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San Diego DCSS: New Case Orientation

In San Diego, there are two court houses which hear Department of Child Support Services cases: San Diego on Broadway and Vista on Melrose. These include "self" cases in which a parent seeking child support may ask for this County of San Diego Department to assist with the setting of the amount and the enforcement of the order. In addition, in limited situation, spousal support [alimony] is also included in their jurisdiction.

In San Diego, many parents seek child support orders as part of their divorce, legal separation or paternity action. In these, the Family Law Judges make orders which are valid and binding. The DCSS has "exclusive" jurisdiction over child support which means that once a case is pending with DCSS that a Family Law Judge will not make an order on the pending issues. This can become complicated since the divorce, legal separation or paternity case is in two courts: one for support and one for the remainder of the issues: division of assets and debts and marital status.

The below information was obtained from the San Diego DCSS in a handout outside the court rooms on Broadway in the court house on the 4th floor in April of 2009. For those who have not, or cannot, go there, below is the information. Please always verify this and that the program and times and locations are still valid.

The phone number to call is 619-236-7600 and this is for new care orientation and for help with establishing a child support order and to know more about the free child support services available through the County of San Diego. The website address is www.sandiegochildsupport.org and there is additional information there as well. You will need to call for an application package and complete this and bring it to the orientation. As of April, 2009, the new case orientations are being held at the following locations at the following times. Public transportation is available to these locations. Please feel free to contact the San Diego Transit at 619-233-3005, the North County Transit at 1-800-commute and the SD Trolley at 619-595-4949. Phone numbers often change as well so make sure to verify that these are the correct phone numbers.

Downtown San Diego: held first Friday of each month except holidays at 9am at the San Diego Court House located at 220 West Broadway on the 6th Floor in San Diego.

North County San Diego: held first Tuesday of each month except holidays at 10am at the Vista Library located at 700 Eucalyptus Avenue in Vista.

South Bay San Diego: held third Tuesday of each month except holidays at 10am at the Health and Human Services Agency- South Region- Conference Room 2 at 690 Oxford Street in Chula Vista.

East County San Diego: held the second Tuesday of each month at 11:00am at the El Cajon Library at 201 East Douglas in El Cajon.

There is additional assistance at the Family Law Facilitator's Office which is located in the following court houses: San Diego Family Law Court House on 6th; Madge Bradley Court House on 4th; El Cajon Court House on Main; Chula Vista Court House on 3rd and Vista Court House on Melrose.

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