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Going to Court FAQs

 What should I do when I get a summons and Complaint?
If you are the person named as the respondent/defendant and you do not agree with the information contained in the Summons and Complaint or Proposed Judgment, you have 30 days to respond (file an Answer). A blank Answer is supplied with the Summons and Complaint. Complete the Answer and file it with the Superior Court clerk within 30 days. You may call DCSS, the Family Law Facilitator, or a private attorney to discuss the case.

 Is there any way to resolve my child support matter outside of court?
Yes. You can resolve your matter outside of court by signing a legal agreement (stipulation). The parent required to pay child support and DCSS can agree (stipulate) on the amount of child support if the other parent is receiving welfare benefits. If neither parent is receiving welfare benefits, then both parents may sign a legal agreement (stipulation) that establishes paternity and a specific child support order.

 What do I do if I cannot attend my hearing date?
Contact DCSS to speak to a child support professional.

 Must the custodial party appear at the court hearing?
In some situations, attendance is mandatory. It is strongly recommended that the custodial party appear at the court hearing in order to provide information.

 Will I have an attorney representing me in court?
DCSS does not represent either party. We are a public agency that enforces guideline child support issues. You may choose to hire an attorney, although you are not required to do so.

 How long will my hearing take?
Plan on your hearing taking the entire morning or afternoon (depending when your hearing is scheduled). Each case may take a few hours depending upon your specific case situation, negotiation issues, and the court’s total number of cases scheduled for that day. We also may need to wait for the other party in your case.

 What documents should I bring to the hearing?
Click on the following link for information about going to court.

 Can I bring my present spouse/ friend?
You may bring your present spouse or friend for moral support. However, he or she is considered a third party to your case. DCSS will only discuss the case with you and the other party. Your present spouse or friend will not be allowed to participate in any case negotiations.

 Can I bring my children?
The courtrooms will not allow minors, anyone under 18 years old, to attend the hearing.

 If I file a Response with the court, will I have a chance to talk to the judge?
Yes. If you respond to the Summons and Complaint and disagree with the amount of child support or paternity, you will be given a court date.