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Will California be the first to install paperless child support?

Child support cases often require excessive legal work with piles of paper documentation. In most cases, the courts investigate the financial circumstances of both parents involved in a child support case. The total income of each parent is often determined along with the financial liabilities, such as loans or even other child support payments from previous relationships, to gauge the amount of disposable income each parent would have.

The amount needed to sustain and maintain the minor child is also assessed, calculating basic sustenance needs and identifying and adding any special medical or other needs of a particular minor child.

Such elaborate calculations require the attorneys of all parties concerned to provide a plethora of documents which present their side of the case. Requirement of physical documents can often lead to cumbersome procedures for all involved, including their attorneys. Looking at the various problems faced by parents involved in child support cases, San Diego County was the first court system in California to adopt paperless legal documentation for child support cases.

The California State Department of Child Support Services also planned to honor the county with an award for innovation in pioneering this approach which was meant to help everyone by providing speedy child support orders and enforcement.

Child support enforcement often requires a multi-agency approach which involves the courts, various government agencies and at times, the employers of non-custodial parents. Attorneys often state that the sheer amount of legal documentation often hinders the speed of justice. The paperless system will help quickly provide the multi-agency support needed for a case, much to the relief of many custodial parents. Understanding and using a new system in the beginning often overwhelms those who would use this innovative approach.

Source:, "San Diego children's services set bar for the State," Mirna Alfonso, June 6, 2015

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