Open a Child Support Case
If you wish to open a case with the San Mateo County DCSS for the establishment of paternity, establishment of child support or health insurance order or enforcement of an existing order, you may now do this on line and submit it electronically. It is easy, safe, and no cost to you. If you would like to proceed and open a case, click here to apply now. You can also contact our office at (866) 901-3212 or drop by our office (directions) at 555 County Center, 2nd Floor, Redwood City, where you may request an application for services from our receptionists.
Within 20 days of receipt of your completed application, you will be notified that your case has been opened, and you will be sent additional documentation to complete that includes your assigned case number and participant number. An intake worker will contact you to schedule an intake interview in our office. The intake worker will also mail an appointment notice should they not be able to communicate with you by phone. The intake interview will expedite the processing of your case in our office.
In preparation for this appointment, we ask that you gather and bring the following documents:
- A copy of your children's birth certificate(s)
- A copy of your children’s social security card(s)
- Verification of your child care expenditures
- Paternity declaration, if this form was signed by the father in the hospital at the time of birth
- A copy of your three (3) most recent pay stubs
- A copy of your last year's tax return (State and Federal)
- A copy of the original order (a certified copy if the order was obtained outside of California) and all subsequent modifications (if applicable)
- A completed Support Payment Record together with any documentation you may have substantiating your outstanding balance
During your intake interview, we will review all of the above documents. In addition you will be asked to provide information about yourself and the obligor parent.
NOTE: You may upload these documents during the electronic case opening process.
You may email the documents to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax them to 650-366-4711
We ask that you try to gather and bring as much of the following information as possible before your appointment with the San Mateo County DCSS:
- Full legal name, address and phone number of the obligor parent
- Date of birth and most current physical description of the obligor parent
- A recent picture of the obligor parent
- Social Security number (You can find this by reviewing old pay stubs, income tax returns, credit or loan applications, bank checking or savings accounts, insurance or health records, or military or union records. If you don't have one of these documents, but your name was also on the form, you can usually obtain a copy by writing to the appropriate agency.)
- Name and address of current or most recent employer of the obligor parent
- Friends and relatives names and organizations to which the obligor parent might belong
- Information pertaining to income and other assets of the obligor parent (pay slips, tax returns, bank accounts, cars, boats, R.V.s, investments or property holdings)
- Marriage license or certificate, if you have one
- Divorce decree or separation agreement, if you have one
- Any other information the San Mateo County DCSS requests
Remember... the more complete, reliable and accurate the information you can provide the San Mateo County Department DCSS, the easier it will be to establish and collect child support
A note for legal guardians
If you are not the parent of the child(ren) for whom you are opening a case:
- The San Mateo County DCSS requires that you open a case against both the mother and the father of the child(ren). You will need to complete two applications, one against each parent. Your application for support services may be rejected if an application is received for only one parent.
- Proof of Guardianship will be needed in order to establish and enforce a child support case. Guardianship may be established by providing a Guardianship Order or any other document that legally grants custody of the child(ren). You may receive assistance in obtaining a Guardianship Order by calling the Conservator/Probate section of the court. San Mateo County residents may call (650) 363-4711.