FAQs Written By Professionals in California
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Note that answers given in this section cannot take the place of independant legal or financial advise. Please read our disclaimer.
“How do I open a child support case with the Department Of Child Support Services?”
Start by completing an application for child support services. You can call your local Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) and ask that an application be mailed to you or, if available, download or submit your application through the department’s website. If you have a divorce order that includes a child support amount, be sure to include a copy of the order with your child support application.
Once the application is received, DCSS will begin the process of opening your child support case. You will be contacted regarding any past due child support or medical support so that DCSS can accurately open your child support account.
If your order is from a different county or state, it must be registered in the county of your local DCSS before proceeding.
In order for DCSS to begin enforcement of your current court order, and collection of child support on your behalf, a Substitution of Payee must be filed with the court. This allows your order to be made payable to DCSS.
The noncustodial parent is notified that all child support transactions are now to be handled by the DCSS. Your local DCSS will handle all the child support case related issues and the California State Disbursement Unit will process your child support payments.
To help children get the support they deserve, we offer the following free services: establishing paternity and child support orders, enforcing divorce orders for child support, modifying child support orders, and collecting and distributing court-ordered support. For more information: Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department, Orange County Department of Child Support Services, or San Diego County Department of Child Support Services.