Paternity and/or child support establishment services are available through the Friend of the Court office. The process can be started two ways:
A parent or legal guardian may request services by completing an Application for Services, which is available on this website (Click Here PDF - 252 KB), at the Department of Human Services, and at the Friend of the Court office; or
When a child is receiving public assistance, including Medicaid, food assistance, cash assistance, etc., and one or both parents is not living in the same household as the child; the Department of Human Services will request paternity and/or child support establishment. In this circumstance, the custodial party is required to cooperate with the establishment process.
Once the request is made, it is reviewed by a child support specialist at the Office of Child Support, who then makes a referral to the Friend of the Court office in most circumstances. Our child support investigator will open a file and schedule an appointment with both parents to complete the necessary paperwork. At the initial interview, a Circuit Court case will be filed and served on the non-custodial parent, if appropriate.
The time from the initial request for services until a child support order is entered varies depending on the complexity of the case as well as the cooperation of the parties. Once the initial child support order enters, a caseworker is assigned to provide enforcement services as detailed on this website.