What if a noncustodial parent forgets or ignores the Summons and Complaint?
A Proposed Judgment comes with the Summons and Complaint. The Proposed Judgment could be the order of the court if the noncustodial parent does not respond. It is very important not to ignore any documents that come from DCSS. If you have any questions, please contact DCSS or the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.
What if I do not have health coverage through my employer?
The court may take this into consideration. However, the court still has the authority to order you to obtain some form of health insurance for your child(ren) if it is reasonably affordable.
What if I am already ordered to pay support in another county or in the same county for different children?
The Court will take this into consideration when you appear at your hearing. Make sure to have any statements and/or court orders regarding those cases, and any proof of payment on those cases, at the hearing with you.
How long am I responsible for paying the child support?
It generally continues until the child turns eighteen years old. However, if the child remains a full time high school student, child support will continue until the child graduates from high school or turns nineteen, whichever occurs first. There may be exceptional circumstances where child support may be ordered to continue beyond these dates. Also, if there are arrears (past due child support) owing, then the arrears will continue to be due until the account is paid in full.
If I file an answer with the court, will I have a chance to talk to the judge?
Yes, if you respond to the Summons and Complaint and file an Answer, you will be given a court date and will have an opportunity to appear before the Commissioner.
How can I establish paternity?
Paternity can be established by having both parents sign a Paternity Declaration at the hospital at the time of the child's birth, or by coming into the local Child Support Office. Paternity can also be established by a stipulations, default order and/or order after hearing.
What are the options to receive my child support payments?
Parties receiving support have three (3) methods to receive their child support payments. These methods include:
Direct Deposit - Your payment is automatically deposited into your checking or savings account
Electronic Payment Card (EPC) - Similar to an ATM or debit card. When a payments is received and processed, it is then applied to the EPC
Bank check sent to your current mailing address
Who should I make the payments to?
All payments should be made through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). The address for the SDU is:
The State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 989067
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067
Payments should not be made directly to the custodial parent.
When will the first payment be due following the court hearing?
depends on the court order. The Court may order payments to begin the
first of the next month or may order the payments to begin at a later
date. Make your payment based upon the court's order.
What if I lose my job and cannot pay?
You should ask DCSS to review your case, but remember to make all payments that become due. DCSS may file a motion with the court to modify your support order. You may also file your own motion to modify your order.
The noncustodial parent is in jail. Can I get child support?
A noncustodial parent who goes to jail should contact Yolo County DCSS to modify the child support order to reflect a reduced ability to pay. However, if the parent is in jail but has other assets or income, the child support amount will reflect these available assets. Otherwise, child support will be nearly impossible to collect and may be dramatically reduced. If the incarcerated noncustodial parent does not contact DCSS to modify the child support order, the obligation to pay will continue. The noncustodial parent will be responsible for past-due support that built up while in jail.
What if the custodial parent is on welfare, does the child support go to the parent?
No. The money will go to the government to recoup the cost of aid being provided to the custodial parent and/or child(ren).
What if I cannot make it to court?
Every effort is made to set a court date out with enough time for the parties to make arrangements in time for the hearing. However, if some conflict does arise you may try and request a continuance from the court. If you can, it is best to have both the other parent and DCSS agree to the new date. There is a specific form that must be used if you are asking for a continuance. Please refer to the Forms section to access this document.
You may ask the court to appear by telephone. There are some very specific rules regarding the process. The most important requirement is that your Request for Telephone Appearance must be filed with the court at least 12 court days in advance and served on all parties to the case. Court days do not count on weekends or court holidays.
There is a specific form that must be used if you are asking to appear by telephone. Please refer to the Forms section to access this document and the Information Form related to it. If you have further questions on this process, you may contact the Family Law Facilitator or Yolo County DCSS.
No one else can represent you except your own attorney.
If you do not attend the hearing, you will not be represented in court. DCSS attorneys represent the state and not either party.
The hearing may proceed without you. By appearing in court you can help ensure that the order taken will be based on your financial situation.
In certain circumstances, you may request a telephonic hearing, for a fee, you can request a telephonic hearing by filing the request form with the court.
Is there any way to avoid having to go to court?
Yes, you can avoid going to court by signing a legal agreement (stipulation). The noncustodial parent and the Yolo County DCSS can agree (stipulate) on the amount of child support unless neither parent is receiving welfare benefits, then DCSS will assist both parents to sign a stipulation that establishes paternity and makes a formal arrangement to make child support payments.
How much Child Support is right for my family?
California statute defines child support guideline - in other words, the mathematical calculation based on both parents income, number of children, share of custody, etc. that determines which parent is responsible to pay child support and how much. The court can deviate from guideline in some situations, or if both parents agree a Stipulation can be signed ordering the agreed upon amount.
If you are interested in using a tool to estimate how much child support is appropriate for your family - the Guideline Calculator can assist you.
What if custody or visitation changes?
If custody/visitation changes significantly, please contact DCSS so that your file can be reviewed for a modification. Also, you may contact the Facilitator's Office to ask about how you can file for modification.
Does DCSS provide an attorney for either party?
No, DCSS does not represent either party, but represents the public interest in having children supported. You may retain an attorney to represent you, or you may represent yourself. You may seek the assistance of the Family Law Facilitator if you choose to represent yourself.
Can I file for custody or visitation?
Yes, but DCSS will not be involved in these issues. If you have questions about these issues, you should contact the Family Law Facilitator for further assistance.
What is the Family Law Facilitator's Office and how can it assist me?
The Facilitator's Office is located at 1100 Main Street, third Floor, in Woodland, CA. The Family Law Facilitator provides child support information and assistance to parents. It can also help parents obtain and complete court forms and all services are provided free of charge. The Facilitator's office is not part of the Department of Child Support Services. For more information, please refer to the Family Law Facilitator website at http://www.yolo.courts.ca.gov/FacilitatorSelfHelp/.
How can I obtain an order for child support without hiring an attorney?
You can open a child support case and request services to establish an order for child support, medical support, paternity and/or child care