Retroactive Support

Retroactive Child Support

In an initial determination of child support, whether in a paternity action, dissolution of marriage action, or petition for support not connected to dissolution, the court has discretion to award child support retroactive to the date that the parties no longer resided together.  However, retroactive child support cannot exceed a period of 24 months preceding the filing of the petition.  In determining the retroactive award, the Court must apply the guidelines in effect at the time of the hearing, subject to the parties’ actual incomes during the retroactive period.  Furthermore, the court must consider all of the actual payments by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent during the retroactive period.  Unless, it is clear that the noncustodial parent has the ability to pay the retroactive support amount in a lump sum, the Court will typically use an installment payment plan for the payment of the retroactive child support.   The installments are usually 10% to 20% of the ongoing child support payments.