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Establishment of a Child Support Order

The Division of Child Support Services will ask the Family Court of the State of Delaware to establish a child support order if none exists.

Family Court will then establish a child support order that sets a monthly amount of money to be paid by a non-custodial parent (NCP) to a custodial parent (CP) for the support of their child.

Family Court determines the amount of support by using the Delaware Child Support Formula Calculation. A medical support order may also be established on behalf of the child.

The amount of time it will take to establish a child support order will depend upon a number of things. If the parent is in Delaware the process is much quicker. Generally, from the date of application, you should expect three months or longer to get a court date. If the parent is not in Delaware, the case will have to be sent to the other state and it may take from six (6) months to one (1) year to get an order for support.

The amount of time needed to establish an order for support will also depend upon whether the non-custodial parent's location is known. If the location is unknown, the first step will be to locate the parent. The Division of Child Support's ability to successfully locate a non-custodial parent depends largely on how much information is provided by the applicant; the applicant is usually our best resource.

For in-state cases, it generally takes about thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days to locate the parent. For out-of-state cases, it will take three (3) to six (6) months or maybe longer to locate the parent. After the parent is located, DCSS will proceed with establishing paternity, support, or enforcing an existing order for support.