Dealing with Child Support? County Can Help - Staff is available to create better outcomes for children and their parents
San Rafael, CA – One of the most eye-opening facts from a 2017 statewide study about child support services was that California parents were mostly saying, “Wait … there’s such a thing as child support services?” The Marin County Department of Child Support Services (DCCS) is determined to change that.
The Novato-based department led by Director Jill Francis assists parents in supporting their children in all sorts of forms, including financially. During August, which is Child Support Awareness Month, the 22-person staff is emphasizing the statewide theme, “You Are There For Them, We’ll Be There For You.”
“Steady support creates better outcomes for children, and that theme references all the benefits children receive from the participation of both parents in their lives,” Francis said. “We’re here to facilitate that participation and make things easier for everybody involved.”
In federal fiscal year 2018, Marin County DCSS distributed $12,992,693 in support payments of which $8,525,027 was consistent monthly child support distributed to Marin families.
The child support programs can assist a parent with getting a court order for financial or medical support. The staff can work with both parents to avoid the stressful court process and create amenable agreements. The department can also enforce an existing court order for support and help track payments to provide peace of mind for both parents.
Several programs are available for parents paying support. If circumstances have changed for a parent, such as a change in job or the custody and visitation of their child, they may qualify for a modification of the court order. Assistance is available if a parent is seeking work but has a suspended driver’s license or professional license as a result of non-payment of child support.
Other programs available include the Compromise of Arrears Program, designed to assist parents who have larger amounts of unpaid child support debt and possibly reduce a portion of that debt.
DCSS continues to make paying child support convenient with payment options online, by phone, by credit card, by debit card and by mail. Several retail locations offer MoneyGram and PayNearMe kiosks, payments are accepted via PayPal, and there are self-service kiosks at local child support agencies.
To access child support services, a parent can complete an application online or in person at any child support services office in California. In Marin, the office is at 88 Rowland Way, Suite 200, in Novato. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Call 866-901-3212 or email the staff for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: At Private Courts Inc., mediator Melanie Nathan offers mediation services so that you can negotiate and pursue your own child support arrangements, in privacy, and without the help of government bodies. After negotiating your own child support arrangement or a modification it can be made an order of Court. This is usually a swift process as long as both parties are open and transparent in their disclosures and negotiate in absolute good faith. In such instances each party may in their discretion choose to have a representing or consulting attorney - while some feel competent without such. However if mediation is not an option or does not work out, the County option becomes a critical choice.