How Is a Child Support Order Established?

A female judge holding a gavel.

The Office of Child Support (usually through the Prosecuting Attorney) may request that the Friend of the Court issue a child support order. The court generally orders the non-custodial parent  to provide support for the child who is living with the custodial party . The court determines the amount of child support, medical support and child care a parent must provide.

Establishment of paternity is another step in resolving the issue of child support. Parents who are not married must first establish paternity before the court may order a non-custodial parent to pay child support. Establishing paternity is discussed further in Unit 3.

Parents have a legal and financial responsibility toward their children. Having a legal responsibility means that unwed parents must establish paternity. As for financial responsibility, both parents must provide ongoing financial and medical support of their children in addition to providing physical and emotional support.

Click the Next button at the bottom right of the screen to proceed to Unit 2: Facts About Teen Parents With Children.

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