San Diego DCSS/DA Child Support Attorney
The Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is a department of the California Health and Human Services Agency that exclusively handles child support issues. While DCSS employs attorneys who assist individuals collecting or paying child support, those attorneys do not represent any parties involved in child support litigation – they represent the government, which has an interest in ensuring that children are receiving support from both parents.
The Law & Mediation Firm of Klueck & Hoppes, APC has a long history of protecting clients from paying too much or receiving too little support, modifying child support orders when circumstances change, and effectively enforcing existing orders. We provide aggressive, comprehensive, and detailed representation at DCSS to make sure your interests are protected.
When Is DCSS Involved?
There are essentially two types of cases in which DCSS might be involved:
- Cases in which a parent seeks child support from the other; and
- Cases in which DCSS seeks reimbursement from non-custodial parents when custodial parents have received governmental aid benefiting the children.
Both types of cases can involve substantial outstanding child support and interest. There are special rules that apply when government benefits are involved, making it exceedingly important to take action as soon as possible under the guidance of a competent attorney.
DCSS hearings are different from normal court hearings. Before appearing before a judge, you are required to take part in a settlement conference with a DCSS attorney and the opposing party. These negotiations are stressful and are made easier if you have an attorney guiding and advising you throughout the process.
If you are unable to settle your case, then you will proceed to the courtroom to be heard by a judge. It is often best to avoid having a judge make an order in your case by settling, but that is not always true. When you and your ex cannot get a long, large sums of money are at stake, or there are complex financial issues in your case, an attorney’s representation can be a saving grace.
If You Are Receiving Child Support
If you receive or ought to receive child support, you will likely find that the assistance you can receive at DCSS is limited to completing and filing paperwork. DCSS will not assist you in conducting discovery (the process of obtaining information and documents from the opposing party in your case), help with divorce, custody, or visitation, nor will they provide you with legal advice about your specific situation.
It is important to seek the advice of an attorney before seeking child support and when seeking to modify existing orders. If you need child support, need to increase support, or are not receiving payments under an existing order, contact an attorney to discuss your options. An attorney can help you avoid common mistakes, make a legal argument, and use appropriate evidence to support your case – which is vital to convincing a judge of your needs, especially in contentious or complex situations.
If You Are Paying Child Support
If you have been ordered to pay child support, it is important to comply with court orders until they are changed and approved by a judge – otherwise, you might wind up with a huge bill of past-due support, which collects interest at 10%. DCSS is usually not very helpful for payors and non-custodial parents, so if you owe child support, it is especially important to speak to an attorney before filing any papers or making any court appearances. Mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars, and past-due child support can rarely be forgiven or wiped out, even in bankruptcy.
If you owe past support or are current in payments but believe you should pay less, contact an attorney to discuss your options.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you have questions or wish to schedule a reduced rate initial consultation or appointment with one of our attorneys, contact our law firm by phone or by completing our online contact form. The Law & Mediation Firm of Klueck & Hoppes, APC has two office locations for your convenience. Our primary law office is in La Mesa, California, near San Diego State University. We also have a satellite office in La Jolla.