Child support is the monthly amount a court orders a child’s noncustodial parent to pay the parent with primary custody. It helps pay for a child’s needs on a daily basis, from food and housing to clothing and medical needs.
You can apply through your state for child support services if you have primary custody of your child and need help to:
Establish a child support order from court
Collect support payments
You will automatically get a referral for child support services if you get help from any of these programs:
To get help with child support, follow these steps:
Contact your state or local child support office.
Gather documents you’ll need to present with your application.
Complete an application from your state.
If you can't resolve the problem through your local office, check these next steps from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE).
In most cases, the state or local government manages problems like nonpayment. If you know the location of a noncustodial parent who may be behind in their payments, reach out to the state where the child support case is active.
For questions about child support payments from or to someone in another country, search OCSE's international resources. There may be a state or national agreement to provide child support services with the country in question. If you need further help, submit your international child support questions through the OCSE online form.