Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing

Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing - two weeks before
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File all your documents with the Superior Court*

*Sending your documents to DCSS does NOT file them with the court.

1. Complete the court required Income and Expense Declaration form

  • Attach last two months’ paystubs and most recent tax return or W-2
  • If self-employed, attach most recent profit and loss statement and tax return with Schedule C.

2. Mail or drop off documents at the Court Business Office:

3. Or, E-file your documents:

  • If you have an Odyssey eFileCA account, sign in here.
  • To register for an Odyssey eFileCA account, click here.

Need help preparing documents for e-filing? Click here.

Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing - 1 week before

Pre-Court Meeting by Phone or Video (Required by Court)

  • Morning court hearings: Meetings will be between 8 AM and 12 PM one week before the court date.
  • Afternoon court hearings: Meetings will be between 1 PM and 5 PM one week before the court date.

Please make sure DCSS has your current  phone number and email address.

  Can't make it to your meeting?


Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing - day of court hearing

Check your paperwork to find your court department number.

If you choose to appear in person in Department 34, please be aware the Commissioner will not be present in person but will preside by a video connection to the courtroom.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

If you require ADA accommodation when going to court, please complete the MC-410 Disability Accommodation Request form.

For more information on the court process or ADA accomodation, click here.

You may also reach out to the court’s ADA coordinator at or reach out to the court directly  at  619-844-5675.

To speak with a Child Support case manager, please call 866-901- 3212.

For general Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) assistance, please contact our ADA coordinator, Laura Rodal, at 858-650-6436 or email

If you require ADA accommodation when visiting our office, please call the ADA coordinator before your visit and notify the receptionist upon your arrival.


Notice of an Ex Parte hearing may be given to the Department of Child Support Services using any of the following methods:

  1. 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.

  2. Email Delivery: A copy of all ex parte hearing documents, including the date and time for the hearing, may be emailed to: All ex parte hearing documents must be attached to your email for valid notice. You will receive a reply confirming receipt of your email.

  3. 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 


Email (Electronic) Service Address:

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



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  • 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.




Frequently Asked Questions