What Do I Need to Know About Prospective & Retroactive Child Support?

There are two types of child support that can be used by parents to address the reasonable needs and expenses of minor children: prospective child support & retroactive child support.  We explain more about these two types of child support below.

Child support payments are based on the financial obligation each parent has for the maintenance and financial support of their minor children.  If the parents do not live with one another, the child support obligation is shared with one parent paying the other. The amount that the parent will have to pay in child support is determined by the court which uses a cost-sharing analysis of the parents’ income and certain expenses to make their decision.

Prospective Child Support                                             

In general, prospective child support refers to child support that is paid moving forward in time. An example of this would be if you were given an Order for Child Support in the amount of $200 per month beginning February 1, 2018 and continuing each month thereafter. Prospective child support payments typically starts from the date that either parent filed a lawsuit for child support, and continues until the parents reach an agreement or the courts issue further orders.

Retroactive Child Support

Sometimes referred to as “prior maintenance,” retroactive child support is a request for child support before an action or lawsuit has been enacted. Parents who request retroactive child support can possibly be awarded child support from the time of their separation up until the date that a lawsuit is filed.

Often, retroactive child support is pursued when one parent does not pay child support or when a parent is paying a grossly inadequate amount of child support before a lawsuit is filed. A parent who is seeking prospective child support can also request retroactive child support for up to three years to help compensate for inadequate or absent child support during that period.

Depending on your situation, you might be able to seek both prospective and retroactive child support. You should immediately contact an experienced attorney if you need help seeking either of these two types of child support options.

At Miller Bowles Law PLLC, we provide compassionate advice and professional legal services to families all across Charlotte and surrounding areas. Contact our Charlotte team of family law attorneys, or call (704) 810-1400 to schedule your consultation today.

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