Back Child Support is something to ask for. The problem is getting it.
In every initial case, Courts have the discretion to make it retroactive. Cases on this tell the courts that retro support is the norm rather than the exception. But it’s also one of the most confusing areas to handle.
Back Child Support and The Basics
Florida law provides that in every initial case, courts have the discretion to award back child support for a period of two years. In doing so, courts must look at what each party was making at the time. In addition, courts will need to know the health insurance expenses and daycare costs. In many cases, this is difficult to prove in court. If someone had several jobs in the last two years, then pay-stubs for each job is needed. Likewise, the health insurance and daycare costs during the past two years must be proven. Courts are to use the guidelines in effect at the time of the hearing.
Once this is all provided to the Court, the Court determines the amount of back child support. It can date back to the date of separation, but courts have the discretion to award support only back to the date of filing.
Back Support and The Reality
If back child support is awarded, an installment plan is usually given. Getting back support to be accurate may require multiple child support worksheets. Each one covers the income, daycare, and healthcare expenses during each period of time. In addition, other expenses such as private schools can be considered.
The number of overnights each parent has the children also affects the support. If a parent did not see the child much for six months, and then the parties exercised equal parenting time, then two worksheets will be needed. It’s important to review all of these items with your attorney.
Florida law provides that support is a right to the child. Parents cannot waive front child support, but back support can be waived. It’s an issue that should be addressed in every case involving children.
At trial, retroactive support is one of many issues the Courts must tackle. It’s a challenge to determine parenting time, support, division of assets and debts, and then address retroactive support. Help yourself by being prepared. Collect information about these costs at the start of your case. This applies to both parents. It makes it much easier to calculate back child support when you obtain the information early in the case.