Ask the Local Child Support Agency to establish parentage

If you need to establish that you or another person is the legal parent of your child (called parentage), you can do this through your Local Child Support Agency (LCSA). They will start a court case to establish parentage. They can set up genetic testing and ask for a child support order. This service is free. 

How to ask the LCSA to start a case

Fill out an application online

The LCSA is part of the state Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). They help parents support and provide health insurance for their children.

To start the process, fill out an application online. You can also contact the LCSA and ask for an appointment to open a case for parentage. Either or both parents can ask them to start the case.

A lawyer from the LCSA can file the papers to start the case with the court. When the LCSA lawyer files a case, they can also file papers asking for a child support and health insurance order. 

They can arrange for genetic testing for free.

The LCSA lawyer is not your lawyer. 

They will not represent you or your children in court. For legal advice, you will need to talk to your own lawyer. You can also get legal information from your court's Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center

The LCSA may start a case on its own

If a parent receives money from the government for their children (for example, if they receive Cal-Works), the LCSA automatically gets involved and opens a case. 

When it files a case, the lawyer from the LCSA may also file papers asking for a child support order. Find out more about child support, including what it means to have LCSA involved in your case and what free help your court has. 

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