Information About Going to Court
Effective June 15, 2021, there may be changes in whether you can appear for your hearing virtually (by video or telephone), or in person. It is possible that the court may also allow you to choose whether you appear virtually or in person.
You should check with the Superior Court’s website for the latest
information. At this time, we suggest you plan to attend virtually
(by video or telephone) unless you hear otherwise.
- You must participate in a pre-court meeting (meet and confer) with a DCSS representative
- You will be provided information by email or phone about the date and time for this meeting. Generally, this meeting will be one week prior to your court date.
- Please make sure your phone number and email address are updated with DCSS.
- Completed Income and Expense Declaration (FL150)
- Prior year's W-2
- Self-employed? IRS1040 tax returns (with Schedule C or C-EZ)
- Please click here for specific information from the Superior Court regarding your hearing.
- The Superior Court website will have a specific link to the Courtroom/Department (802, 803, 804 or 34) to be used on the day of your hearing.
- On the day of your hearing, login to the correct Courtroom Microsoft Teams link 30 minutes prior to your Hearing Time as shown above.
Notice of an Ex Parte hearing may be given to the Department of Child Support Services using any of the following methods:
Personal Delivery: A copy of all ex parte hearing documents,
including the date and time for the hearing, may be delivered to our
reception staff at any of our locations. Please see our website for
branch locations and times.
Email Delivery: A copy of all ex parte hearing documents,
including the date and time for the hearing, may be emailed to: email@example.com. All ex
parte hearing documents must be attached to your email for valid
notice. You will receive a reply confirming receipt of your
- Telephonic Notice: Call DCSS at 866-901-3212 and provide the date, time, and relief requested for the ex parte hearing. In addition, all ex parte hearing documents must be forwarded to the Department of Child Support Services by personal or email delivery as specified above.
Ex Parte notice and requests for relief must comply with San Diego Family Law Local Rule 5.3.1
NEW! EMAIL (ELECTRONIC) SERVICE ON DCSS NOW AVAILABLE!
Email (Electronic) Service
Parties may electronically serve* the County of San Diego, Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in cases where:
1. DCSS has previously appeared in the court action; and
2. The document or notice could be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission.
NOTE: Electronic service cannot be used for documents or notices that require personal service, or service by registered or certified mail.
If you have question or wish to discuss your case, please contact your DCSS Case Manager, call 866-901-3212, chat live or meet virtually with us.
*As authorized under Code of Civil Procedure § 1010.6
Pre-Court Hearing Meeting (Meet and Confer)
Before your hearing, you will meet with a DCSS staff member to discuss your case before going to court for the hearing. If an attorney represents you, your attorney must be present. During this meeting you will:
- Discuss the case and provide any updated information.
- Try to reach an agreement regarding the child support matters. If you reach an agreement, all parties will sign the agreement and you will not need to go to court.
- If a full agreement can't be reached, you will appear in court.
The Court Hearing
The DCSS attorney presents the case to the court, including each party’s position and informs the court of any issues that were not resolved.
The Commissioner will review the facts of the case and complete a calculation of support based on your income and visitation with the child(ren).
Based on the calculation and the additional information provided, the Commissioner will make a decision, and a judgment will be made.
(NOTE: If the Commissioner feels that more information is needed, they will re-schedule the court hearing to allow the parties to return to court with information required for the court to make a decision on the issues.)
Request a Continuance
If you will miss your court hearing, you need to contact DCSS soon as possible. You should also contact the other party to request their permission to continue the hearing.
There is no guarantee that the hearing will be continued. The court may proceed even though you are not there.