When unwed parents have a child, parentage needs to be established. There are three ways parentage can be established; both parents can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP), by court order, or by DNA testing. Establishing parentage may allow for the other parent’s name to be on the birth certificate and may also allow for the child to receive the other parent’s medical and/or social security benefits.
The Kern County Department of Child Support Services works with parents to establish court orders that are based on the guidelines established by State law. Child support guidelines are based on many factors, including the income of both parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. State law mandates that court orders include health insurance requirements.
After a child support and medical order is established, the next step is to start collecting the designated amount of support. The Kern County Department of Child Support Services uses a variety of actions to enforce court orders for child support. The primary collection method is the Income Withholding Order where money is automatically deducted from the parent’s paycheck. Other methods used include intercept of State and Federal tax refunds, bank levies, and property liens. Parents who owe past due child support may have their licenses suspended or passports revoked.
Sometimes when circumstances change, there is a need to increase or decrease child support payment amounts. Parents may request a modification to their child support order when their circumstances change. Examples of changes that could affect the child support amount include an increase or decrease in earnings, a change in custody or amount of time the child spends with each parent, military deployment, or incarceration.
Enroll for Services
Our Simplified Enrollment Process is designed to allow you to provide as much, or as little information as you choose. Depending on how much information you can provide, it could take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete your enrollment.
You will be asked to provide basic information about yourself, your child(ren), and the person you wish to open this child support case with, such as:
- Name/age/location/contact details
- Information about relationships between adults & child(ren)
- Details regarding custody/visitation & prior court orders (if any exist)