Can I Get Child Support If I’m Married, But Separated?

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“My husband and I have been seperated for about 8 months, but I have not been able to get a divorce because I am pregnant with our second child (which I have placed for adoption). We have a 2 year old child that he has never supported, and I can barely support her on my own. Can I get child support from him even though we are still legally married? Will he be required to pay child support if he is in drug rehab?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

The answer is a “qualified absolutely”. Child support is the legal right of every child, whatever the status of your relationship with the baby daddy. However, the right to receive child support does not create a requirement to pay unless there is a Court order for support. There should be an office of child support services in your county tha you can go to to start a case for child support. Additionally, if you file for a dissolution of marriage and properly request support, then the Court will order it.

If the drug rehab program is such that it restricts your husband’s ability to seek employment – i.e. 24/7 in-patient, drug rehab in prison, etc. – then that would be a factor for the support starting at a later date. However this would not be an absolute bar to your starting your case for support.

If your concern is that if you start your case, your ex will realize that you are pregnant and try to block the adoption because he is the father and would not sign off on it, this may be some kind of fraud against your husband and his parental rights, and I do not suggest that line of activity. One pursuing such a scheme that prevents the support of a post-natal child, actually harms four people at least: pregnant person, post-natal child, fetus and father.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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