The child support office or a parent may ask the court to issue a support order. The support order may be an interim, temporary, permanent or modified court order. It may be part of a divorce, paternity, child custody, or separate child support action, legal separation or order for protection.
The court reviews both parents' abilities to provide financial support for their children when ordering a child support obligation. Child support includes basic support, medical support and child care support.
Support orders may also address birth-related expenses and past child support for up to two years. In these situations, a parent may owe past due support, called arrears, when the order is signed.