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Retroactive Child Support

Discussion in 'Child Support' started by StrugglingSouth, Jun 11, 2013.

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  1. StrugglingSouth

    StrugglingSouth Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have just been served with child support papers on my daughter who just turned 15. Her mother and I never were married on lived together shortly. I signed the birth certificate voluntary acknowledging her paternity. I have always been in contact and my family has been apart of my daughters life to the extent her mother would let us. In 2000 her mother took me to court to do a paternity test on her son (which was not my son) and to set child support for both children. After the paternity results came back that I was not the father of the boy the mother had the child support case closed. No support was ever ordered for my daughter. We have also been in contact and I have carried my daughter on my health insurance (I even tired to have her son put on my insurance because the children didn't have any) at my place of employment for the past 7 years. My question is can she get 15 years of retroactive child support, being that paternity was established at birth and I have been involved?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    She can get some retroactive child support.

    How far back can it go?

    It depends on TN statutes.

    In some states, its three years, for example.

    But, in TN, its different.

    You cannot ordinarily get retroactive support, once the initial support order has been issued.

    That is, if you petition for a modification of support, any modification will not ordinarily be retroactive past the date of the petition.

    You never had a child support order, so where does that leave you?

    The TN legislature carved out four instances where it would be unfair or unjust to require the arrearages to reach back to the child's birth.

    1st: the father was unaware and could not have known of any of the following: the birth of the child, his potential parentage and/or the child's location;

    2nd: the mother intentionally and with no good cause kept the child's birth from the father, his parentage or the child's location;

    3rd: mom failed to make any attempts to notify the father of the pregnancy or birth.

    If these events occur, the court has the discretion to decide that the presumption of arrearages dating back to the birth is overcome.

    4th: The statute also allows the court to look at the equity between the parties as a safety valve, allowing reasons other than those spelled out by statute to be considered in allowing a deviation from the Guidelines.

    The fourth factor could apply when a parent unilaterally cuts the other parent out of the child's life for no legitimate reason. However, a Mother's failure to legitimate the child, on its own, or the fact that a child was supported by other relatives will not be considered by the court as grounds to overcome the presumption.

    The cost of adding Peggy to your health plan can also be offered to reduce any arrearage.

    No judge wants to track that $10.00 you gave her for her birthday, or $50 for Christmas.

    Bottom line, I suggest you consult with a couple lawyers, and discuss your situation in detail and confidence.

    Yes, it'll cost money, but it'll also save you money.

    Say you were ordered to pay $200 a month for five years of the 15 years.

    That would be about $12,000 often with interest.

    A lawyer might work for you for $2,000, and get the court to accept $6,000 for arrearage, and $250 a month until she is 18.

    By the way, they'll attach your wages to confiscate what you can't pay.

    If you're ordered to pay $5,000, but only have $500, your wages will be levied against until the $4,500 is paid, plus current monies owed.

    If you don't pay your child support, past due payments called arrears will accumulate. The child support enforcement agency may collect arrears by:

    Putting liens on your personal & real property, any lump sum payments owed to you
    Intercepting your State and Federal tax refunds
    Seizing your bank accounts
    Intercepting unemployment and disability benefits
    Revoking your driver's and other business, professional, and recreational licenses
    Filing a legal action against you in court, which can lead to jail

    Anyway, it can't help to talk to a couple lawyers, normally the first meeting is free.

    How it works in TN:


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

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