The Tennessee General Assembly recently enacted a major change to laws concerning past-due child support by substantially limiting the amount of overdue child support that can be awarded.
The new law limits backdating unpaid child support to five years from the date an action to collect unpaid support is filed.
An example of this type of order is a situation where the Court orders that child support needs to be paid from the date of separation, even though the actual order may not have been signed for several weeks or months.
Fathers in this predicament will oftentimes ask whether or not they will be required to pay “back child support” or “retroactive child support.” Georgia does not have a law that requires a parent in these circumstances to pay “retroactive child support.” This means that if you are ultimately required to pay child support pursuant to a court order, then the court will not necessarily require you to pay to the mother the amount of monthly child support that you may have otherwise been required to pay from the date of the child’s birth to the present.
If you decide to make child support payments before a formal order has been entered, make sure you keep detailed records.
You can use canceled checks or buy a receipt book and have the custodial parent sign it every time you provide funds to support the child or children.
When the non-custodial parent has not made his or her payments as ordered, they are considered to be in arrears on their child support payments.
When lawyers and judges talk about retroactive child support payments, they are referring to payments that the non-custodial parent may be obligated to make, but has not been ordered to yet.