In California, many people file for Child Support with the Child Support Services office. This is a free service.  However, due to the large number of people requesting Child Support–it often takes much longer to get the support.  It could take over a year!

It is much faster to request Child Support in the Family Court. If you are filing for Divorce, you can request temporary Child Support by filing a Request for Order.  The advantage of requesting temporary orders is that Child Support will be retroactive to the date of filing the request!  If temporary orders are not filed, you will not receive any child support until the date of the order in the Divorce trial which could take a significant amount of time.

If you are not married and want Child Support, it’s best to file a ‘paternity action‘ which will address custody, visitation and support for the child.  The request that is to be filed is called a ‘Petition to Establish Parental Relationship’.  Once this is filed, a Request for Order can also be filed to get temporary Child Support, Custody & Visitation until the trial phase is completed.  As stated above, the temporary order for Child Support is retroactive to the date of filing the request.  In this way, Child Support can be received much quicker.

If you have questions about your options with regard to Child Support, give us a call.  Our experienced Divorce & Family Law Lawyers can analyze your case, run the Dissomaster software (which will determine the amount of child support that may be paid) and explain your best options.

L.A.W. can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 or (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website for more information @ .

Reader Interactions


  1. Angel says

    hello, i want to have visitation with my child. I support my child every month but the mother only lets me see the child when she wants to. is there any way i can go to court?

    • LegalActionWorkshop says

      Do you have any existing court orders from the Family Court? If you are not married, you need a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship which will establish you as the father & address custody, visitation and support for the child. If your support order is only based on a verbal agreement–this will help in this area as well. Please call us to discuss your case @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. We offer phone consultations for convenience.

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