The 5 Steps In the Child Support Process


If this is your first time having to deal with child support and the child support process, you’re not alone. We understand that it can be a confusing, stressful, and conflict ridden process. Too often parents don’t understand the basics because they have become convoluted. To complicate matters, there isn’t one resource to go to for general information because each state and county – like Los Angeles county – have different child support laws and regulations.

But here are some basic steps to help get you started on the child support process:

  1. Open a case – Sounds simple, but it really is the first step. You will have to go online to your respective country and apply. Depending on your financial situation, and depending on the county, you may already have been enrolled in a program to collect benefits. If you are going through divorce proceedings, the case will be part of the procedure.
  2. Find the parent – This may or may not be an issue, but in order to receive child support payments, the county must in fact be able to locate the parent in question. It doesn’t matter if they are out of state – but what matters is that there is a verified address for the other parent in order to fully begin the process.
  3. Establish paternity or maternity – Establishing paternity can be one of the more conflict ridden processes for child support. But it comes down to having legal recourse to collecting child support. Make sure, whether you are the payer or the payee, that it has been established that the child is in fact related to the mother or father. Without this, the following steps, and the whole child support process, become a lot more difficult.
  4. Establish a court order – If there is no court order, many counties – like Los Angeles county – will file one on your behalf. Typically it is best to secure the court order early on in the process so that child support payments can begin.
  5. Enforce the court order – Similar to #4, counties will likely assist you in this manner. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be tracking and following daily. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are collecting your child support, or that you are tracking payments if you are making them. SupportPay can help here – by giving you an easy to use platform that will help track and record payments should any problems arise.

These steps for the child support process are just the basics. There are many nuts and bolts that we haven’t covered here, and it’s important to speak with your attorney or legal counsel on the next steps to take in the child support process. We suggest you start a free trial with SupportPay when you begin the process – it’s the quickest, easiest way to manage and track payments.


  1. Maria Holguin

    What if you don’t know the other parents address?

    • Sheri Atwood

      Is this in relation to getting a child support order? If so, the first thing you should do is try to find it. Even if you go to your local child support agency some case workers will help you but most are too busy. There are a lot of tools online that charge a small fee to find out his current address. These are the same tools that people use for background checks. Just do a simple google search for “find a person’s address” and the results for your area will appear. If you mean an email address to use SupportPay then you can register and create an account and begin using SupportPay for your tracking even if you don’t have the other parent’s email address.

    • leticia quiroz

      I have been with my x for 10 years on and off. He is on the birth certificate for both girls. He states he will give up his rights. The girls live with me and he says that they will not get him for child support. He lives with his mother and brother. His brother abused my son when he was 9. My x say that the state will have him get them 1 week and 1 week with me. His brother is a felon from abusing my son. I dont want my girls staying there. I live in new mexico. What am I looking at?

  2. Michelle Miller

    What is your spouse is paid in cryptocurrency (bitcoin or other) as a programmer and doesn’t use banks?

    • Sheri Atwood

      That is a great question and something I don’t think anyone has looked at because of the fluctuations in conversion from Cryptocurrency to physical currency. In addition, I don’t believe anyone has attempted to be able to garnish directly from this type of account. The only way to assess this is at the point the cryptocurrency is converted to physical currency such as dollars.

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