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Contempt of Court Proceedings

What is Retroactive Child Support?

Parents have a duty to care for their children, even if they’re not actively raising them. The non-custodial parent typically pays child support to care for their children until they reach the age of 19. Parents who are no longer together may get a court order specifying which parent pays child support and how much he/she will pay.

In cases like these, a parent can petition for retroactive child support, which refers to support payments intended to make up for unpaid past support or support needed before the court established the order.

Retroactive Child Support

Retroactive child support is not automatic, so a parent must go to court and ask for it. A court may grant retroactive child support for some of the following reasons:

  • The parent seeking the support demonstrates a need
  • There is a delay in the final support hearing
  • The non-custodial parent intentionally avoided support payments or concealed part of their finances or assets

The amount of support is based on a number of factors such as:

  • The non-custodial parent’s current income,
  • Awareness of the support obligation, and
  • If they had previously paid any money to the custodial parent.

All decisions are made in the best interests of the child. While each state sets its own limits on how far back a judge can order support, it usually orders support back to the date of the child’s birth if the parents were never married, or back to when the parents separated.

As with any court order, retroactive child support is enforceable by law and must be paid. Failure to pay will result in severe penalties, including criminal charges, possible jail time, and/or a fine. It may also result in a loss of privileges such as custody or visitation rights.

Child support laws can be complex. If you need assistance with retroactive child support, a Colorado family law attorney from Modern Family Law can help. For a free consultation, contact us.

Posted August 20, 2015
by: MFL Team

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