Do we have to be divorced before I can file for some kind of child support?

child_support_personQ) My sons father and I have been separated ,not legally, six months after my son was born, he’s two and a half now. Do we have to be divorced before I can file for some kind of support? I need help.

A) No, you do not need to be divorced in order to file for child support. In fact, you can file for child support at any time after the child is born. You can contact your local child support enforcement agency to start the process. They will assist you in establishing paternity (if needed) and obtaining a child support order. Keep in mind that child support is the legal responsibility of both parents, and it is intended to provide financial support for the child. It is important to put your child’s needs first and seek the support that is legally owed to your child.

The custodial parent doesn’t have to file for divorce before beginning a child support case. If you and your spouse aren’t ready to initiate a divorce yet, the custodial parent may file a complaint or petition with the court to establish a child support order. Your state’s child support enforcement agency or local prosecutor may offer assistance with filing this complaint. Child support is not typically retroactive to the date of separation, so the earlier you file, the more money you can receive.

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