Establish A Child/Medical Support Order
Step 4 - Establish A Child/Medical
If the non-custodial parent is located and there is not a court order, we will file
a legal action to obtain an order for child and medical support.
Summons and Complaint
The non-custodial parent will be served a Summons
and Complaint packet which will include
a proposed child support amount based on state guidelines. The guidelines provide
a standard formula for determining the child support amount, although the court
may change the amount under limited circumstances.
The proposed amount will be based on both parents’ income and the amount of time
each parent spends with the child. Issues such as the cost of childcare, other biological/adopted
children, employment related expenses, and the cost of health insurance will be
California has developed a Guideline
Calculator, which can be used to estimate the amount of child support that
might be ordered.
Methods to obtain the support order:
- Stipulation – If the non-custodial parent and our office reach an agreement
regarding the requests made in the Summons and Complaint, the non-custodial parent
may sign an agreement called a “stipulation” By signing the stipulation, the non-custodial
parent agrees that:
He or she is the parent of the child.
He or she is obligated to pay the amount of child support indicated and provide
the health insurance stated
in the stipulation.
The court may enter an order or judgment based on the stipulation, without further
- Default Judgment – If a stipulation has not been reached, the non-custodial
parent may file an answer to the Summons and Complaint within 30 days. If the non-custodial
parent receives a document stating the date of a court hearing, the non-custodial
parent must appear in court on the date shown. If the non-custodial parent does not
file an answer or appear in court, the court will enter a Default Judgment.
Once the child support amount is established, the court will issue an order for
the child support and Order/Notice to Withhold. The court will order the non-custodial
parent to provide health insurance coverage, including vision and dental care, if
it is available at a reasonable cost.
- Court Hearing – If the non-custodial parent files an answer, he or she will
have the opportunity for a court hearing. The non-custodial parent has the right
to request a genetic test to determine if he is the father, and also ask the
court to establish the amount of child support if it is determined he is the father.
Going to Court
Documentation to Bring
- San Bernardino Court House
San Bernardino District Child Support Division
655 W. 2nd St.
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0248
- Victorville Court House
14455 Civic Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
If you received a letter from the department telling you to come to court, bring
that letter with you.
If the case involves determining the correct amount of support for your child(ren),
the court will need proof of your income and other factors to use to calculate how
much child support should be paid.
Please bring ALL documents that apply from the following list:
Tax returns for the past two (2) years. If self-employed, bring Schedule “C” and
current profit-and-loss statement
Last three (3) paycheck stubs
Proof of unemployment benefits
Proof of disability and/or disability benefits
Proof of health insurance premium payments
Proof of child care expenses
Proof of child support and/or spousal support paid by you for any other relationship
Proof of visitation/timeshare (time spent with the child)
Proof of biological or legally adopted children living with you
Proof of mortgage payments and property tax bill
Any other documents or information the department, or the judicial officer, has
told you to bring
Completed Income and Expense
Restraining Orders to Bring
Please alert the department prior to your court date if you have a restraining order
or there is a history of domestic violence involving the other party. We will interview
each party separately.
In Court Process
Prior to the hearing, all parties will meet with a department representative. If
either party is represented by an attorney, that attorney must be present. If the
parties are able to reach an agreement during that meeting, then a court hearing
may not be needed. A stipulation will be prepared for all parties to sign. Once
the court approves the stipulation, the agreement becomes a valid court order.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case will be heard in court. A child
support Commissioner will hear your case. The Commissioner is appointed by the Superior
Court to hear child support cases. The department’s attorney presents the case to
the court, by telling the Commissioner what the issues are and provides any relevant
information that was discovered during the meeting that was held prior to the hearing.
Please note that the department’s attorney does not represent either party.
The Commissioner may ask questions of both parties, usually related to income and
visitation. If the Commissioner determines that enough information has been provided,
he or she may make an order in court and our department will prepare a written order
for the Commissioner to sign. If the Commissioner believes more information is needed,
he or she will schedule a continuance. If one of the parties does not attend the
hearing, a decision could be made without that person.
After Hearing Process
Once the hearing is completed, the parties will be given the opportunity to meet
with a caseworker to:
Ask any questions they may have about what happened in the courtroom
Receive information about the payment process
In addition, the non-custodial parent will be given the opportunity to make an initial
Establishing Medical Support
California law requires the judicial officer to order parents to provide health
insurance (medical, dental, and vision) for their child if it is available at a
reasonable cost. The court will also order a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN),
which requires an employer to enroll the child in a health insurance plan and to
deduct the cost of the plan from the wages of the parent. Generally speaking, the
court will order the expenses not covered by insurance to be shared by the parents
based on a 50-50 split; 50% to each parent.