Opening a Case


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Either parent or the custodial party may open a child support case by completing an application. Child support applications may be:

  • completed online, (click here for online application)
  • picked up at
    • 4 E. Carrillo, Santa Barbara or
    • 201 S. Miller, Suite 206, Santa Maria or
  • requested over the phone by calling1-866-912-3212.  

CalWORKS, Medi-Cal, or Foster Care Cases

A case will be opened automatically for any child receiving CalWORKS, Foster Care, or Medi-Cal benefits. In these cases, the Department of Social Services will refer the case to the Child Support Services, unless a good cause exemption is granted. In order to maintain their grant eligibility, parents who apply for public assistance must cooperate with the child support caseworker to establish parentage and to obtain child support payments. Except in a foster care case, the first $50 of child support collected each month for children receiving public assistance is paid directly to the primary custodial party. The remainder of the child support payment collected goes to the County for reimbursement of the welfare benefits. For more information about child support and CalWORKS, Foster Care and Medi-Cal cases, please refer to the State of California Child Support Handbook in English and Spanish.

Domestic Violence Cases

Child Support Services puts your safety and security first.  If you need help collecting child support from a violent or potentially violent individual, inform child support staff of your concerns immediately, and we will develop strategies that protect you and the child(ren). 

What To Bring To Your Appointment with Child Support ServicesGirl with bubble

When opening a child support case, you should gather and bring to any appointment as much information as possible. A case can still be opened without all of the information listed below, but our success is dependent on the information you provide. Child Support Services will want the following:

Information about you:
  • Full name, address, and phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Name, address, and phone number of employer or former employer
  • Tax returns for the last two years, including W-2 forms and 1099 forms
  • Existing child support orders
  • Marriage license
  • Divorce order or separation agreement
Information about the child:
  • Each child's full name, address, and phone number
  • Each child's date of birth and copy of birth certificate
  • Each child's Social Security Number
  • Proof of paternity
Information about the other parent:
  • Full name, address, and phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Name, address, and phone number of employer or last employer, union or self-employment information
  • A recent photograph or description
  • The names and phone numbers of friends or family
  • Information about past involvement with the child
  • The names of any clubs or organizations
  • Information about valuables, such as real estate, cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, other property, or property s/he may inherit
  • Copies of paycheck stubs, bank statements for checking, savings, or other accounts
  • Tax returns for the last two years, including W-2 forms and 1099 forms

We can copy your documents for you if necessary.

For more information on opening a child support case, please refer to the State of California Child Support Handbook in English and Spanish.