Parents are forced by law to take care of their children whether they are married and live together or separated but not divorced. But most of the parents, married and living together, do not care about getting an order from the court regarding supporting their children unless they are circumstantially compelled to go for a divorce.
You can get court orders for child support even if you are living separate from the other parent but the process of divorce has not been completed yet. But to get the order for child support your will have to follow the procedure of the state you live in. You will have to file a request with the state court in this regard.
Child Support prior to divorce
Before starting the procedure for child support the applicant or custodial parent need not file for divorce. He/she can file a petition or complaint with the court to provide orders for child support to the custodial parent even if both the spouses are not ready yet to start the procedure of divorce. A local prosecutor or the child support enforcement agency of your state can help you in filling the complaint for child support. The date of your separation from your spouse is not going to affect your claim for child support but you can get more money to support your child if you file complaint as early as possible after separation.
Visitation and custody prior to divorce
You should also ask for visitation and custody in your petition for the orders of child support as the amount of child support normally depends upon the parenting time decided by the court even if the final order has been issued before final divorce of the couple. The decision of the court in regard to visitation and custody before divorce cannot be considered permanent as the court can change this order o merits after the divorce or base its final orders on the basis of the orders given before the divorce.
Temporary or Pendente Lite orders
The court can issue temporary orders also known as pendent lite’ orders, when a case for divorce is filed, so that other issues including child support and alimony can be decided even if the divorce proceedings are not completed. These temporary orders can help the custodial parent to get orders for child support within few weeks of filing divorce case. While filing a motion for pendent lite you will have to ask the court about temporary orders for child support. These orders can be enforced like other court orders once you get them from the court.
Change in the orders for child support
The pendent lite orders for child support can remain unaltered even after the decree of divorce unless the arrangement of child custody is changed by the court or the custodial parent is suffering from financial problems due to delay in divorce. In such situation the amount of child support will be calculated again before issuing final orders of child support.