Can I collect child support from my husband if we are separated? 35 Answers as of June 02, 2013

Am I able to collect child support from my separated husband? I have not gotten divorced yet, as I can't afford it right now. I am not working, am taking care of our 2 children, and living with my mom. He does not pay on a regular basis. He has given me up to $100 a week, but we are going on 3 weeks with nothing.

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Attorney at Law | Dorinda Ohnstad
Yes, you can. However, in order to get a court order in place to collect it you have to either file an action for legal separation or dissolution. There are family law facilitators with most counties who can give you some direction on how to proceed with filing. In addition, court filing fees can be waived if your income is low. Keep in mind that if your spouse has sufficient resources a court would have them pay for all or a part of your attorney's fees.Some lawyers in this situation will agree to not require an upfront retainer if it looks like they can collect from the other spouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2012
The Law Offices of Laura A. Walker | Laura A. Walker
You can file for divorce on your own at any time. Go to family court, file ask for a fee wavier, get a temporary order for support.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/20/2012
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Yes, you can sue him for custody and support even without a divorce, but judicial economy says do both at the same time.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/20/2012
Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc | Lynda Leblanc
You may file an action for support without filing for divorce. If you do not have the funds to hire an attorney, then you can request help through the IV-D prosecutor's office in your county. If you are receiving any time of government assistance (i.e. food stamps, TANIFF or Hoosier Healthwise) then you should qualify for the IV-D prosecutor's help. Their office is busy though, so it may take awhile. The quickest way to get through the court system would be with an attorney that can help you navigate. However, if you husband is making a substantial income he could be ordered to pay part or all of your attorney fees in a divorce. You should contact a local attorney to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/19/2012
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Yes, you can seek an order for child support. Call your county's branch of the Department of Child Support Services. That organization can help you obtain child support orders and there is typically no fee for their services.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    Yes, you may file a Complaint for Separate Support request child support, serve your Husband with Notice of the Complaint and schedule a hearing requesting child support with notice of the date and time of hearing to your Husband. If you are actually going to get divorced you may file a Complaint for Divorce, serve your Husband with the Complaint for Divorce, then file a Motion for Temporary Orders requesting child support.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Until you either file a child support case with the state or a divorce, you likely will not get paid.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    You do not need to be divorced to open a child support case with the Office of Child Support Enforcement. You should call your local office and make an appointment to open a case, they will serve your husband and help you get a court order for support.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    Suggest you contact your local Department of Child Support Services office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    While divorce or separation may end the marital relationship, it does not end a couples relationship as parents and their financial responsibility associated with raising a child. A spouse can file for a temporary separation child support order in to ensure that the children are taken care of.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You are able to ask for support if you are separated. The issue is how much he has to pay. Support is based on wages so if he has no wages then it will be hard for the court to order him to pay you support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Go to Iowa Child Support Recovery and ask them to pursue him for an support order.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Yes, it is possible to file for support unrelated to a dissolution matter. You should consult with your local child support enforcement office, as they can assist you for free. Then, when you are ready to file for divorce, consult with an attorney to assist you!
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Yes, you can talk to the State child support services offices, or you can hire an attorney to ask for child support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    You can apply for support and you can have the money taken directly from his pay check and mailed to probation. Probation will then mail you a check.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    You will have to file a Petition for Dissolution (or for Legal Separation) in order to obtain a court order obligating your husband to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Just file and move for temporary orders requiring temporary child support and temporary maintenance if possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    The Law Office of Nathaniel M. Smith, LLC
    The Law Office of Nathaniel M. Smith, LLC | Nathaniel M. Smith
    I'd suggest going to child support services if legal fees would be a problem for you, or go to a lawyer if fees are something that family or friends can help you with.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Georgia will recognize a separation agreement reached between the parties, including as to child supports, but our courts do not issue legal separation orders. Your best option is to file for divorce and ask for temporary custody and support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Child support is retroactive to the date of judicial demand which is when you file a pleading (i.e. Petition or Motion) with the court requesting that he pay child support. If you fail to file and request such, legally he does not have to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
    Yes, you can file a complaint for child support in the Circuit Court, or you can contact the Department of Social Services in your county to initiate a case.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Yes. Your local department of child support services can help you with that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You may be entitled to much more support depending on your husbands income. I urge you to meet with an experienced family law attorney to explore your legal options. Many attorneys have free initial office visits.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, but it doesn't make sense to just go after child support. Until there is a court order for child support, there isn't much you can do and your husband is free to do whatever he chooses. So, you should pursue the divorce and get everything decided in a that case - not just child support.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Yes, you can file a Motion for Support unconnected with a dissolution of marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You will need to get enforceable orders to receive and enforce spousal and child support payments. If you can't afford a lawyer, you should go to your local Superior Court's self-help center for assistance in filing and serving a Divorce case and an Order to Show Cause for Child Custody, Child Support and Spousal Support. They can also assist you in seeking a waiver of filing fees.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes, you can seek child support without filing for divorce. Your local department of child support services will do this work for you for free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    If you are not living together and still married, you can apply to DSHS for help with establishing a support obligation. However, in doing this you may force the issue and he may turn around and file for divorce, and ask for temporary custody of the kids to avoid paying support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. A person can receive child support if all of these are true:a person is the parent of a minor child or is the person who has court-ordered custody of a minor child, the minor child lives in the person's household.the child is financially dependent on that person, one or both of the child's parents are absent from the home, the court ordered a person to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    The Law Offices of William Henig, P.C. | William Henig
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Yes. You'll need to file a Petition in your county's Family Court.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You can try, but if do not have a court order directing him to pay you have no way to force him to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/19/2012
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