• Annmarie Baranik

The Best Ways to Prepare for Your Child Custody Hearing at Child Support Services in Santa Barbara



Here are some tips to prepare for your child custody hearing even if you have a Child support services hearing in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles. Many people are confused as to these two entities.

Both of these hearings are to determine custody. The difference with the Child support services is that their purpose is to collect child support. The family court system also will handle spousal support and divorce matters but Child support Services does not. The court can use a family law custody visitation schedule to determine the amount owed in child support and collect it. They do have a hearing to determine the amount of time for custody for each parent at both courts if no mediation of terms can be agreed on.

To prepare you need to have all of your finances ready. Have all your income and expenses. Please have proof of your health insurance payments and your IRA payments or pension mandatory contributions. Those things you are able to deduct from your income. Be honest because normally when you end up at the Child support Services hearing in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles the case worker assigned will already have a print out from your employer or taxes. So if off the bat if you are lying then the meeting immediately takes a different turn. Know this and don’t argue because you will be there with the other party. If there is a restraining order let them know and they will do separate meetings.

So at child support services in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles you will state your case and give the information in the first meeting. This is where you tell the case manager what the child is used to doing or other orders from family or dependency court. If you and your other party can agree they will write up in an order and that is that, you all go home. If not you will be appointed a lawyer for free and you will go to the court usually in that building and wait to be called. At the hearing this lawyer speaks to the judge for you both. The judge makes and order and it is done. You will need to give that attorney all supporting documents and addresses.

Child support services in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles then can collect the child support in this case with a garnishment if the party ordered to pay is employed. You don’t need to collect it, they do, so that is the main reason to do this through child support services. Another reason is to collect it through tax returns, government stimulus or even disability or social security payments. A garnishment is also available in Family law court but you will need to do the filing and service of the employer by yourself.

Hopefully this explains the difference of a family law case and a child support services hearing and the things you need to prepare before the hearing.


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