Our mission is to provide Child Support Services to meet each families unique needs. Our goal is provide the following services in a way that considers each families circumstances and best meets the needs of that family. To see what other people who use our services have to say about the service they receive, check out the feedback we've received on our Customer Satisfaction Survey Results.
Paternity (Legal Fatherhood) Establishment
- Why is Paternity important? Children receive many emotional and financial benefits from paternity establishment, such as reassurance that the parents cared enough to acknowledge paternity, having the father's name on the child's birth certificate, parents being able to share parenting responsibilities, parents being able to pursue court orders for custody and visitation and the child being entitled to financial support and information from both parents; Social Security Benefits, Veterans Benefits, Inheritance Rights, Child Support, Health Insurance and access to information on Medical History. Also, in California, if the mother is married to anyone when the child is born that person is presumed to be the legal father to the child regardless of biology.
- If either parent has any concern during the paternity establishment process around actual biological parentage of the child, genetic testing is provided to the family at no charge.
- For information on how to establish paternity with a voluntary declaration, go to http://www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/establishpaternity.aspx.
Sustainable Child Support Orders
- If a case does not have a child support order and one has been requested, we will establish a support amount through California's Guideline Support Calculation Formula. The Guideline Calculation considers each parents earnings after taxes, individual primary custodial time of the children, and allowable expenses like health insurance premiums, child support for other children, medical expenses, union dues, mandatory retirement and primary care of other biological or adopted children. To see how your circumstances line up with California's Guideline Calculation, see the Public Guideline Calculator.
- When appropriate, a Support Meeting can be scheduled to resolve the child support terms. A Support Meeting is a meeting between both parents and a trained case manager where child support is discussed and, if an agreement is reached, a court order created. Support Meetings are beneficial because:
- Less time spent in court means less time away from work and other activities
- Faster order establishment means financial support is available for children sooner
- Support terms can be customized to the parents circumstances
- When the parents participate in the process to determine the support terms, ongoing child support is more reliable
- If the parents also agree on a shared parenting time schedule, the Family Law Facilitator can be included in the meeting to prepare a legal agreement. Please let your caseworker know in advance if you would also like to resolve parenting time in your agreement.
- If a case has an existing order obtained through any Court that order can be modified or enforced as needed. Orders can be through the Dissolution (Divorce) process, as part of a custody and visitation order, or as part of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. The court order could have been obtained in the local court, another California County, another state or even another country.
Remove Barriers to regular and consistent support payments
- We work with both the Parent Paying Support and the Person Receiving Support to resolve any ongoing concerns or problems that hinder regular and consistent payments of monthly child support.
State Strategic Plan
The California Department of Child Support Services has a developed a new 5 year Strategic plan 2015-2019 The need of families all across California and throughout the world have changed and are continuing to change at at rapid pace and this requires the child support program to keep pace with these changes, reassessing our service delivery and resources. The new Strategic Plan also emphasizes excellent and consistent customer service statewide.