How can a parent initiate a child support case in California?

At the start of any difficult process, simply taking things one step at a time can make the entire process more manageable. This tends to be true in the area of family law, when strong emotions and an often-confusing legal system can result in Californians feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when parties to a divorce or child support dispute. Fortunately, help is available via strategic legal guidance from Orange County child support attorneys.

In order to begin the process of collecting child support, a parent has to have an open case in the California courts. A case can be opened either through a filing for divorce or separation, or the filing of a Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children. If parents are not married, the party seeking support for their child can file what is known as a parentage action. A parentage action essentially establishes the identity of the other parent as well as begins the request for child support.

Whether a parent is filing for separation, parentage or divorce, he or she can file what is known as a Request for Order. This important paperwork is a parent's formal request for seeking child support; it also functions as a court order for the other parent to come to court. A Request for Order can accomplish several things - it can request child support in a case that already exists within the courts, it can request temporary child support in a divorce or separation case that has just begun, and it can also request a change in child support.

The costs of raising a child only seem to go up every year, and it's often difficult for parents to balance this with their own financial needs. To properly follow California child support guidelines when beginning a request for support, it can be helpful to contact an experienced family law attorney.