You do not need a custody agreement to get child support. However, if you wish to see your child, you should get a custody agreement at the same time as child support. Both motions can be combined into one motion if you want to have a custody agreement. Whether you are the father or the mother, if the child is yours, you are entitled to collect child support from the noncustodial parent. Child support is for the benefit of the minor child - not for the benefit of the parents.
Draft child support guidelines. Most courts have the formula for child support on their websites. If your court doesn't have a website, you can pick up a sample form your clerk of court's office. Instructions for each state are on the form. You must know how much you and the child's other parent make in order to complete the child support guidelines worksheet. Each state handles child support computations differently, so make sure you get the guidelines for the state you are filing for support. A parent may live in one state while the other parent lives in another. Check your state's rules of civil procedure for proper state venue.
Draft a motion for child support and other relief. Look at the heading on any other pleadings if you have an active case. The case number and division must be in the heading. If this is a brand new case, you will need to format the motion as a petition. The same information goes into the petition, but the petition must be served on the parent you are trying to collect support from. In this case, you will not have a case number. The clerk will assign a case number and division.
Read More: How a Non-Custodial Parent Can Reduce Child Support Payments
Include the child's date of birth in the motion or petition. Also include how often the child visits the other parent, and for how long (i.e. Friday at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday at 6:00 p.m., every other weekend).
Attach the child support guidelines worksheet to the motion or petition for child support. Sign and date the motion or petition and make two copies of the documents.
Bring all the copies to the clerk of court. If you are filing a motion, the clerk will stamp the motion with your original signature and file it. Ask the clerk to stamp the copies. One of the copies is for your records. The other copy must be mailed or hand delivered on the same day to the other parent or his attorney, if he has an attorney.
If you are filing a petition, the clerk of court will give you a case number. Write the information on the copies. One of the copies is for your records. The other must be served on the other parent pursuant to the rules of civil procedure for your state. Some states require using the sheriff to serve documents, others may allow you to hire a private process server. This information is available from the clerk of court if you do not have access to your state's rules of civil procedure.
Contact the clerk of court for a hearing date once you are sure the other party has a copy of the motion or petition. The clerk will give you a date or will transfer you to the appropriate department (some clerks of court have a number to call specifically to set hearings; your call will be transferred if this is the case).