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.