will be based on the state’s most current child support schedule outlined in Louisiana State Legislature RS 9:315.19

How do I file for child support in Louisiana?

You can file for child support through the LA CAFÉ web portal or through a paper application. Visit the LA DCFS Child Support Enforcement - Apply for Services page for application links and instructions.

Are child support payments taxed or tax-deductible in Louisiana?

According to the IRS, "Child support payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable to the recipient. When you calculate your gross income to see if you're required to file a tax return, don't include child support payments received." 

How do I make child support payments in Louisiana?

Most child support payments in Louisiana are made via an income assignment order. This will direct a portion of funds from your paychecks to cover child support payments automatically via direct deposit. Other acceptable methods for paying child support in Louisiana include cashier's check or money order, cash payments, and bank transfers. You can view each option in detail here on the LA DCFS website.

How do I check on child support payments I’ve received?

Louisiana DCFS offers electronic disbursement of child support payments. This allows for payments to be received via direct deposit straight to your bank account. This means that you can review your bank statements to confirm receipt of child support payments. You can register to receive child support via direct deposit on the LA DCFS website.

How can you use child support payments in Louisiana?

Child support is meant to cover everyday living expenses for children. It is meant to help your kids maintain a similar standard of living that they were used to before your separation or divorce. It can be used for basic necessities like food or housing for a child. In Louisiana, it can also be used for things like music lessons, sports, entertainment, and other costs specifically for the kids.


Louisiana Child Support Resources

Here, you'll find links to child support resources in Louisiana.

Louisiana Child Support Information 

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Child Support Enforcement section is a good place to start your research into how child support works. 

Visit the LA DCFS Child Support Enforcement page.

LA DCFS Customer Service Center: 1-888-LAHELPU 

Louisiana Child Support Portal

The Louisiana CAFÉ Self-Service Portal is where you will access all of your child support information. Through this portal, you can receive assistance for establishing and enforcing as well as collecting or distributing child support payments. 

Visit the LA CAFÉ website to create your account or sign in to your existing account.

Review the LA CAFÉ FAQ’s

Calculating Child Support in Louisiana

The Louisiana DCFS website outlines the latest updates to the state’s basic child support guidelines and schedule. 

Visit the Child Support Schedule page on the LA DCFS website

Review Louisiana State Legislature RS 9:315, which covers guidelines for determination of child support

Louisiana Child Support Laws

For the most precise information about child support laws in Louisiana, you’ll want to take a look at Louisiana State Legislature RS 9:315. 

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