Do I have to pay child support if we're not legally separated? 32 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I am separated from my wife, but not legally and we are still married. I take care of my child and buy the things she need when I can afford them. My wife wants to put me on child support. Can she legally do that?

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Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Yes...marital status has nothing to do with child support obligations.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 10/5/2012
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. You are either married or not. Marital status has nothing to do with child support so yes, Mom can put you on child support.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/29/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 5/22/2013
Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
If she files a suit against you for child support, she will get it unless you are awarded custody.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/24/2012
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Since you live separate and apart from the mother, you can be ordered to pay child support. With an order of child support, you will probably have to resolve the issue of custody as well.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/24/2012
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    She sure can, and without having to hire an attorney. The Office of Child Support will refer her to the county prosecutor, and you can be ordered to pay child support under the MI Child Support Formula from the time you separated which is probably far more than you've been paying when "... your can afford ..." it. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    Your Wife is entitled to receive child support if you are separated. If the two of you cannot work things out and agree upon an amount, then you should file a Complaint for Separate and visitation and have the Court implement the amount of child support and a visitation. You are not required to pay support until she files a Complaint for Separate Support.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Yes. And you should already have a lawyer as it is necessary in this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    Yes, as you are physically separated, she can seek a child support order. You do not have to be in court for a legal separation for her to do that.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Well you are seperated and if she has full time custody of the child you will be required to pay child support. Think about going back home.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    When peole live separately, even when there is no divorce, the custodial parent has the right to get the proper share of child support, You say"when I can afford them". The child should be able to get a regular amount of support for food, living expenses, etc. It should not depend on what you think you want to pay or what you have left when you pay your bills.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    If you are not in the same household each parent has a duty of support. The mother can file and ask for support based on your respective incomes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    Sounds like you guys do not live together, so if that is the case yes you will be obligated to pay support. Stop trying to hide behind terms and phrases i.e. separated, not legally, still married; You have a child together for what ever reason you do not live together so therefore you are obligated to help support your child, and it is not what you want when you think you can afford it, it is based on your gross income and her gross income and if one or both claim to have no income the court will impute income to you, what you could be capable of earning if working, to at least set a minimum child support order. Let say you are ordered to pay $100.00 a week in support, there are 52 weeks in a year that equals out to $5,200.00 for the entire year I have a dog that cost around that much a year so stop with how much I can afford, and how am I supposed to live, this is about the child and $5,000.00 or $6,000.00 a year is a score, think about how much it would cost if the kid lived with you start adding up everything, a hell of a lot more then 5K. Put child support on me, get your priorities straight, this is your blood!!!!!!
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/24/2012
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    Yes. Your obligation to support your children does not depend on you being ordered to pay. Once you father a child, it is your responsibility to take care of him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    She will have to file for legal separation or divorce but then she'll get it unless you get custody. hire a lawyer now. Start preparing for a fight. So the lawyer needs to be a junk dog mean attorney. Child support in Alabama is costly
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    She can file for temporary orders which could include child support and maintenance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Buchholdt Law Offices | Jon M. Buchholdt
    Yes, if you do not live with her, and if the two of you and your children no longer constitute a "common economic unit," then she can seek and get an order to require you to pay her monthly child support.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If you are not living together, even if you have not filed papers for a legal separation, your wife can ask a judge to award her child support while you are not living together. Your status with your wife is not the issue; your obligation to support your child is the issue. Since you can show that you have been purchasing necessary items and have been contributing to your child's support, the judge might not order retroactive support, but be prepared for a court to establish child support through income withholding.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Yes, she can take you to court and get a court order for child support. Beforehand, you need to keep track of all monies that you give her for the child and you need to make sure that you pay her with checks, so that you can have a paper trail.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Yes since you and the child are not living under the same roof. File for divorce and custody of the child. Let family court set custody and support.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    You have a duty to support your child and if you are not living together, you can be subject to a child support order, whether you are married or not.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If the parents are living apart, the parent who has the children in their care primarily, may seek child support by filing with the child suport and collection office or filing a Motion for child support. It is not necessary that the parent's are "legally separated."
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    If you are living in separate households she could ask for support. She would have to send.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    Yes, she can ask for child support, which will be primarily based on each parent's income and time spent with the children. You don't have to be "legally" separated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Yes. It just means you pay the support you are already paying to the court and not to her.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    She can obtain a child support order against you.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Goncalves Law Office | Humberta Goncalves-Babbitt
    You seem to be indicating that you and your wife are not living together. If that is the case, and your child is primarily residing with your wife, then if your wife goes to Court she can obtain a Court Order requiring you to pay child support for your child. The amount and duration of child support will vary for each State. Therefore you should contact an experienced family law attorney in your area
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Offices of Karen Davidson | Karen Davidson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/28/2013
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