Chief Child Support Attorney, Merced County Department of Child Support Services

Location: Merced, California

Under general direction, plan, organize, and supervise the legal activities of the Department of Child Support Services; perform a variety of complex civil litigation activities; directly manage, administer, direct and supervise the Legal Services division of the Department; may be the attorney of record in all legal actions and proceedings filed on behalf of the Department with the courts and administrative law agencies. The incumbent has ultimate responsibility for all legal actions taken by the Department. The incumbent assists the Director in the formulation and implementation of departmental policies and procedures and works closely with the California Department of Child Support Services to ensure the Department’s legal operations are consistent with state and federal regulations and codes pertaining to child support services.

Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Plan, organize and direct the legal activities, services and operations of the Legal Services division.
  • Provide consultation and advice to staff on questions of evidence, law, and procedures.
  • Assign, review and approve the preparation of legal opinions for the department director.
  • Prepare for and litigate the most sensitive and/or complex civil child support cases.
  • Analyze and interpret existing and proposed federal and state legislation and regulations, and State Department of Child Support Services policies, procedures, and other directives.
  • Interviews, selects, and trains attorney and legal support staff; establish work standards.
  • Coordinates the legal functions of the Department with local, state, and federal courts, administrative law and law enforcement agencies, Judicial Council, and other county departments.
  • Represent the Director before the media, agencies and at state, regional, and national conferences.

Five (5) years of experience prosecuting child support actions within the State of California, including one year of supervisory administrative experience.


  • Effectively plan, organize and direct the Child Support Services legal division activities and operations.
  • Effective application of expert legal knowledge of family law and federal laws and regulations.
  • Establish, implement and achieve goals and objectives under stressful conditions.
  • Analyze data, interpret policies, procedures and regulations; develop appropriate conclusions.
  • Complete multiple priority projects with conflicting deadlines.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships; train, evaluate and supervise staff.
  • Communicate effectively with others in person and over the telephone.
  • Maintain confidential information according to legal standards and/or County regulations.
  • Use personnel computer and appropriate departmental software.
  • Frequent use of depth perception, peripheral vision and color perception.
  • Frequently lift, carry, reach, push, pull, twist and manipulate large and small objects.
  • Frequent use of hand-eye coordination; Normal dexterity, frequent holding and grasping.
  • Frequent repetitive hand and arm motion; occasionally lift and carry up to 40 pounds.Regular attendance is an essential function.

Knowledge of:

  • Duties, powers, limitations, and authority of the State Department of Child Support Services and the federal Title IV-D program.
  • California family law, civil procedure, criminal law, and federal laws and regulations as they relate to child support.
  • Rules of evidence.
  • Trial and court procedures, administrative law procedures, ethical and professional rules of conduct.
  • Standard legal office practices and procedures, methods of supervision, and personnel management.
  • Methods and techniques of legal research and report presentation.
  • Debt collection practice and civil enforcement of monetary judgments and paternity and child support establishment process.
  • Civil and criminal codes related to California Family Law
  • Proper negotiating skills and techniques.

Ability to:

  • Operate a personal computer and perform on-line legal research.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and evaluate the work of attorneys, paraprofessionals, and clerical staff.
  • Coordinate enforcement and investigative operations including litigation of family support establishment and enforcement actions.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Work successfully with federal, state, and local policy makers and recognize and resolve problems of a sensitive and political nature.
  • Provide excellent public relations and courteous customer service.
  • Work independently under broad policy direction.
  • Read, understand and interpret complex legislation, policies, and regulations and apply them to new and difficult legal and administrative problems.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Provide direction and act as a resource.

How to Apply
To learn more about the examination and application process for this position, please review the complete job posting online.

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