When a judge orders a parent to pay child support, the other parent may petition for additional funds for the period after the break and before the first payment was made. This is known as retroactive child support. But, how does retroactive child support work in Florida?
What is Retroactive Child Support?
Retroactive child support is a form of child support available to account for the gap period when a parent becomes eligible to collect child support and when they are actually able to receive a court order mandating child support payments.
A parent is eligible to collect retroactive child support from the period when they first stopped living with your partner, or two years, whichever is the shorter of the two.
Usually, the parent who is seeking retroactive child support is not allowed to receive such payments for a period beyond the two-year period before the filing of the child support petition.
Does Retroactive Child Support Affect Future Child Support?
Retroactive child support is added in addition to regular child support payments. As such, receiving retroactive support payments does not limit or reduce any future child support payments which had been previously ordered by the court.
If, however, the parent who is required by the court to pay child support becomes unable to make the required payments, or has a change of financial circumstances, they may petition the court to modify their child support obligations to either postpone them or reduce the amount owed.
How Is Retroactive Child Support Determined and Paid?
Like all child support in Florida, retroactive child support is determined using a variety of factors, outlined in Florida Statute 61.30(2)-(14). These include:
- Salary or wages.
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
- Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
- Disability benefits.
- All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
- Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
- Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
- Social security benefits.
- Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
- Interest and dividends.
- Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
- Reimbursed expenses or in-kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
- Income derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring.
Once the court determines the amount of retroactive child support to be paid, the court will work with both parents to schedule the child support payments in a manner which is fair for both parties. Generally, this is in installments, although lump sum payments of backdated child support are allowed.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
If you are considering divorce, you need to contact an experienced attorney right away. As child support can be a difficult situation to navigate, you need an attorney who knows how to get you the results you want and need. Patrick Cordero has extensive experience in all facets of law, including family and financial law. Call The Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero for a free consultation today at (305) 445-4855.