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What To Know About Retroactive Child Support

The meaning of retroactive child support is that the concerned child support order is not simply a prospective one but is a retroactive one. In other words, the retroactive child support is a kind of child support which begins on a past date.

Rules and petition

Retroactive child support carries with it a number of rules. The first or initial child support order can be or not a temporary one. This is order prior to a judgment. This temporary order could be made retroactive to that particular date the petition or any other document which is filed at first. There is no compulsion that it has to be a temporary one, but the court could order that it begins at that particular past date.

This kind of petition generally begins a paternity or divorce action. It means that the initial or begin date of the child support order in California could go back to that date which was filed. This will be applicable even if the court hearing starts after that. However, there could be exceptions to this rule. One example of this can be divorce petition filed on the February 1 date and then served. A child support request is subsequently filed on the first day of March. The hearing was scheduled on April 15. The court on April 15 makes the child support order and could make the same retroactive to the first day of February or March. 

Exceptions

A common exception is that when that first petition -or any other document which began the process- was not served on other parent within a space of 90 days of the filing. If such a situation arises, the retroactive beginning date is date of serve. However, the exception may have exceptions as well and it will not be applicable as per the Family Code 4009.

California Family Code 4009 states that the original order given for child support could be retroactive to date of the Petition filing or complaint filing or any other initial pleading. In case the parent who was ordered to pay the support was not being served with initial pleading, petition or complaint within the space of 90 days after filing and it is found by the court that the concerned parent did not have the intention to evade service, the concerned child support order will be effective not earlier than the service date. In some cases, the California Family Court may reserve retroactivity at the time of making the child support order.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.

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