What you can file to ask for a child support order
There are different types of cases and papers you can file to ask for a child support order or to change an order. Which type of case or papers you can file depends on your situation.
If you have a family law case
You can file a Request for Order in that case
If there's already a family law case in California involving the child, then you can file a Request for Order (form FL-300) to ask for a child support order. Common family law cases are divorces or parentage (paternity) cases. You may also have a case with the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA).
If you and the other parent agree, you can also turn in a signed agreement for the judge to review and sign. If the LCSA is part of your case, they'll need to sign as well.
Get step-by-step instructions:
If you do not have a family law case
Go through the Local Child Support Agency or start a family law case yourself
You or the other parent must ask for a court order, either through the LCSA or by starting a court case yourself. Which one you choose depends on your situation.
If you go through the LCSA, they will start a court case for you. If needed, they can also set up genetic testing and get an order that says who a child's legal parent is (called parentage). This service is free.
If you need something in addition to child support, like a divorce or a custody and visitation order (parenting time), you will need to start a court case. The judge can also order child support in one of these cases.
|If you and the other person . . .||You can file a . . .|
|Are married or in a domestic partnership and want to divorce or legally separate||Petition for divorce or legal separation|
|Are married or in a domestic partnership and do not want to divorce or legally separate|
|Are not married or in a domestic partnership and you are not both the child's legal parent||Petition to Determine Parentage|
|Are not married or in a domestic partnership, but are both the child's legal parent (for example, you both signed a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage or legally adopted the child)||
Petition for Custody and Support
|Have a child together and you need protection from the other parent||Request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order|