Can I Get Child Support If I Am Not Divorced?

Childrens' toys with the words, when can I get child support?When one spouse walks away from the family, the remaining parent may feel the financial strain of supporting the children on his or her own. Is it possible that the custodial parent can file for child support if the couple is not legally divorced? This article takes a closer look at child support laws concerning still legally married parents.

Child Support

When most people think of child support, the vision of a single divorced parent raising children alone might come to mind. However, child support is not only for divorced parents. A custodial parent can submit a petition for child support with the court system in the case that one parent is either absent or avoiding legal responsibilities to the child.

Why Would a Custodial Parent Do This?

Some couples cannot afford the cost of a divorce and separation without legally cutting their ties. Other couples are waiting for their divorce to be finalized. Child support provides financial aid for the custodial parent to cover costs for the children.

How Do I File a Complaint/Petition for Child Support?

In the state of Texas, child support petitions are filed to the Attorney General of Texas through online or paper applications. Provide the following information on the other parent and child:

  • Social security number
  • Driver license number
  • Phone number
  • Employment history
  • Alternative contact information
  • Attorney information (if applicable)

If you do not have all of this information, it may take longer to go over your request.

What If the Other Parent Lives in a Separate State?

If your spouse or the other parent lives in a different state, seek legal advice regarding the proper state to file the case in.

What About Custody and Visitation?

If the other parent wants shared custody of the child or visitation, this is addressed in the petition and child support order.

However, a court’s custody and visitation determination are not permanent. The final custody and visitation order can change once a divorce is finalized.

Cases of Pending Divorce Finalization

When a couple is filing for divorce, the court may render Temporary Orders. This order addresses child support early on in the case.  A parent can receive child support within weeks of filing for divorce, helping them make the transition of being a single parent. This is temporary, however, and can change once the divorce is finalized.

Can a Child Support Order Be Changed?

Yes, child support orders and temporary orders can change depending on the financial circumstances surrounding the other parent. If a parent lost his or her job during the divorce proceedings and could no longer make the required amount of child support payments, then the courts may change the amount of child support to accommodate the parent’s changing situation. This can then be changed once again when the parent can meet either the original financial obligations of the order or more. However, the State must order a modification of the child support order; an individual cannot decide that he or she needs to pay less. This change can be requested through a petition of the court system by the non-custodial parent.

If you are unsure of how to file a child support petition or are looking for legal representation with either the petition or your divorce, contact the caring team at Alison Grant, Attorney at Law. Alison Grant is dedicated to ensuring that your child is well taken care of by helping you get the right settlement and child support amount possible. Contact Alison Grant, Attorney at Law today for more information and to schedule a consultation.