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Military FAQs

 Why should I meet with a representative from DCSS?
If you are the non-custodial parent, it is better to help negotiate the child support amount rather than having the court determine the support amount without you.

 I will be deployed when my child is born. Can I still sign a Declaration of Paternity?
Yes. Military fathers can sign the Declaration before the baby is born. Military fathers need a note from their commanding officer stating they will be deployed when the baby is born and a copy of their orders.

 What happens if I don’t show up to a scheduled Service of Process appointment?
If you fail to show up for an appointment, DCSS can contact your legal services, magistrates, or civil processing office.

 Am I admitting paternity by showing up to my Service of Process appointment?
No, you will simply be served with a Summons and Complaint package. You will have the opportunity to discuss paternity with the child support services representative during your appointment.

 Will my command find out about the child support obligation?
There is usually no need to contact your command regarding your child support order. The child support payments will be automatically deducted from your paycheck.

 Do I have to get a health insurance identification card for my dependents?
A notification letter is sent to the custodial parent including a copy of the order. Usually, involvement from the parent isn't necessary.

 If I’m not a resident of California, can the department still establish an order?
Yes, according to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, UIFSA.

 Does the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) affect me?
Yes. SCRA was passed by Congress to provide protection for individuals entering or called to active duty in the military service. Among other things, it is intended to postpone or suspend specific civil obligations to enable servicemembers to devote full attention to their military duty.

Reservists and members of the National Guard also get the benefits of the SCRA while on active duty. The protection begins on the date the individual enters active duty and terminates within 90 to 180 days after the date of discharge from active duty. SCRA was designed to protect servicemembers who were called to active duty and incurred obligations prior to entry. If a servicemember incurred an obligation after entry into active duty, 50 U.S.C. Appendix 527 is not applicable to that obligation. Your local Judge Advocate General (JAG) may be able to provide additional information with regard to the SCRA.