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Skip Navigation Links Home > How the Child Support Process Works > Step 4: Establish A Child/Medical Support Order

Establish A Child/Medical Support Order

 Step 4 - Establish A Child/Medical Support Order

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.

Calculating Support

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 considered.

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 notice.
    • 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
    • Locations
    • San Bernardino Court House
      San Bernardino District Child Support Division
      655 W. 2nd St.
      San Bernardino, CA 92415-0248
      [Get Directions]


    • Victorville Court House
      14455 Civic Drive
      Victorville, CA 92392
      [Get Directions]

  • Documentation to Bring
    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 Declaration (FL-150)

  • 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 payment.

     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.