What is the purpose of the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS)?
The Department of Child Support Service, also known as DCSS, is a governmental agency found in each county throughout California. The purpose of DCSS is to establish, enforce or modify child support orders. You can request that DCSS open, enforce or modify a child support order regardless of whether you receive public assistance (“Welfare”).
Persons receiving public assistance have assigned their right to receive some or all currently ordered and past-due child support to DCSS. The agency that provides the public assistance will seek reimbursement for that assistance from the parent that is supposed to be paying child support.
If you do not receive public assistance you can open a DCSS case to establish a child support order, to enforce an existing child support order made in a divorce or legal separation case or to modify a prior support order if there has been a significant change of circumstance. DCSS has certain powers not available to a private attorney when it comes to the enforcement of a child support order including suspension of the supporting parent’s personal or commercial driver license and professional licenses i.e. real estate license, interception of state income tax refunds, negative reporting to credit bureaus, at no cost to you. DCSS is part of the statewide and sister-state system of support enforcement. This means that if the parent paying child support moves to another county in California or another state, DCSS can continue to enforce the child support order.
Since each case involving child support is unique, your case may be such that opening a DCSS case is more advantages only after your attorney has established a child support order against the other parent.