DCSS and FSD

Department of Child Support Services (DCSS)

DCSS is an executive public agency created by the State of California but managed at the county level. There are two types of cases commenced by DCSS:  1) when a custodial parent applies for and receives public assistance (referred to as an “aid case”) under the CalWorks (formerly AFDC) program, the county paying the aid will automatically file a complaint against the other parent to reimFSD and the family court, although their respective jurisdiction derives from the Family Code, are two separate courts.  FSD does not adjudicated custody and visitation issues, only child support (with exceptions), while the family court can and must determine custody, visitation and child support issues (unless the issue of child support has been transferred to FSD thereby limiting the issues heard in family court to that of child custody and visitation).burse a portion of the payments made; and 2) when a custodial parent applies to DCSS seeking child support from the non-custodial parent (referred to as a “self-case”), the county will assist in obtaining child support by filing a complaint against the non-custodial parent for support.

DCSS will also assist in a third type of case.  In a case already commenced in family court, the custodial parent may apply through DCSS to transfer jurisdiction over child support from the family court to FSD.  The reasons for this are normally financial – enforcement of child support orders can be expensive – and because DCSS has statutory enforcement tools (e.g., revocation of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license for non-payment) that the custodial parent on his or her own does not have otherwise.

DCSS for the Central, South County and East County Divisions within the County of San Diego, is located at 220 West Broadway, San Diego, CA  92101.  To start a self-case, begin at the sixth floor.  If you have a court hearing at the Family Support Division, you must check in with DCSS on the 5th floor prior to your hearing, regardless of whether you are the paying parent or the parent receiving payments.

A branch of DCSS also exists at the Vista courthouse for those within the jurisdiction of the North County Division.

Family Support Division (FSD)

FSD for the Central, South County and East County Divisions within the County of San Diego, is located on the fourth floor at 220 West Broadway, San Diego, CA  92101. The FSD business office, where papers must be filed, and the three courtrooms (Departments 42 – 44) are located there.  FSD is also located at the Vista courthouse for those within the administrative venue of the North County Division.

Address Where Payments Must be Mailed

The State of California keeps track of payments ordered by FSD and the simple interest accrued (currently at ten percent (10%)) on arrearages. Therefore, the paying parent should not make payments ordered by FSD directly to the other parent because the State of California will not credit the paying parent’s account and an arrearage plus interest will ensue.  The paying parent must mail payments ordered by FSD directly to: the State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 989067, Sacramento, CA 95798-9067. With regard to an income withholding order (IWO) to be served on the supporting party’s employer, please see the page entitled Child Support.

Please feel free to comment.