Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing

Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing - two weeks before

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:

  • Sign in to your Odyssey eFileCA account.
  • Register for an Odyssey eFileCA account.

Free online service is available if you need help in preparing documents for e-filing.

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 3, 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 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation when going to court, please complete the MC-410 form.

More information on the court process or ADA accommodation is available on the Superior Court website. You may also email the court at or call 619-844-5675.

To speak with a child support case manager, call 866-901-3212.

For general disability assistance, contact our ADA coordinator, Laura Rodal, at 858-650-6436, or email

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


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

  1. Personal Delivery: Deliver a copy of all ex parte hearing documents with the date and time of hearing to any local DCSS office.
  2. Email Delivery: Email and attach (to make it valid) a copy of all ex parte hearing documents with the date and time of hearing at You will receive a confirmation email.
  3. Telephonic Notice: Call DCSS at 866-901-3212 and provide the date, time, and relief requested for the ex parte hearing. Then give all ex parte hearing documents to DCSS 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 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 fax.

NOTE: Electronic service cannot be used for documents or notices that require personal service, or service by registered or certified mail.

If you have questions or wish to discuss your case, please contact your DCSS case manager at 866-901-3212, chat 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, meet with a DCSS staff to discuss your case. If an attorney represents you, he/she must be present. At the meeting, you will:

    • Discuss the case and provide any updated information.
    • Try to reach an agreement regarding 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 with each party’s position and any unresolved issues.

    The Commissioner reviews the case and calculates support based on income and visitation time with the child(ren).

    Based on the calculation and information provided, the Commissioner will make a judgment or order.

    (NOTE: If the Commissioner feels that more information is needed, the hearing will be rescheduled to allow parties to return with the required information and the court to make a decision on the issues.)

  • Request a Continuance

    If you will miss your hearing, contact DCSS as soon as possible. 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.