Open A Case


A child support services case can be opened by either parent, or a legal guardian, whether or not a child support court order exists. If you already have a court order, opening a case offers neutral assistance with every part of the process, keeps records, and helps both parties stay on track. If you do not have a case, applying for child support means your local child support agency will help you locate the other parent, establish legal paternity/parentage if required, get a court order and see that it is enforced in every state and many foreign countries. To start the process, you have several options:

1. Apply Online

  • To apply for services online, click here. (Mire en la esquina superior derecha para cambiar el formulario a español.)

  • You will be taken to a secure website where you can enter all the information necessary to complete an application, which will then be automatically routed to the child support agency in your area. 

  • Please plan to take 30-45 minutes to complete all of the parts of the online application.

*Please note, persons currently receiving CalWORKS (government cash assistance/welfare) are automatically referred to their local child support agency for services. If you are a CalWORKS beneficiary and have questions about your case, please contact your local office.

2. Apply In Person

  • To apply in person, download and complete an Application for Child Support Services Packet (found below). 

  • Then, return it to the child support agency in your area to be processed. 

  • Applications are also available on a walk-in basis at all county and regional child support offices

As stated above, if you are receiving CalWORKS (government cash assistance/ welfare), you will automatically be referred to a child support office in your area. 

Application for Child Support Services Packet

Self-Service “Application for Support Services” Packet

The following forms are included in the application packet:

Are you receiving Welfare?

If yes... If your child is currently receiving CalWORKs (cash) benefits you do not need to complete an application form; we will automatically open a case for you because the public social services agency must send us a referral. If your child is not receiving CalWORKs because you have exceeded the maximum family grant (you have other children who are receiving CalWORKs), we will also automatically open a case for you.


Are you receiving Welfare?

If no... If your child is not receiving public assistance (“welfare”), and you are the parent or legal guardian of the child, you may apply for services by completing an application, which is available in the following ways:

You may request an application by telephone by contacting our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.  Include your name and address and we will mail you an application. The best time to call to speak with a child support representative is Tuesday through Friday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

  • You may e-mail a request for an application, with your name and mailing address, to our customer service team at RCDCSSCST@RIVCO.ORG
  • You may download the application.
  • You may also request an application in person at one of our public contact offices.

If your child is receiving CalWORKs benefits, we are required by law to open a case. You do not need to apply for child support services and there is no cost to you.

If your child is not currently receiving aid, you may open a case with our office by submitting an application for services. Although there is no cost to apply for child support services, there may be a minimal annual cost to you if we are successful in collecting support for you. Beginning October 1, 2011, if your child has never received aid, California charges an annual service fee of $25 once we have sent you payments totaling $500 or more in the previous federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). This fee is based on federal law and state policy. The fee will automatically be deducted from your next payment(s) until the full $25 is paid. If you have more than one case open with our office or any other local child support agency, the payments and fees will be calculated separately for each case. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) began sending one-time notices to existing case participants in May 2011. DCSS will send a notification letter on October 1 of each year to custodial parties who have qualifying cases and are being charged the annual service fee. To learn more, please click on $25 Annual Service Fee.

Important Information We Need From You When You Open a Case:

If you have an existing child support order, please provide:

A copy of all judgments and orders completed Declaration of Support Payment History together with any records you have of payments made or payments missed.

If you are not the parent of the child, please provide:

A copy of the court order that gives you legal custody or guardianship of the child. Please keep in mind that you should provide the most complete, reliable, and accurate information possible. This should make it easier and faster to obtain and enforce a child support order.

Important:  If you complete a paper application (i.e., not online) you must be sure to sign the application. Send the completed application and all accompanying forms to:

Riverside County Child Support Services Department
2041 Iowa Ave.
Riverside, CA, 92507
Service Cost $25