Court's Role

  1. Legal Process
  2. Definitions
  3. Self-Help

Child Support Legal Process

California child support services are governed by various sections of the California Family Code including sections 17000 and thereafter. State regulations that operate the child support program can be found in Title 22, California Code of Regulations sections 110000 and thereafter.

The court process, step by step:

  • The Department files a Summons and Complaint.
  • The Department serves the Obligor (person required to pay child support).
  • The Obligor responds within 30 days to the Summons and Complaint.
  • The Obligee (person requesting child support) and Obligor submit individual Income and Expense Declarations.
  • The Obligee and Obligor agree on support, or appear in court.
  • The court sets the child support amount and issues the child support order and wage withholding order.

For more information on how the amount of child support is determined, see the Guideline Calculator.