Can My Wife File For Child Support If We Are Still Married?

divorce lawyer Jordan RapoffQuestion:

My wife and I are separated most likely heading for divorce, and she is already threatening to get child support from me before we are divorced.

Can my wife file for child support if we are not yet going through the divorce process?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Missouri divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Based on the limited facts that you have given me, I am assuming that you and your wife are no longer living together.

If this is the case then your wife may file for child support with the division of child support enforcement. Once this order is put in place, it will remain effective until you and your wife decide to file for divorce.

Divorce Resources:

Child Support Calculators

At the finality of your divorce, the circuit court’s order for child support will supersede the administrative order.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Missouri Divorce Lawyer Jordan A. Rapoff, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Can My Wife File For Child Support If We Are Still Married?

    I have heard a lot of family law attorneys address this issue in a thousand different ways. With all due respect, I disagree with this attorney’s answer. While the law does state that a child requires the financial support of both parents, a county cannot address the support issue for a non-TANF applicant against a father without violating his parental rights. A court must address paternity, child custody, visitation, child support, and other child-related matters whenever parents file a court action. When parents are married, these issues are handled as part of a divorce, separation, or annulment. If you choose not to address the dissolution issue, she can request orders for Temporary Custody and Child Support.

    The only way a county can become involved is if they are recovering funds paid as welfare benefits for the state, they are acting on behalf of a non-TANF applicant to establish paternity and support for children conceived out of wedlock. A presumption is made under 7611 that you are the presumed father if the child(ren) was/were conceived during your marriage and your rights to custody establishment must be addressed in tandem of the child support matter.

    Because a state child support enforcement agency has a financial interest in establishing and enforcing cases for non-TANF applicants. They are granted federal incentives for meeting certain performance levels-but they cannot violate a father’s custodial rights in the process.

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