Retroactive child support in Pennsylvania refers to the financial support a non-custodial parent may be required to pay for the period before the entry of a formal child support order. Understanding the law surrounding retroactive child support is crucial for obtaining a successful outcome. The Philadelphia family law attorneys at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC, have successfully represented clients in various child support matters for over 40 years.
Our Philadelphia child support lawyers have prepared this overview of Pennsylvania’s retroactive child support laws to help you secure an outcome that benefits you and your children.
Retroactive Child Support in PA
Under Pennsylvania child support law (§4321), parents must financially support their children through child support payments. Normally, the non-custodial parent makes payments based on the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines (231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.16-4.) after a court grants a petition for child support. Under the Pennsylvania rules (231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.17), retroactive child support refers to the calculating and paying child support for past periods before a court entered a formal child support order..
Who Is Allowed to Claim Retroactive Child Support?
Normally, the custodial parent is entitled to seek child support. Therefore, the custodial parent or legal guardian of the child is the party who is entitled to seek retroactive child support in Pennsylvania. They may seek reimbursement for child care related expenses, in very limited circumstances
When Can a Parent Claim Retroactive Child Support?
There are two instances where the custodial parent can seek retroactive child support. They can seek retroactive child support for a certain period before entering a formal child support order. According to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the custodial parent can also seek retroactive child support if the non-custodial parent fails to disclose increased income.
How Far Back Can Child Support Be Claimed in PA?
It depends. Under the Pennsylvania rules of procedure (231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.17), retroactive child support can be claimed when the custodial parent filed the petition. However, according to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania law (§4352(e)), the custodial parent can seek retroactive child support payments before the date of the filing of the original petition if they can prove the other parent made misrepresentations and promptly filed a petition for retroactive support.
How to Claim Retroactive Child Support
Initiating a claim for retroactive child support involves legal procedures and proper documentation. To claim retroactive child support in Pennsylvania, you must file a petition with the appropriate court. A knowledgeable family law attorney can guide you through the process and help protect your rights and interests.This area of support practice is very nuanced and assistance of experienced counsel would be very helpful.
Retroactive Child Support vs. Child Support Arrears
Retroactive child support and child support arrears may seem similar but have distinct differences. Retroactive child support pertains to support owed for a period before a formal court order is entered. Child support arrears refer to unpaid support owed after a formal court order is in place.
Talk with an Experienced Child Support Attorney
The laws surrounding when to pay child support in Pennsylvania are complex. The experienced Philadelphia family law attorneys at SFS can provide tailored guidance based on your situation and help you navigate the legal processes surrounding when to pay retroactive child support. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Philadelphia child support attorneys.