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Overview

of the Court Process

Court hearings are scheduled in child support cases when a “request for order” (motion) is filed by the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) or by one of the parents. If the CSSD schedules the date, we will send both parents paperwork in the mail that will explain why we are going to court and when and where to appear.

If a parent files for a court date, he or she must serve a copy of the paperwork on the CSSD and the other parent. If the parent filing the motion serves an extra copy on the CSSD at least 30 days before the scheduled court hearing, the CSSD will serve the other parent by mail. For more information about how to serve your motion or other papers, please contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.

If your court date is scheduled at the Central Civil West (CCW) courthouse, you must check in at the Reception window on the 18th Floor as soon as you arrive. The Reception staff will update the computer to show that you are present, and the CSSD attorney or paralegal handling your case will call your name to meet with you before court. We have limited seating in the waiting area, so your friends and family members will not be able to sit with you there, and will be directed to wait on the 16th Floor in the hallway outside the courtrooms. Please do not bring children to court unless the court instructed you to do so.

On the hearing date, a CSSD lawyer or paralegal will meet with you and the other parent to discuss the issues and try to reach an agreement to resolve them. Some agreements do not need court approval but others do. If a complete agreement is not reached, either parent and the County have the right to have the matter heard by the Commissioner in court that day.

The Court may allow you to appear by telephone if you cannot attend the hearing in person because you have a disability, reside far away or for another reason. You do need advance permission from the court to appear by phone; please see Telephonic Hearings for more information.

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