Child Support Process

Anyone who has a child support and/or medical support order, or wants to establish such an order, can apply for child support enforcement services by completing an application. If a child receives CalWORKs, Foster Care, or Medi-Cal benefits, the Department of Health and Social Services will automatically refer the case to this office and a case will be opened.


Open a Child Support Case
Any parent or guardian of a minor child in need of support may open a case with the Solano County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). Once the completed application is received by our office, you will be contacted within ten (10) days from case opening. Please provide as much information as possible on the application.  For more information, click on the tab "Open A Case."


Locating the Non-custodial Parent

Solano County DCSS needs to locate the non-custodial parent to get an order for support, establish paternity or enforce a child support order. If the non-custodial parent's location is not known, this office has access to various resources to attempt to gather information including: employment/unemployment records, credit reporting agency records, social services records, motor vehicle registration and driver’s license records, United States Postal Services, current and previous employers, current and previous utility companies, law enforcement agencies, parole and probation offices, state licensing boards and military records.


Establishing Paternity

Paternity or fatherhood must be established before the court will order child support. If the child is conceived during marriage, paternity does not need to be established.

When an unmarried woman has a child, paternity must be established to provide the child with the same legal rights as a child born to married parents.  For more information about establishing paternity, go to the California DCSS website.


Establishing a Support Order

To establish a new child support and medical support order, our office will get a court order by first filing a Summons and Complaint. The Summons and Complaint will include information about the child’s paternity, the amount of child support requested, and a request for medical support. The Summons and Complaint and a blank answer form are personally served to the non-custodial parent, who then has 30 days to file a response with the court.

Child Support is determined using guidelines established by California law. Child support guidelines are based on both parent's monthly income (allowing for certain deductions) and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent.


Enforcing a Support Order

Once a child support order is obtained, an Income Withholding Order (Wage Assignment) and National Medical Support
Notice is served to the non-custodial parent's employer. Regular child support payments will then be withheld from the non-custodial parent’s wages.

If a non-custodial parent is late or fails to pay court ordered child support, Solano County DCSS has several enforcement tools to collect the support including: credit reporting, passport denial, property liens, suspending licenses, DCSS Full Collection Program and income tax refund intercepts.


Collecting and Distributing Child Support Payments

Once a child support payment is received by the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) from either the non-custodial parent, the non-custodial parent's employer or through another enforcement method, DCSS will distribute the payment within two (2) business days.

Families that are receiving public assistance through CalWorks or Foster Care assign their rights to child support to the County. Child support collected goes toward paying for these benefits.


Modifying An Existing Child Support Order

Either parent may request a review for a modification of child support. A significant change in circumstances, such as a change in custody, in income or visitation may warrant a modification review. A modification may be justified if the support order would change by 20% or $50, whichever is less.  If appropriate, our office will initiate modification proceedings which may result in an increase or decrease in child support ordered.

    Use TurboCourt to request a modification


    Utilice TurboCourt para pedir una modificación


Closing A Case

A custodial party who is not receiving CalWORKs or Medi-cal benefits may request closure of the non-welfare portion of the case. The request must be made in writing.

A custodial party who is currently receiving CalWORKs or Medi-cal benefits may not request case closure.

A non-custodial parent may request closure if she/he initially opened the case and the custodial party and child(ren) are not receiving CalWORKs or Medi-cal benefits. The request must be made in writing.