When the question of child support arises from a divorce or separation, there is usually no question regarding the parents’ duty to support the children. Unless you can prove that a child born to your wife during the marriage is not yours—through the use of genetic tests, for example—you and the mother will be ordered to provide financial and medical support for that child.

Remember that child support may be ordered prior to the entry of a dissolution of marriage. This can happen when a parent has left the family household, reducing the income that household had been relying upon. A support order entered in this situation is just as valid and enforceable as one entered in conjunction with a divorce decree.