A parent’s legal obligation to contribute to the financial care and costs of raising his or her child. The parents of a child are equally responsible for providing for the financial needs of the child. If your child’s parent is not assisting you financially you may be able to obtain court-ordered child support. The orders for child support are typically made until the child is 18 or 19 depending on schooling and other factors.
Either parent can ask the judge to make a child support order as part of one of these types of cases:
- Divorce, legal separation, or annulment (for parents who are married or in a registered domestic partnership);
- A Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (for unmarried parents);
- A domestic violence restraining order (for married or unmarried parents);
- A Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children (for parents who have signed a voluntary Declaration of Paternity OR are married, or registered domestic partners, and do not want to get legally separated or divorced ).
References : http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-support.htm