Parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children at least until they turn 18 years old, even when they do not have primary custody. However, there are some situations in which parents might have separated or not lived together and lacked a formal child support arrangement. In these cases, the custodial parent may have the ability to petition the court for retroactive child support.
Should a parent seek to begin a custody arrangement, retroactive support is not automatically included — the parent must specifically ask the court to consider it.
If the request for retroactive support is approved, courts will calculate the amount of money owed to the custodial parent based on the income that the non-custodial parent was earning during the time period in question. Courts will also factor in whether the non-custodial parent knew that child support was required on his or her part when determining arrangements, as well as if the non-custodial parent had given any other money to the custodial parent. However, if where the Court awards retroactive child support, pursuant to Section 61.30 (17), the retroactive support is limited to the 24 month period prior to the filing of the case.
For more information on child support arrangements and receiving retroactive child support, meet with an experienced Jacksonville family law attorney.
Attorney Steven Combs contributed to this blog post.