How to File for Child Support in Texas Without a Divorce

Texas law requires parents to financially support their children. Court-ordered child support helps ensure noncustodial parents contribute to financing their child's basic needs such as clothing, food and shelter. Whether you are separated and have not filed for divorce or you were never married to the other parent, you can still get child support.

Obtain an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form from the nearest hospital or birth registrar, the Attorney General's Child Support Office or the Bureau of Vital Statistics, if you need to establish paternity. Texas courts cannot compel a father to pay child support until paternity is established. Since Texas law recognizes a difference between a legal father and a biological father — that is, the name on a birth certificate — a child born in Texas has no legal father if the child's parents were unwed at his birth.

Complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form, sign it and have the other parent sign it. If the father denies or refuses to acknowledge paternity, you will need to contact an attorney or the Office of the Attorney General to compel a DNA test.

File the AOP form with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Contact the Office of the Attorney General to start a child support case. Have the following information handy, to the extent possible: the name, telephone number, address, place of work and Social Security number for the father. The more information you have, the better.

Wait for the Office of the Attorney General to process your case and provide a child support order.