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. Texas suggests a maximum of four years but also allows some flexibility in deciding how far back to go in awarding retroactive child support.
In deciding how big the retroactive child support award should be, a Texas court will look at:
- How much money the other parent had then and has now
- Whether the other parent knew support was required
- How much money the other parent has already paid
The retroactive child support award will usually go back no more than 4 years unless the other parent intentionally avoided supporting the child, or if there are other special needs. In any case, child support cannot be awarded for time when both parents were living together.
Retroactive child support is granted in addition to regular child support – it does not reduce future payments.
If you are seeking to establish retroactive child support, it may be wise to speak with an experienced family lawyer. Consulting with a Texas child support lawyer can help you understand your options and help you deal with the complicated legal system.