Retroactive Kentucky Child Support Obligation

When does your child support obligation start?  It depends on how your Court case is filed and the age of your child.

First, let’s be very clear that you have an obligation to provide financial support for your children, with or without a Court telling you to do so.  However, this blog post is limited to the issue of when your Court Ordered obligation of support begins.

If your child is born out of wedlock and the other parent files a Paternity Petition, then a Court Ordered obligation of support may be retroactive to the date your child was born.  The Paternity Petition and Motion for Child Support must be filed before the child’s fourth birthday.  In that case, the Court may Order child support retroactive to the date of birth.  If you have provided support in kind (you were living together or you bought food and other supplies) or in cash, then it may count as a credit against the retroactive support obligation.

In almost every other circumstance, the obligation to pay Court Ordered child support does not begin until the Court is asked to issue a Support Order.  The Support Order will be retroactive to the date the Motion was filed, but not earlier.  There is almost always a lag between the date the Motion is filed and the date the Order is entered.  Therefore, you could be in arrears at the time the Order is entered.  Even if you dispute the amount requested by the parent seeking child support, it may be in your best interest to pay an amount you agree is owed.