Most states permit collecting child support back to the date when you first applied for child support, not just from the date your application is approved. Illinois places no specific time limit on how far back you can collect child support.
An Illinois court is not required to grant retroactive child support at all. In deciding whether or not to grant such an award, the court will look at several factors, including:
- The past behavior of both parents
- The effect of an award on the parent who has to pay
- Whether the other parent was avoiding paying support
- Why it took so long to file a claim for child support
The court may also limit the amount of the retroactive child support award based on the particular circumstances of your case.
Once the court decides how far back to make the award, money paid during that time will be subtracted from the final award.
Retroactive child support is always granted in addition to regular child support. It cannot be used to reduce future payments.
If you are seeking to establish retroactive child support, it may be wise to speak with an experienced child support lawyer. Consulting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and help you deal with the complicated legal system.