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Petition for Custody and Support

If paternity has already been established through a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, or if married persons are living apart and want to have court orders regarding their children, a Petition for Custody and Support can be used. Here are the instructions to start your Petition for Custody and Support.

There are two ways to get a child support order: 

  • You can do it yourself. The advantage of doing it yourself is that it is faster.  Also, if you are the paying parent and want to oppose and order, DCSS will not help you.
  • You can have the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) help you.  The advantage of having the Department of Child Support Services help you is that they are in a better position to  enforce the order.  In addition to finding out where a supporting parent works, they can do things like intercept tax returns for unpaid support.

If the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is collecting support for the child, DCSS has already made a determination of paternity.  A Notice of Motion for child custody and visitation can be done and filed into that DCSS case.  It will cost $355.00 to file as a "first appearance," which is the same amount it would cost to file any of the petitions.  However, this is easier that doing any of the Petition paperwork.  

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