DCSS in San Diego County is understaffed, overworked, and could care less about your case. Know that now! If given the choice between a commissioner or a judge, choose a judge. Because if you try to change it afterwards your wishes will not be granted. After being laid off in 2009, a child support case was opened in Aril of 2009.
My ex was so angry, he hired an attorney, sued me for custody twice, and lost, had me followed and photographed by an alcoholic convicted criminal, called local police saying I was doing drugs in my house, and anything and everything to ruin my life. His conduct is atrocious. He decided he wanted, among other expenses, to be paid for my daughter's braces he decided to get her without consulting me or asking for any reimbursement years earlier. I was assured by DCSS that they would not entertain this request because he waited so many years.
The first commissioner said unless there was a previous court order splitting these expenses I did not have to pay. He ordered that the custody order be pulled and the hearing was continued. I was confident this would be over soon.
The next hearing we now have Commissioner Wood. Who seeing that there had already been several continuances, wrote in the minutes, "Next hearing will be the last." He failed to mention of which year. After two years, my ex, who is getting desperate to get what he wants, fabricates a letter on his computer advising me he wanted reimbursement for the braces thirty days after she got them.
Although I had an email from him also stating he remembers telling me the day she got them, Commissioner Wood said he was satisfied I had been informed. I asked if I could address the court, Commissioner Wood told me "no". He never asked my ex if he had proof he sent it or where this letter had been for two years. I was appalled to say the least. After the hearing I read in the minutes, "per previous order". There was no previous order. An obvious error on the commissioner's part. At every hearing I brought this up over and over that there was no previous order even filing the custody order with my declaration. My declarations were never read or addressed. Ever.
Commissioner Wood would talk to my ex's attorney and DCSS attorney as if I were not even at the hearing. Every hearing it was either, "We don't have enough time", "I can't find the file, it's in Family Division", or "I've already made my decision." When I finally made it clear to the commissioner there was no previous order his answer was, "Well we're not addressing that today." This man is obviously biased or just plain incompetent.
When I told DCSS I did not want a commissioner but a judge, I was told I would have to closed the child support case and then try to reopen it again and that I may be denied. I was later told by another employee that this is just not true. I have been treated like a criminal on trial. Last time I checked it was not a crime to be unemployed. To assume by the commissioners, employees of DCSS, or anyone else that I am staying unemployed to make my ex suffer is just plain stupid.
So in conclusion, we have officially entered year four. We are on commissioner number four. My daughter will be 18 in eleven months. Two weeks ago they continued the hearing because my ex's attorney couldn't find the YTD wage amount on a check stub from a temp assignment I had. I explained to the new commissioner about the ruling for reimbursement of the braces, her answer, "It's been too long since the ruling." I can't win for losing.
My rights have been violated as I'm not allowed at times to address the court, I'm not allowed to have copies of certain evidence presented by the opposing party even though I ask over and over, and we are almost always scheduled last for the day, so we run out of time and are continued over and over and over. When my last assignment ended and EDD benefits ran out, the court refused to follow the current guidelines for support. I have written a complaint to Judge Katz, the presiding judge, but to no avail.
So if you don't have an attorney, your rights will most likely never be an acknowledged by DCSS. When given the choice between a commissioner or a judge, GO WITH THE JUDGE! I'm not saying all the commissioners are inept at their jobs because some have really helped in the Family Division. But maybe a judge would not be so inclined to make errors or waste the court's time by having continuance after continuance because they fail to schedule enough time to hear all the issues.
DCSS is supposed to be there for single parents and their children. I'm not seeing it. I called my DCSS caseworker this morning, her vm stated she was handling over 800 cases. So hire people. I know I could use a job. I'm qualified as I've spoken to several employees in San Diego that have difficulty figuring out the difference between a yearly calculation of child support as opposed to a monthly one.