The Department of Child Support Services Resource

“To enhance the lives and well-being of child and promote family self-sufficiency by establishing and enforcing support orders.”

The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) provides a variety of family law-related services to the public. Among the services offered are: establishing paternity; establishing, modifying and enforcing child support orders; and collecting and distributing child and spousal support payments.

DCSS becomes involved in child support cases where a custodial parent is receiving public assistance in order to support the child. Once the State of California begins to make payments to support a child, a referral is made to DCSS. DCSS is then charged with possibly opening a case for child support from the non-custodial parent.

In addition to filing cases to claim reimbursements from a non-custodial parent, DCSS provides services to parents who wish to file a case for child support. If you cannot locate or do not know the identity of the child’s father, DCSS can help. DCSS can help you locate the father or establish paternity for purposes of support. The Paternity Opportunity Program helps to reunite unmarried fathers with their children. If the parents of the child are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, the father’s name will not be added to the birth certificate. Therefore, the father has no legal tie to his child unless he either signs a paternity declaration or legally establishes paternity through a court proceeding and amends the birth certificate.

DCSS also provides parents with crucial information regarding calculating and collecting child support payments. Along with San Diego family courts, DCSS follows the child support guidelines as defined in California Family Code section 4055. Once a guideline support amount is calculated, DCSS provides information to parents about the means available for collecting child support such as:

  • Wage assignments
  • Health insurance
  • License suspension
  • Income tax intercepts
  • Passport denial and
  • Many other enforcement tools.

A number of invaluable resources are available through DCSS. Child support publications are available to provide you with child support publications such as: Child Support Handbook, Establishing Paternity, Your Guide to Child Support Services, Opening a Child Support Case, Information for the Noncustodial Parent, and Child Support Wage Assignments. These publications provide you with all the necessary information to open a child support case and collect the payments.

At the Law Offices of Nancy J. Bickford, we are strong advocates of the community programs and services offered by the Department of Child Support Services. As one of San Diego's leading family law firms, we are long time supporters of services that help our clients going through the struggles of collecting child support.

Child support cases are complex and it is crucial to consult with an experienced San Diego Family Law Attorney. Contact us if you would like help with a child support, custody, or visitation case.