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Department of Child Support Services

Child Support Court Hearings:

Press Release by Imperial County Superior Court


Open a Case

Opening a Child Support Case

A child support case is opened by the non-custodial parent or custodial party by completing an application. (You can request by phone a packet be sent to you by regular mail or you can come by the office to obtain an application packet.) If your child (ren) is currently receiving CalWORKS benefits you do not need to complete an application form; a case will automatically be opened for you. Once DCSS receives a completed, signed application we will mail both parties a letter notifying them the case is open and provide the Department of Child Support Services case number. (We would be happy to provide assistance with the application process. Please allow approximately one hour for this process.)

The DCSS opens cases

  • At the request of the custodial party or the non-custodial parent
  • Upon a referral from the California Department of Social Services as a result of the application for TANF (Temporary Aide for Needy Families)
  • At the request of another jurisdiction (inter-county, inter-state, or international cases)

The Imperial County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) provides child support services to custodial parents at no cost. When you are applying for services, please remember you are our best informative resource. The more complete, reliable, and accurate the information is that you provide, the easier and faster it will be to enforce the child support order. The following information is requested to open your case:

  • Completed application
  • The full legal name, address, and phone number of the parent owing support
  • Any information on any other names the party is known by
  • Dates and places of birth of the non-custodial parent and the child (ren)
  • A physical description of the non-custodial parent
  • A recent photo of the non-custodial parent (optional)
  • Social Security numbers for all parents and the child (ren)
  • Name and address of the non-custodial parent’s current or most recent employer
  • Names of any professional organizations or unions with which the non-custodial parent is affiliated
  • Copies of the child (ren)’s birth certificates
  • Names of friends and relatives of the non-custodial parent
  • Location of property that the non-custodial parent or the parents of the non-custodial parents own
  • Information pertaining to income and other assets of the non-custodial parent (i.e., pay slips, tax returns, bank accounts, cars, boats, RVs, investments or property holdings)
  • Existence and extent of any permanent disability
  • A copy of any child support order (if applicable)
  • A marriage license or certificate (if applicable)
  • The divorce decree or separation agreement (if applicable)
  • Any other information that would be helpful to determine the ability to pay or how to best collect the child support owed, such as knowledge of trusts, royalties, commissions, stock or bonds, etc.

The Department of Child Support Services and the court follow the child support guidelines found in the California Family Code, Sections 4055 – 4076. The court looks at several factors when determining how much child support a parent should pay:

  • The number of children involved
  • The net income of both parents
  • The percentage of time each parent has physical custody of the child (ren)
  • The tax filing status of both parents
  • The existence of hardships such as other children, loss of employment, extraordinary catastrophic losses, or un-reimbursed medical expenses.