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Can Retroactive Child Support Be Ordered in Texas?


You may have heard the terms “retroactive child support payments,” but do you know what that means? If you have received a court order earlier on for child support, you may be entitled to receive retroactive payments from that order. Your family law attorney can help you understand the options available to you.

Seeking Retroactive Child Support 

Just as with many other types of child support issues, there are steps you need to follow to receive child support payments that are retroactive. First, the court will determine if such payments are appropriate for the situation. If they deem these payments would be appropriate, they will then determine what time period the payments should be collected. Interest for the years covered by the child support period may also be determined.

Guideline levels of child support in Texas’ Family Code will also be applied to the parent that is paying the child support. There may be certain situations that result in the court deviating from the prescribed guidelines, especially when it comes to retroactive child support payments.

Determining the Scope of Retroactive Child Support Payments 

Texas Family Code includes guidelines on what is reasonable for retroactive child support. The amount deemed reasonable should be within the same limits that the court would have ordered as far back as four years prior. The court will also take into consideration what is in the best interest of the children involved. It is rare for the court to go further back than four years for retroactive child support.

However, there are certain situations where the court may order retroactive child support much further back than four years. For example, if a man knew he was the father of a child since the child was born, but didn’t pay child support, the court may order support to be paid all the way back to the birth of the child.

Calculating Net Resources 

In order to figure out the amount of the retroactive child support payments, the court will gather older information about the paying party and their net income from that time period. The court will use the guidelines for child support to determine the amount that will be paid. The court may also take into consideration health care, education, and daycare expenses of the child.

The court will also likely consider whether the petitioning party in the action has tried to notify you about the child. If they can show that you knew you were the father to the child, you could be placed under greater child support guidelines.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today 

If you are considering trying to collect retroactive child support payments, or have someone trying to collect these payments from you, contact the Houston family attorneys at Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. today to schedule a consultation. We will advise you of the options available to you and help you through the entire process so you have the best chance of getting the outcome you desire. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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