How much child support must be paid?

4. Think about retroactive support

If you're the parent the child lives with most of the time, you can apply to court for at any time after separation.

If you and your partner try to make a without going to court but are not successful, you can ask for . This means asking the court to decide on the amount of support and to order that it be back-dated.

Usually, a retroactive child support order can go back to the date that you gave the parent effective notice.

Effective notice is the date you told your partner they should pay child support. For example, you may have asked your partner for child support the day after you separated. It's a good idea to ask for support in writing so that you have proof that you asked for it.

The court generally limits retroactive support to the past 3 years. It can be longer if the payor parent hid increases in income or ignored child support obligations.

The court looks at things like these:

  • Why was the application for support delayed?
  • How has the payor parent behaved during this time?
  • What was the child's life like in the past and what is it like now?
  • Will awarding retroactive support cause hardship to the payor parent?
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