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Your Court Hearing Day

Role of Child Support Services

The Child Support Services attorney will often present factors agreed upon by the parties and frame the contested issues for the Court. The parents or their attorneys can supplement those issues as needed. This process often reduces the time required for a hearing by focusing on only the contested issues. Each side is then allowed to produce evidence regarding their positions. The Court Commissioner may ask questions in order to obtain additional information needed to complete the Guideline Calculator input screen and calculate child support.

Role of Commissioner

Orange County currently has two Child Support Commissioners whose primary responsibility is to hear Title IV-D support matters pursuant to Family Code §4251. A Child Support Commissioner has the same powers as other court commissioners under California law, but is specifically responsible for hearing actions to establish paternity and establish and enforce child support under Family Code §4251(a). Code of Civil Procedure §259.  

A Child Support Commissioner shall act as a temporary judge absent an objection from the local child support agency or any other party. A specific notice to this effect is contained on the Judicial Council summons and complaint forms filed by the local child support agency, and will be used in other forms regarding Title IV-D proceedings. The Child Support Commissioner will normally advise the parties prior to the commencement of a hearing that the matter is being heard by a commissioner who shall act as a temporary judge.

Calendar Settings in a CSS Courtroom

CSS Hearings are usually short, between five and fifteen minutes, and the calendars are usually very busy (at least eighteen cases per half day session).

CSS cases must be heard by a Commissioner and will be calendared in a particular courtroom on the basis of the last two digits of the Superior Court case number. Cases ending in digits 00-49 will be in Department L51 and cases ending in digits 50-99 will be in L54.

Monday through Thursday Calendar

The morning calendar is primarily reserved for motions set by parties other than CSS. These motions are predominately modification of child support, determination of arrears, wage assignments and license issues.

The afternoon calendar is primarily reserved for motions filed by CSS. These include motions for judgment, modifications of child support, and arrears determinations. This calendar also includes the re-determination of financial issues in cases continued from the Law and Motion calendar.

Friday Calendar

Special Enforcement (Judgment Debtor Exams, Job Seek, and Civil Contempt) cases are set exclusively on Friday mornings.

Continuances

A continuance means the case is being postponed for another date.  CSS does not grant continuances or cancellations of court dates; only the court has that authority. If you contact CSS, we will relay your request to the court, but there is no guarantee that it will be honored and the court may proceed without you.  If you have been ordered by the court to appear, you should be in court unless you obtain permission from the court to be absent.

How to Resolve Your Child Support Matter Before the Court Hearing

Contact our office at (866) 901-3212 for an appointment. Our Solutions for Parents program focuses on working with both parents to reach a reasonable and appropriate child support agreement. If we can reach agreement between you and the other parent, there will not be a need to have a court hearing.

Preparing for the Court Hearing

Attending court can be a stressful time.  To alleviate some of that stress, we have information to help you prepare for a court hearing.

English - Know Before You Go to Your Hearing

Español - Prepárese Antes de Su Audiencia

Preparing for the Telephonic Court Hearing

To prepare for a telephonic court hearing, please review the following document:

English - Know Before You Go to Your Telephonic Hearing

Español - Prepárese Antes de Su Audiencia Telefónica

At your Hearing

English - What to Expect on Your Court Hearing Day

Spanish - What to Expect on Your Court Hearing Day