retroactive child support in Florida

Child support is a court ordered obligation of financial support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child. Child support is the responsibility of every parent, regardless whether the two parents are married, divorced, or never married. Under Florida child support law, parents are not able to waive child support obligations. Parents of a minor child have a legal and moral duty to support and maintain their child. See Finn v. Finn. Parents are allowed to stipulate and agree to the amount of child support. However, the amount of support must be in the best interests of the child.  See Fox v. Haislett.  The agreement can also include retroactive child support in Florida.

Agreements on retroactive child support in Florida are subject to approval by a Florida family law court a Therefore, if you are able to reach an agreement with your child’s parent you should contact a child support attorney in Tampa for advice on whether or not the agreement will hold up in court.

How to Petition for Retroactive Child Support in Florida

Under Florida child support law, a parent has the right to seek retroactive child support. For instance, if a child is born out of wedlock and paternity was proven when the child turned 12 years old, the court can order the father to pay retroactive child support in Florida. The retroactive child support will date back to when the parents stopped residing together in the same home. Regardless, the period for the retroactive child support in Florida cannot exceed 24 months. A child support attorney in Tampa can assist with preparing and filing the petition for retroactive child support in Florida.

Prior to the enactment of the retroactive child support law, back child support for paternity cases was not limited to 24 months and could go as far back as to the birth of the child. The statute on retroactive child support in Florida was enacted in 1998. Therefore, if a child was born prior to 1998 the amount of back owed child support will not be limited to just 24 months. See Harris v. McKinney. In these cases, the mother may seek child support dating back to the date the child was  born. Additionally, a parent may be able to sue for retroactive child support even after the child turns 18. See Campagna v. Cope.

Calculating the Amount of Retroactive Child Support in Florida

The amount of child support to be paid is based primarily on the Florida Child Support Guidelines.

The Guidelines outline how much child support will be required by each parent. The amount is largely based on the parent’s income, overnight stays with the children, and number of children involved. In retroactive child support cases, this can be very difficult because the parent’s income may have fluctuated during the period child support should have been paid. For instance, if the parents had incomes that varied weekly during the 24 months, the court may have to make individual determinations for each week during the 24 month period.

All payments made by the father or third parties for the benefit of the child throughout the proposed retroactive period can be factored into the amount of child support owed. Additionally, the court must consider allowing a payment plan for the amount of retroactive child support to be paid. For more information on the amount of retroactive child support in Florida contact a Tampa child support attorney.

Child Support Law Firm in Tampa

An experienced child support law firm in Tampa can make a big difference in a child support case. If you are owed back child support, seeking to modify a child support order, or need to defend against an unjust child support request contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a Tampa child support attorney. Our professional legal team is passionate about these matters and will work diligently to fight for what is fair. With our experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation, we are available 24/ 7 to answer your calls.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start child support?
How do I change the amount of child support?
What is Florida’s Child Support Guidelines?
How do I get custody rights if I pay child support?
2 replies
  1. John F.
    John F. says:

    I was told after 22 years that a girl i used to date says her child is mine and looks like me etc. His dad that raised him is on the birth certificate. She wants me to do a paternity test to see if he is mine. If i do the test and i am his father and he is now 22 years old to i owe anything financially at this point. Back child support etc.


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