Retroactive child support are payments that were missed or not paid in the past. This means the child support order isn’t just from a present or future date, going forward but a retroactive one going backward to start at a previous date. If a parent has failed to pay child support for the retroactive time period (before a permanent child support order was issued), the judge may order them to make up for the missed payments.
Retroactive child support starts once the judge determines if the parent and child are eligible for this type of order. The judge looks at the following factors when deciding:
• The non-custodial parent had hidden some of their finances in order to avoid paying support
• The non-custodial parent acted in a way to delay a final hearing on child support
• The court concludes that there is a demonstrated need for retroactive support
If determined that there is a need for the non-custodial parent to pay retroactive child support, the court will determine the retroactive date trough the date the first child supply order was issues. It can also go as far back as the date of the parent’s separation.
The petition is typically what starts a divorce or parenthood action. That means the start date of the first California child support order can go back to the date that was filed even though the Court hearing is after that. For example, a petition for divorce is filed on January 1. It is then served. A request for order for child support is then filed on February 1. The hearing is on March 10. When the court makes its child support order at the hearing, they can make it retroactive to February 1 or March 1.
There are exceptions to this for example, when that initial petition (or other document that started the process) wasn’t served on the other parent within 90 days of its filing, then the retroactive start date is the date it was actually served.
There are other exceptions to the past date retroactive child support is issued. To gain more information on these exceptions and other questions regarding child support and divorce, contact Brett Thorsteinson, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney.