Establishing A Support Order

The FSD or local child support agency will file an action to establish a support order for the parent or party that has custody of the child(ren) if there is no order. In CalWORKS cases, the FSD or local child support agency will automatically file the complaint and the court order will be made payable to the county (to reimburse CalWORKS benefits paid to the custodial parent). If the location of the non­custodial parent is known, support orders can usually be obtained within 90 days. However, because some cases under go litigation longer, the FSD or local child support agency has twelve months to complete actions to establish paternity and a support order.

A child support order is established based on both parents` ability to pay support and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The FSD or local child support agency and the court will follow the child support guidelines established by state law in Family Code Section 4055. This state law provides a standard formula for determining child support, although the court may change the amount under specific circumstances.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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